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I have a confession to share with you all. (Could someone please stop me now? Please???) I've been a little overwhelmed this Christmas with all of the needs that we've been requested to give to. Each of my children have families in their schools that we've been asked to donate items for, my Bible Study has selected a family in need to provide Christmas to, our Sunday School class has adopted another local family who's also in need, and the list goes on . . .
Well this week as I've been planning and packaging and wrapping and baking and mailing and Amazon'ing. . . . (you get the idea), I've felt a little overwhelmed to say the least. And on top of that, there are so many needs out there that I can't help. I don't help. I choose not to help.
So here's the confession: I think I've been feeling simply gived out. You see, I truly am a penny pincher at heart (yup, way deep down to the very bone I'm a frugal girl!) And while giving a few dollars of groceries each week to our food pantry comes incredibly easy to me, handing over plain old cash (and what's been feeling like quite a lot of cash), is just painful for me. I hate that!
Well yesterday after somewhat begrudgingly hearing about another need, I walked into my packed full guest bedroom (packed full of gifts for our families, of course) and picked up two inexpensive outfits that we purchased to give to one of the needs here locally. As I began to wrap them, I thought about the mother of those little girls, who maybe couldn't purchase two simple new outfits for her girls. And then I considered that as I sat in my cozy warm home wrapping up Christmas presents, there are others even in our midst who go without the food, shelter, and the clothing they need. Then I went one step farther (ughhhhh. . . I hate to even think it), and thought about all those not all that far away from us who live without clean water, enough food, and who spend each day simply hoping to survive.
Last night, as I put my littlest one to bed, she clung tightly to me for fear I might leave. She simply wanted extra snuggle time, some TLC, and mommy right there, chin-to-cheek with her for just a few more minutes. In my mind I saw all those gifts stacked for her that she would completely forego for just a little more momma-time. And all that money and time and planning and effort . . . that I've spent when she would have preferred to simply have me. (ouch!) I am determined to do better. . . to give better. . . to love better . . . and to make Christmas about something other than just the crazies, but what it was meant to be when it all began.
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Photo courtesy of carstenfonsdal at Flikr.