Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Blessings

This Christmas we were worried. Not about "How are we going to buy everyone big, giant, expensive gifts?!" but about "How are we going to give as much as possible to as many people as possible?!" While we enjoy buying small gifts for friends and family we REALLY enjoy blessing those who are lost and hurting in our world. Most of those in our lives are blessed to have more than enough to eat, wear, etc and so each year we try to do a lot of extra for those that don't. But would that be possible this year? Extra? After paying Annabeth's NICU bills and my two surgery bills money was going to be tight this year and yet we found great encouragement about faithful giving during our Advent Study. We read "A Different Kind of Christmas" (which I will GIVE AWAY FREE! to the first person who messages that they would like it!!)
We decided with Mark's brothers to just exchange a family photo with each of them and put a ten dollar limit on each of the kids. After finding cute gifts at a great price we had over $20 left of that budget and used it to buy supplies to restock our church's Andrew's Harvest Food Pantry. In anticipation of new clothes coming our way, we cleaned out closets and took bags to Goodwill and I took some of my old work clothes to my sister. Annabeth even got in the spirit and cleaned out her closet to share outgrown items with her Bestie Bella who is just growing into that size. We shared extra Christmas cards and wrapping with family so they would not have to purchase any. We homemade lots of gifts. We found lots of FREE ways to bless others.
In the end, God saved our biggest abudance of blessings for Christmas Day. We had planned on having a quite a good group for dinner but due to the coming blizzard we ended up just having Mark's parents and his great-grandpa. For dinner we had Roman Noodle Slaw, Ham, Green Beans, Sweet Potato Casserole, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese, and Homemade Squash Casserole. We also had muffin fudge bars and gingerbread kiss cookies for dessert. After they all picked out their leftovers, we had a TON left! So, we baked a bunch of rolls, packed up the ham and sides, gathered random leftover silverware and plates from different parties, took the unopened soft drinks, and tons of desserts and Mark and his mom drove it down to jail at shift change. In turn, the night shift was blessed with a homemade Christmas dinner as they went into work! We are so thankful that even during a year when we weren't sure how we were going to make all of the extras happen, God gave us more than enough time and time again!