Can you believe it's the middle of December and it's warm enough to play outside...well, if it weren't raining so hard, that is! What an amazing God we have!!! It's been quite the weather ride this year and I take comfort in the fact that God, and God alone, is in control of every moment of it, every rain drop, every snowflake, every wind that blows! Hallelujah!
I have not been nearly as good about keeping up this blog as I would have liked...things have just been so crazy! Adjusting to the homeschooling routine has been something...well...crazy! We've been doing it for a whole semester now and I don't feel like I know any more than I did before and we still don't really have a routine or schedule down. If you know me, you know this is driving me crazy! But, it seems no matter how hard I try, that part of it just doesn't seem to be clicking. However, I know this was the right decision for our family and we are all really enjoying it and the benefits, even with some of the irritations. One of the biggest things for me is trying to figure out how to fit in all the household chores in the midst of school. But, I know it will come in time and I am doing my best to be patient (something that does NOT come naturally to me at all! Only by God's grace!!!!)
One of my favorite things about this holiday season has been doing our Jesse Tree Advent book with the kids each day.(Find info about downloading it here .) What fun this has been!! It is pretty much taking us through the entire Bible and showing us how Christ's birth is the fulfillment of so many prophecies from hundreds of years before His birth. We decided to do it at the last minute, so we had to improvise with the tree. Instead of buying another small tree, we decided to just make a construction paper branch on the wall and hang our ornaments on it. The kids have really loved it. One of the things Sophie has really loved is to see how many times Bethlehem is mentioned in the Bible, waaaaaaaay before Jesus is ever born there. Her eyes light up every time she hears the name. It's fun to see her now connect it not only to Jesus' birth, but to the land that was promised to Abraham and his descendants, as well as the town of David, from whose line the Messiah was promised to come. Like all of us, I am not sure she completely sees the whole picture, but the pieces are beginning to fit together for her! God, You are so good! Thank you for always delivering on Your promises! You alone are 100% faithful 100% of the time.
I was once struck again this week by the abundance of our blessings and the overabundance in our lives all at the same time. We head out next week to celebrate Christmas with Kevin's family in TX, so, as many of you may know about me, I felt the need to go ahead and get packed (but, in my defense, I was trying to avoid having to do laundry at the last minute and be throwing things into a suitcase and forgetting something...that makes sense, right?!?!?!). As I did this, I was struck by the fact that I could pack for both kids for a week, put those clothes aside, and they both still had enough clothes to last at least another 2 weeks or more without me ever doing more laundry. Wow! And to think, there are families all over the world who barely have one outfit to their name, let alone the ability to truly ever get that outfit clean. Lord, I don't know why you have blessed me beyond measure, but I pray you show me how to clear out my abundance so that others may have true needs filled. Lord, show me what I truly need in order to live that I may help others, out of my abundance, to have even their most basic needs met!
Last night we finally decided on the gifts we would get out of the World Vision catalogue. This was kind of like torture for Sophie and I. We both just wanted to give everything we saw (see, we do have something in common other than our drama queen tendencies!) Every need seemed so pressing and so immediate, we could barely choose. As I sat there in front of the computer putting the items in our "basket", I just wanted to sit and cry. Our contribution seemed so small. Can $25 really help a child with disabilities or an orphan with no place to live? Is that really all it takes? Why do I not do this everyday? Why do I spend money on extra sweaters or silly things that are just an unneeded extravagance when it would take less than I spent on that to put food in some one's mouth? Oh Lord, open more doors for our family to share You in unexpected ways. Lord, You've opened my heart to those orphans who have no hope of adoption in the earthly sense, show me how to take the next step in meeting their physical and spiritual needs. Lord, use us! Use our little family to do things we never imagined were possible to help those in need, both physical and spiritual. Lord, use this time of Advent, as we celebrate Your coming, to be an Advent in our hearts as You enter in and change us from the inside out! Lord, move or move me!