Thursday, December 27, 2012

Celebrating Christmas Part 1

A few weeks ago, I was a little stressed. A lot of things have happened in recent months that had stretched us emotionally and financially. I knew Christmas was coming up and with 8 kids in the house,not having presents for them was a big stressor for me. My love language is gifts and I havent been able to give anybody gifts for a while. Yes, There have been times in our past when the money was thin and it looked like there would be limited presents but somewhere, somehow we managed getting a few gifts for our kids. I know, I know, I will hear many say that its not about the gifts. But in a way it is. It is about God giving us his greatest gift and if we are made in his image, it is in our hearts to want to give. I love seeing the looks on their faces when a gift is opened. Gifts open doors to Love to be planted in the heart. This year though I was losing hope of being able to do that. Yes, it made my heart very sad. I had been dropping hints that we would have a small Christmas. The kids seemed to take it in well, understanding, saying it was ok, but you could seethe disappointment in their eyes but despite that I would  hear them dreaming out loud about what they might get. But isn't that what we have been teaching them to do? To dream, to defy the impossible? The earthly truth was, was that I didn't even have money to buy groceries for a Christmas Dinner. Despite that, I followed their lead and made my Christmas list dreaming of what I wanted to buy for them as well as what I wanted to cook for Christmas Eve and Christmas. I had already had a meltdown of crying my eyes out on Duane's shoulder about this whole issue. I laid my lists before God and went about our life choosing to believe that God was good no matter what. A few days later, Duane came home from work and with a smile on his face, he declared, "Melissa, you can go buy the kids' gifts. They gave me an unexpected bonus at work." Do you think I cheered???!!! Yes, I did. Amazon became my store a few days later and The expectancy of the UPS or Fed Ex drivers delivering a package was the highlight of each day! Everyday, was a reminder that God gave us breakthrough and saw the desires of my heart to want to give to my kids. "If you, then,though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11 and Luke 11:13)

On Christmas Eve, We always open 1 present and because we are such a large group, we draw names and each person purchases a gift for another family member.  This year we opened those and 1 other gift. 

Ben, Edith and Allenni waiting to  open presents

They are so excited! Andrew, Eli and Isaiah

Can we get on with it??

Isaiah handing out gifts

Graham hanging out

Isaiah is ready

Allenni helping Isaiah open his gift from Andrew!

His very much wanted skate board!
I love this picture! Isaiah gave Andrew a big hug!

CAn you tell Eli is already scheming who he is going to attack with his nerf gun?

Allenni got Hot chocolate and a mug from Ben

Great picture

Andrew got his own battery charger from Dad

Graham turned into a little kid all excited about his sniper nerf gun that mom got him

Allenni got books from mom and dad

Nathaniel got some nice ALABAMA gloves from mom and dad

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