Christ-mas catalogs.

“why don’t we do the same thing as last year?” came her voice over the phone. “why don’t we give to others. it’s not our birthday anyways.”

& so we did.

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last christmas we gave less gifts so that we could support a compassion international child. this year, we decided to spend less on gifts, to give a small gift or a homemade gift. our main gifts would be donations to an organization that would bless someone else this christmas.

each of us set out on our own journey. a journey to spend less on earthly wonders to gain eternal treasures. a journey of crafting or bargaining or driving or searching websites. a journey that involved pulling out a credit card. but not to buy a new shirt or shoes or dvds. instead we bought chickens, a well, a gift for a single mom & baby, freedom for girls in slavery, a new shelter, help for special needs kids, beads that support women & ornaments that support orphans in uganda.

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& once again, i had to let go of my christmas, of my plans. but was it ever mine to begin with? why do i worry that christmas won’t be the same, if the attention is taken off of the gifts & focused on the Giver?

i needn’t have worried. focusing on Him multiplies joy. there was laughter in my heart & love radiating through the house as each person opened their present, opened the donation made in their name, opened a package of grace or a new beginning for someone else in the world.

this is Christ-mas.

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God gave us an eternal gift of hope. grace. forgiveness. love.

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now we join in the giving.

“Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made Him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for He has endowed you with splendor.

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call on him while He is near.”

Isaiah 53:2-6

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