Monday, December 17, 2012

25 Posts of Christmas...Project Giving

This is not a post to toot my own horn. I am greedy. I am materialistic. I like MY stuff and I don't like to share. But this is one of my favorite things that we do at Christmas. Eddie and I have, for at least as long as we've been married, bought Christmas gifts for other families. We've always done it through his office and through our church. We don't go in with a budget (although my goal for 2013 is to save for this particular project each month so that at the end of the year we'll have more to spend), but we buy a gift or two from each family's list. This year we were buying for two families (and please note that we go in on this with other people...we're not the sole providers of Christmas for anyone!). We bought for a 13 year old girl and for a family that had four children. 

We loaded the boys up on Saturday morning and headed off to WalMart in search of gifts for those precious babies. James was in a horrible mood. He was ugly about wanting to give to others. I didn't take the bait when he was arguing but kept telling him what a great thing it was that he was giving to others and that Jesus wants us to share with those who don't have all that we do. I think this will sink in more next year. I really think he just needed a nap. Ha!

The whole time we were buying and I was wrapping gifts I just prayed and prayed over the gifts. The honest truth is that we just bought WalMart gifts. WalMart clothes. WalMart jewelry. I know that their families were in need, but I couldn't help but feel guilty when I don't shop for myself there. I prayed and prayed and prayed that the gifts were needed. I prayed for the kids receiving the gifts. I prayed for their parents. I've never done this before.

A special part of this is that at Sunday School yesterday we gathered to turn in our gifts and eat breakfast with our friends. One friend, a middle school teacher in our area, said that she was thrilled when she saw the name of one of the girls. It was the sweet girl that I bought for. Cue the tears in Sunday School! She said that the girl is SO nice and her family is so deserving. It's so easy to get cynical about giving to others, but the truth is that we just have to choose to give and allow God to do the rest. It all works out.

Another great story of giving was the year that my mama provided a suitcase for a child through The Patticake House in Tifton. It's a place that puts battered women and children in better environments and they provide suitcases full of clothes and toys for children each year. My mama had bought some things and I can't remember if I saw the gifts or if she just described them, but at the beginning of January when we returned to school one of my children came in wearing the clothes that she'd provided. What a blessing and a gift to be able to give to others.

I encourage you to find a small way to give this year. Whether it's buying Christmas gifts or throwing your change into the bucket for the Salvation Army. Whether you seek something out or do it on a whim. Give! It's the greatest gift you'll give yourself this year!

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
1 Timothy 6:18

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