J-Man trying on his new Roller Blades he picked out at Target spree shop Little E bought me these beautiful earrings, love his heart!
I posted earlier about how different this Christmas will be for our family. How its been a rough reality, but we are just going to suck it up and do it. We decided early on that we can not give to each other or anyone else really, not even to teachers, or staff, or even to our favorite charities. We just can't. Then some school letters came home, you know the ones that ask you to give if you can to the stars on the tree, or the angels for families in need. I wanted to, oh I so wanted to! Then I got a special letter a personalized letter asking our family if we need any assistance this year. gulp. US? We were the ones that signed up to get gifts usually, or to donate etc. We were part of groups and churches that adopted families that needed help. It was something we have enjoyed for years, and now we were being asked if we needed the help!? This year the letter was coming home for OUR family. It was humbling, and to be very honest I was so sad that the tables were turn and we were that family in the situation. I filled out the sheets they asked for the kids the wish list. Turned it in, still having a hard time with my pride. Then another letter came in from our school, our kids were selected to go on a "Shop with A Buccaneer"No kidding get this. The sister High school near our kids school set up an entire day where they match a few teens with each student as a chaperons, feed the kids breakfast at the school then with thier schaperones they all go on the bus for a ride to Target where each kid is set up with a $100 Target giftcard for them to spend tax free. Drive them back to school and feed the kids lunch. We were thinking it would be a blast for them. So, we decided not to let our prides keep them from a fun time. THEN, I wake up one morning to the BEST surprise I had a friend give us a $250 Amazing gift Card. Oh sweet Lord, We were blessed!! THEN, J-man filled out a card for free bikes from a local church providing bikes for the kids in our community. ALL OUR kids except Roo got one, a friend called me the other day and told me she has a tiny bike that her little one can not ride do I want it? YES! If it was not for the above we would not have Christmas. I know, do I sound like I am playing the worlds smallest violin. NOW this one will blow you away. Here it goes. I was spent on cash. Cookies, here for class parties, little cash here for more class parites etc. etc. and more etc. I was out of cash till pay day. Come on, I know some of you can relate. Little E needed a strand of 20 lights for a class project. Went to Walmart, went to Target, went to the dollar store, and by the time I found out where to get the lights. Cash out. So needless to say I knew little E would go to school without his 20 strand of lights. I began to pray, let me back up. Little E has big faith, BIG faith in me, to supply his needs. THIS was so hard to work on, I was so sad I would let him down, he had been waiting for the lights. So, this is why I began to pray. Lord, just $10 bucks till Friday, PLEASE! The day passed, well I was waiting for a refund check, or you know some kind of rebate in the mail...nothing. Little E was just going to have to be disappointed. We went to dinner at my folks, My mom is so awesome she has us come over for dinner once a week. Gives me a night off. We come home and see a tree on our door step. We were not expecting a tree. We brought the tree inside and saw it was loaded with gift cards. OUR kids were ecstatic! $250 in Gift Certificates for Groceries and Walmart. Here is the best part. On the tree and I told no one about the lights there were two strands of 20 lights. ON THE TREE! SO, We get to shop for fun things for the kids AND get our Christmas dinner supplies AND little E will get his strand of lights. Did I mention my parents GAVE me their van?! Yes. They upgraded and decided to give us the title of their minivan. We are now the proud owners of two cash cars!
I checked with Chief about writing this post, he is the provider and I never want him to feel like he doesn't provide for us or can not. We are in a sticky situation and really praying and seeking a way out. For now, this is the situation we are in, we are trying to make the best of it, while staying out of dept and working on being content with where God has us at the moment (forced smile.) He knows I believe in him as the provider and that I cherish his hard work. He also knows that the Lord provides through his people. He uses and has used us plenty of times as a vehicle in those provisions and sometimes we become the recipient of that provision. Friends, this is just the beauty of the body! Merry Christmas. I know we are having one! Praying that next year things may look diffrent and we can be the ones blessing you!
