Thursday, December 20, 2007

Joy, Joy, Joy

"Somehow, not only for Christmas,
but all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
the poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing,
returns to you glad."

--John Greenleaf Whittier

For most people, the focus of Christmas is buying gifts, and as hard as we try not to go overboard with it, we do. It is a real struggle to try to keep our hearts and minds on Christ during this season. Oh, sure you hear, 'Jesus is the reason for the season', but there is this small voice constantly whispering in our heads, "Who do I have left to buy for? Will they like it? etc..." I am not against gift giving, after all it should symbolize how Christ was so willing to give His life for us, and how He gives us so many blessings that we could never count them all.

Our attitude should be one of giving all year long, it should be a life style. The best form of giving cannot be wrapped in paper and ribbons, but wrapped in a spirit of love and giving of yourself. The miracle of giving of yourself is that the gift comes back to you a hundred fold. That is IF you give freely, expecting nothing in return. If you are giving because you want to honor God with your life, by serving others, then that is when YOUR life becomes full.

Our dear friends that have just adopted from Africa, their baby heart surgery. They are homebound for about 4 weeks because the little one cannot get sick during this important recovery time. Well, being a mom at home with 6 children, missing all the fun of parties during this time, etc... could start to wear on least it might me. :o) So I called a few of our friends (we all go to church together) and we caroled them! If you have never caroled anyone YOU ARE MISSING IT! Trust me it was just as much a blessing for us carolers as it was for them!

The Whites...Tucker must be behind his Dad...sorry Tuck!

Joy to the World!

Deck the Halls...

We Wish You a Merry Christmas...

Joseph, who was living in Liberia, suffering from heart problems and malnutrition a month ago, didn't know what to think of this American custom. :o) Maybe next year HE will be with us as we carol someone else!

A couple of years ago our family caroled several was SO MUCH FUN! People act as if you'd just given them a hundred bill! The element of surprise is part of it, but I think it is the actual giving of yourself, something that cannot be bought! And what is even more amazing is when you walk off their doorstep, you realize you were able to spread some joy, which in return, fills you with joy. Oh, if we could just grasp that as a way of life, THAT is the best gift we could give to our Heavenly Father.


Tracy in NC said...

Kathy, we went caroling this year for the first time. You are right. Everyone was so excited that we had come but we were definitely blessed the most. One lady we went to see is turning 95(!!) on Christmas Eve. She told us a story about when she was born that was so sweet. Then she told us that she doesn't have any family anymore to come see her for Christmas/her birthday. We were so grateful to the Lord for stopping us there that night.

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

I saw the LIberian child and was interested...we have an adopted daughter from Liberia. So do a few others in our town.