Monday, December 24, 2012

What if we treated every day like Christmas?

The sick, the childless, the motherless, the fatherless. The poor, the unemployed, the ones who feel hopeless. The infertile, the brokenhearted.

Parents burying children. Children who are hurt and abused by their parents. Women and men who would give anything just to have one child to love.

The hungry, the thirsty, the impoverished.

So many hurting souls. So, so many who cry more than they smile.

The radio stations buzz with calls coming in to help the needy. Churches are flooded with toys and food for those without. Our hearts feel so full and blessed by the giving we do at Christmas time. Tis the season for giving, right?

And Christmas comes and goes. The radio stops it petition for giving and people quickly lose that desire to help those who are less fortunate...and I don't just mean the poor. I mean those who are deeply grieving...those who are heartbroken and feel hopeless. We may continue to count our blessings, but how quickly we forget to reach our arms out to those who are in anguish.

I feel so sad in the car. Listening to all these heart breaking stories...knowing that we are barely even getting a glimpse into the worlds suffering. Sad...because I know come January that most of these "Christmas wishes"  will all be pushed away.

Why do our hearts stop the day after Christmas? Why do we give less? Why don't we give sacrificially year around?

Jesus didn't have to come and save us. He could have just left us here. Left us without any hope.

But, He didn't do that. He came not because of who we are...but because of who He is. Because He loves us that much. Because He wanted us to be with Him forever in eternity. Because He knew before He created you that He wanted you...for forever.

If we are to be be the light in this dark world...then we can't leave those who are brokenhearted on their own.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

So when the Christmas music stops and we stop hearing the cries for help on the radio, let us not close our ears and eyes and hearts to the reality of this hurting world. A world that is desperately in need of a hope that can only come from the Savior. A world that we forget in our glorification of busyness.

Because He doesn't just show up in our lives around the holidays. He is still here. If you want Him.

Let Him continue to show you how He can use you in this hurting you can be a light for Him. 

...and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
Matthew 1:23 

Thank you Jesus. Because of you we are never without hope. Hallelujah. 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The joy of having two sisters

Poor Jacob.

He is all boy and loves his trains and running and jumping. At the mere age of 2 years old, he already thinks burping is funny. His natural instinct is to push, shove, and hit...something we are not proud of and trying hard to stop...but, he is a boy. And boys naturally get these surges of testosterone.

However, when you are surrounded by ladies all day long, it's only natural that the boy gets a bit confused about his man card.

And when I was painting the girls nails the other day, he pitched a fit when I wouldn't paint his too. I had to draw the line on that one.

Oh Jacob. You do make an awfully cute Snow White.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I will always remember

People often say "I remember exactly where I was when..." when reminiscing on something tragic that happened in the world. I can remember where I was when the beautiful Princess Diana died. And of course I can remember exactly what I was doing on September 11th...just like it was yesterday.

Bad things happen all the time, all over the world. Most of the time, we are probably so completely unaware of most of this evil. We know it exists, but I don't think we know just how prevalent it truly is.

On Friday, my husband and I planned a 1/2 day family day. Of all the mornings, we chose December 14th to meet up for a few hours in the middle of his work day to take the kids to ride the Pink Pig (it's an Atlanta thing), see Santa, and have lunch together. We even ventured in a couple shops. We took pictures and laughed as the kids high fived Santa and wore their reindeer hats he gave them. Completely oblivious to what was going in the world at that moment, we had a very rare week day outing as a family. It was one of the best mornings I've had in awhile...morning where I actually just got to enjoy my sweet, precious little ones.

But, forever, my heart will think of this day differently when I look at the pictures below. Below is the picture of a family who was all together and enjoying the blessings that God has given us...each other. It is a picture of girl's dream to have a family of her own...and now she does. It is a picture of a dream come true.

But, now, I look at this picture and will always remember that at the moment this photograph was taken, too many innocent children were taken away from their mommies and daddies too soon. And my heart...oh how it aches for those families. Had those children gotten a picture with Santa this year? Did their mommies and daddies already have their gifts wrapped under the trees? Did those mommies and daddies have special days planned, like our day, full of Christmas activities for their little ones?

Last night, Andrew and I were putting together the Barbie house my parents got her for Christmas. She will be so excited to see it as it is one of only two things she has asked for (that and a Mermaid Barbie). The entire time we were assembling it my heart felt so at how excited my girls will be to get this house...feeling blessed that my parents are always so generous...and then feeling the tears well up in my eyes while wondering if those mommies and daddies had toys already put together that they were so excited about giving their little ones.

To those little innocent children who are most definitely with our Lord and Savior, you will never be forgotten. For those mommies and daddies who will never fully heal and will always grieve this absolute nightmare, you must know that we will never forget you. We will never stop praying for you. And when I look back on this picture when I am old and grey, I will remember you and your little ones.

Our God is good. Our God is faithful. I do not understand His ways or why He allows such horrific things to happen...but, I know that He is the only one who can give these families strength to live.

"Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world."


We will always remember this day. God heal the broken hearts. God, make your presence known to these families. And Lord, please show us how to pray for them and how we can be of service to during the wake of this tragic day.