When I was growing up, Christmas was a time of family togetherness coupled with fun traditions and gifts. Some years had more gifts than others but I remember the thought was always the same- We're celebrating the birth of our Savior! One Christmas, the one that always comes to mind when anyone asks me about my most memorable Christmas, still stands out as my favorite and probably always will.
Daddy got laid off from his job just before Christmas so Mom explained to us that Christmas would be very small. And since my birthday is just a few days before Christmas, that meant that my birthday was small that year too- but as vivid as Christmas is in my memory, I have no memory of my birthday that year.
Mom decided to make our gifts that year and set out making matching dresses for us 4 girls and rag dolls. She got busy sewing while we were at school and out playing so we wouldn't see. A couple weeks before Christmas, Mom and Daddy took us to the playground at the school and while playing, Mom fell and tore her shoulder up. She was in a sling, her arm immobile for weeks so the sewing came to a grinding halt.
Well, Christmas morning we were awakened by the sound of someone pounding on our front door. The 4 of us girls raced to the door and pulled it open only to find no one there...and a great big wooden crate on the porch. "Santa" had brought Christmas to our house by way of the local Firemen. Inside that crate was Christmas dinner and gifts for all of us girls. In addition to those gifts, were the wonderful rag dolls that my aunt had come over and helped my mom finish. Mine is pictured below. I still have her and cherish the memory of that amazing Christmas. A year when we expected nothing and God blessed us with everything through a most unexpected source.
This year, I've paid closer attention to the way people act during this time of year. I saw people throw themselves completely into the preparations, going all out with decorations and food and gifts but leaving out the most important part- Jesus.
I saw people buy a few gifts, decorate a little, attend church, but otherwise behave the way they always behave.
I saw others buy tons of gifts and give them all away to families in need, Decorate their homes and invite the less fortunate in to share a hot meal while sharing the love of Jesus with them too!
I've also seen others not buying gifts, decorating, sending cards, or celebrating at all but quietly, secretly, giving to those in need, sharing Jesus at Christmas time just as they do all year long.
Which one do I want to be? Which path is God calling me to walk down? Maybe one of these, maybe a combination of a couple of them, or maybe a path completely different. All I know for sure at this point is that God is calling me for a higher purpose. He wants to use me to share His word, to do His work, to be His hands and feet. He doesn't NEED me...but He WANTS me! What an amazing God we serve! I know that my God could save the world on His own without my help, without anything from me at all...but He wants to bless me by allowing me to serve Him by serving others! WOW!
Another year has come and gone, another birthday behind me. In reading my Bible everyday, I've learned so much about my amazing God. I love Him so much. I adore Him and long to be with Him. I pray daily for Jesus to return because I'm impatient for it but I know that His time is far greater than mine. He knows there are still people whose hearts will turn when they hear the Good News so He waits.
What is God calling you to do? What path is He leading you down this next year? Will you listen or turn your back and run the other way like Jonah?
Part of what God is calling me to do is to raise funds for hurting people in Asia. People who've never hear His name. People who have no idea what Christmas is. People who struggle each and every day to feed their children and more often than not go to sleep each night hungry. My heart is heavy and burdened for the people of India specifically. What a beautiful people they are, some of the most strikingly beautiful people I've ever seen, but so lost. They NEED a savior! And what better way to show them their Savior than to provide Him along with their everyday needs?
Go here to donate- if the Lord moves on your heart to do so- and help me send sewing machines to Asia!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!! May God's blessings pour out on you.