I am excited to be part of the 31 Days of Thanks with a group of bloggers who are sharing their hearts and some great gifts too! As I prepared to write this post, I had something very different in mind. The focus changed last week when my daughters humbled me and brought me to tears.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have received “gift” catalogs from organizations like World Vision and Compassion. I recycled one because my husband and I had decided to do something different this year, but BookGirl grabbed the other before I discarded it. She looked through it for a few days, and each time she mentioned how much she hopes to get money for Christmas so she can give part of it to a family who really needs it with one of those gifts. She looked through it so much that the cover fell off.
I am ashamed to admit that it took me days to really listen to her. I was hearing her but not really paying attention to what her heart was saying. I finally spoke to my husband, and we agreed to tell her our plan for Christmas and let her make a decision.
We explained that we have a budget set for Christmas and that we planned to have a couple of presents under the tree for each child, a stocking stuffer, and a small amount of cash they can save or spend. I also explained that BookGirl will have more money because Princess Roo will have one more gift under the tree, but that I spent the same amount on each of them. By this time, Princess Roo figured out that something was going on and wanted in on the action. Then I told both girls that we would allow them to have some of their Christmas cash in advance if they wanted to spend it on one of the “gifts” from the catalog.
They were so excited you would have thought it was Christmas already. They looked at the other organization’s gift catalog online, thumbed through the already worn copy several more times, and made their decisions. BookGirl is spending part of her Christmas money to buy seeds for a family in Africa, and Princess Roo is spending part of hers to protect a child from parasites.
BookGirl explained that she wants something else to put in our Sparkle Box this year as a gift for Jesus. There are certain things we do as a family each Christmas to honor Jesus’s birthday, as gifts for Him, but she wants to do something on her own.
We left for AWANA shortly after that conversation, and I almost didn’t make it through the evening. As I followed them into our church, I fought tears as they talked excitedly about the gifts they are giving this year to help others who have far less than we do.
I am blessed by generous children. And I am honored. And humbled. And so grateful to be their mother.
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