In many Christmas past as in BA (Before Africa) Christmas was a mad rush to get the perfect gift for every single person on my list. Most importantly my children. I raced in all of the Black Fridays crazy made houses to get that gift at %60 off retail. I have it down to a science, going a few days to scout out a map,yes I said map, wearing the right runnners, and filling the pockets with power bars, to eat while I run the masses over for the mad dash to that one gift I HAD to get. I will even share that I would buy extra on these shopping spree times just cause it was a good deal. My kids did not need 6 lego sets per child, but it was buy one get one, so it went into the closet for extra. Birthday parties we attend in the year and so forth. Chief and I would outdo ourselves with something super nice. Ipods, clothes, nice things. Then we went to Africa.
It changed our perspective on everything. The over excess of our country. The obsessions we have of needing to make things perfect. The insane amount of dept one can establish in the mad "need". Its insanity. Then we came to Georgia. Living in excess was not a choice any longer, it has become a reality and fact of life. I No longer had the "choice" to simplify Christmas. Its a necessity for us, and that changes our perspective even more. When you make a choice to give up on excess, you have the choice, you feel good about it, because if you decided to forgo that choice you have the choice to. When you do not have a choice, its a different ball of wax. It just is.
So this Christmas we are learning so much about the in depth true meaning or what Christmas is. We have nothing to give, we have EVERYTHING to give, we have our hearts for Christ and our family. Our children have been forewarned that this will be a very different Christmas. I am not sure if you can see the photo above its a letter our son who is 11 wrote to Santa. We believe he knows the truth, but there are times when he still writes to Santa, and hides it so we can never find it. I don't find it till after Christmas, this time, I was lucky it was tucked behind a log in the fireplace, I moved the log because it was bugging me that it was out of place. Notice #2 on his want list. I think he gets it. Love that kid! Merry Christmas !
I posted this photo on Facebook with a post that said "Doesn't this make you want to curl up with a good book and a bowl of chili!" To which Chief (who is my FB friend :) responded "No, it makes me think of how much we are spending on heat!"..... "Perception"
Your perception of God shapes your reality. a.w. Tozer
My perception has really sucked lately, being that it has sucked the life out of what the reality is. Reality is that My God is Awesome, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Holy, a Mighty Provider.
My perception for the last year has me walking around with the reality that I feel God forgot about me, that life sucks and maybe its what I deserve, I am a sucky person. I have too many freckles, and my belly looks like I am now carrying a baby kangaroo (I AM not, just sayin) And in this season of Christmas when our budget is super tight (like one gift per child, tight~) and everything cost money, parties, kids school celebration etc... It has sucked the life out of reality of who God IS.
It has shaped and morphed me into moping around feeling totally sorry for myself, I KNOW BETTER.
I have been a Christian for a LOOONNGGG time. Yet I have allowed my perception to shape what my view of God has been. When I see God in this view guess what happens to my days, my attitude, my perspective....you got it...it stinks. Heard this quote yesterday and it gave me a sharp pain to the pit of my stomach, convicted.
* NO MAS, no more can I allow these thoughts to shape me. I can not also let my reality of my circumstances to shape my perception of God. There is truth, I know where to find it.
Let's be done Nat. Say it with me NO MAS NO MAS NO MAS!
Got to spend five days with Chief's mom and dad/my other parents! Five days to short, but we had a lot of catch up too do. They came with a super duper make me smile gift from my SIL Cindy, my very own delish pumpkin roll. Have you ever had a pumpkin roll, utter deliciousness Made my Holiday!
Did some antiquing at some Southern stores. They feel in love with the Southern accents and the Southern hospitality. These guys got some father son time.
Lots of grandparent time! (notice the pose of one of my tribal children that one hails from Washington state!)
Sweet moments together ended much to soon. Come back Grandparents, we miss you!
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