Friday, December 18, 2009

A Reality Check

Giving Day 17
(posted a day late)
Idea (this isn't in the book)- Give a reality check

Christmas is next week. We've finished our shopping and don't have to worry about the 'holiday rush' in the shopping sense anymore this year. I found myself getting caught up in the frenzy of it all. Worrying over what I had left to get. I was then reminded that one reason we are going through this book this year is to step back away from the madness and embrace the reason.

We only give our kids 3 gifts each at Christmas. Then, there is 1 from Santa (yes, we do Santa. But,we don't focus on that aspect). We set the 3 gift limit about 4 years ago and have felt it was a perfect 'tradition' for our family. Jesus was given 3 gifts at His birth, so this is another way we can tie in the reason we give gifts at all. We also don't go overboard with the 3 gifts. We probably spend on our entire family what most families spend on 1 child. Derek and I don't give each other (material) gifts. Mostly because we usually can't afford to, lol. Maybe someday we will but for now we take joy in giving to our kids.

I got a little frustrated yesterday with my kids. It was time to do chores and they were grumbling. Well, the older 2 were. The babies, well...ya know. It really made me sad. Derek came home and walked into the grumbling spirit of not wanting to clean the house and take care of the things the Lord has blessed us with. This is something Derek and I have really been convicted of. Not being good stewards of what we're given.

So, we decided our kids needed a reality check.

We sat down and showed them some videos of children in Haiti. Haiti is said to be the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. It showed little boys digging in mud, hoping to find a fish or crab buried, for their dinner. The one meal that they might get to eat that day. It showed shacks where they lived in filth, by our American standards. The video showed a little boy who would cry out in hunger everyday. His mother felt helpless because there was no food to ease the boys pain. They might eat 1 time every couple days. That's. It.

Ava, our 5 year old, asked if it was real. In her little mind she couldn't even comprehend people that really live like that.

Here I sit with my 4 kids. Well fed. Well clothed. Well housed. And yet....we complain. We don't appreciate. I know my kids complain because they have seen us complain. They don't take joy in being good stewards because I, often times, have taken that same attitude.

I think we all needed that reality check last night. We gave that reality check to our kids but it was given to us as well.

After the video we sat down and talked about what we watched. Did God really want us to forget these people? What could we do to help? What could we give? We don't have tons of money but there are little things we can do for people in Haiti and people hurting here in the Dallas area. I've already been going through the house and purging it of things to give away. But, surely there's more.

The girls have been saving cans to cash in for some spending money for a trip we're going to take to visit family in Colorado this Spring. They decided instead of using that money to buy themselves more things (they don't need, but only want) they would save cans to cash in for money to add to our Giving Jar.

We thought that was a great start. But, mostly, we're just glad we can do anything. That the Lord has given to us so greatly that we can give to others.

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