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Dec 07

It’s About Giving

The last few weeks, as I have been going through blog corners, doing work on the Internet, etc. I have seen Christmas posts everywhere.  Yet, I have not been at peace with any of these topics, nor have I felt God whisper that I am to share ideas on crafting, decorating, etc.

 

This is where I am…..this Christmas season….

 

I have not felt like giving gifts this year either. Phew….there I said it.

 

I love to give. I love to do for others.

 

So this….this not wanting to give gifts…. is very odd for me.

 

I grew up not having “Christmas” in my immediate family. Growing up I couldn’t wait to have my own family so we could have “Christmas”….. Presents, lights, parties, etc. I’ve spent the last 8 Christmas’ making sure everything was decorated, bought, wrapped beautifully, etc. Just perfectly.

Yet what for? Is this truly what makes “Christmas”? It’s taken me 8 years as a mother to realize how terribly wrong I was.

 

“Christmas” isn’t about the lights…..the perfectly decorated home……or the perfectly wrapped presents.

 

Christmas came…..as a newborn babe wrapped in swaddling cloths…..lying in a manger….born to live……to give everything to those IN NEED……by dying on a tree……for ALL……giving what they TRULY NEED……LIFE

 

This year, I was DELIGHTED that Good Morning Girls created an Advent Study, which I am LOVING and sharing with about a dozen other girls in my Facebook group.

I was EXCITED when Ann Voskamp shared her Jesse Tree Advent Study, so I could include my kiddos in this new tradition as well!

 

This has been my focus this year.

Slowing our Christmas season down, cherishing the true meaning of Christmas…..our Savior.

 

I truly believe that this change in me, started when I read Ann Voskamp’s book “1000 Gifts”. As I have been counting and opening my eyes, brightly seeing all the wonderful gifts that God has given me. Right where I am. Without anything added.

 

I have everything I need. I have mostly everything I want as well. I am beyond cared for. I am truly beyond blessed. I am spoiled.

 

Giving looks very different for my family and I this year.

 

My children don’t NEED anything. Sure they want a lot, but that doesn’t matter. They don’t need anything.

This year, they were not allowed to make a list of “wants”.

They were only allowed to talk about things they wanted to give others.  Nothing about themselves.

I took both of the kiddos shopping for stocking stuffers, they spent their own allowance on others. No big gifts, only things that would fit in the stockings.

Remember we don’t NEED anything. Yet, I want to continue cultivating their giving attitude and actions.

 

I went so far last night, as to tell my hubby that I really didn’t feel like giving gifts this year.

I asked what his plans for his family were, and he said he didn’t know.

I told him that I was planning on baking goodies for everyone, and that I loved his idea from last year.

We invited each of his family members over for dinner separately. This allowed for a personal dinner, and gave us quality time together with each of them.

This is our first Christmas without my father in law, which is hard. He truly made me feel like I was really a part of the family. Not just an in law.

 

This year, I allowed myself to purchase 2 gifts for each of our immediate family members.

One gift they could use, and one they would like.

 

That is it.

 

In doing so I have been able to make this Christmas about giving……to others…..who are in NEED.

 

I have allotted $ this Christmas to the following organizations….

I will be participating with the Good Morning Girls in raising $ to provide water for the people of Liberia.

I will be giving towards Compassion’s Gift Catalog and Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog.

 

This Christmas looks very different……new traditions…..new goals…..touching new lives…..

 

It’s about giving of ourselves, not a pretty wrapped present……

 

 

 

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  1. Alicia@The Overflow!

    I totally understand your sway toward giving instead of receiving. We, too, have grappled with what Christmas should be. No perfect answers, only a perfect Savior. I love the changes you’re making- inspiring. Real. Thanks for the post.
    Alicia@The Overflow! recently posted..How to make Christmas really feel like ChristmasMy Profile

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      No there is no perfect answer! As an adult I was ready to toss out Christmas presents completely, but I knew that would not be fair to my children. They need to learn to balance things, just as much as I do! :) Thank you for stopping by! Blessings!

  2. Kari

    Great post friend. Great truth! I finally posted on the Liebster Award you nominated for. Here it is http://www.counthisblessings.com/2012/12/liebster-award.html. Thank again for thinking of me. Blessings!

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Oh yeah! :) I’m gonna go check it out now ;) Blessings sis! :) (((hugs)))

  3. A Little R & R

    Beautiful! I am really taking the focus off of gifts, too. We’re giving to our kids, we’ll probably do something small for each other…but we’re scaling way back in that department – and it feels so right! Thanks for linking up, sis!

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Yes, it does feel so right! :) Blessings sis!

  4. What Jean Likes

    The true meaning of Christmas is often lost amidst the secular celebration of the “holiday season”. In this day and age where people are trying to take the CHRIST out of CHRISTmas, I think it’s more important than ever to put more focus and emphasis on Jesus, the reason for the season!! I applaud what you’re doing, it’s a really good thing you are doing because you kids aren’t missing out. They still get a present they like and one they can use but they also get to know that people who were in need were helped during Christmas and that will instill a deep need and want to do God’s work in them. :)

    Thank you so much for participating in our Aloha Friday Blog Hop!! I am following you, of course!! Wishing you and yours a lovely week!!

    Aloha,

    Jean {What Jean Likes}

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Oh yes, so much is lost. It is so sad that many do not grasp what it truly means and what truly matters. Thank you for stopping by and following. Blessings!

      1. What Jean Likes

        Happy to stop by and follow!! I hope that you and your family have a very blessed Christmas holiday although I’m sure I’ll be back here reading your new posts before then.

        I hope you are having a lovely week my dear and thank you so much for linking up to last week’s Aloha Friday Blog Hop.

        If you have time, we’d love to have you come back and link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop if you haven’t already!

        Aloha,

        Jean {What Jean Likes}
        What Jean Likes recently posted..Aloha Friday Blog Hop… Come celebrate the weekend with us!My Profile

        1. simplyhelpinghim

          :) Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! :) Blessings!

  5. thefisherlady

    It took you only 8 years to come to this decision… some never discover the joy you will find and have found.
    We are so complete in Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith; paying it forward is what truly satisfies.
    Blessings to you. I did really enjoy your post!

    1. thefisherlady

      I also was grateful for Ann Voskamps book 1000 gifts… such an eternal blessing!

      1. simplyhelpinghim

        Oh yes! It is a wonderful blessing, and continues to be!

    2. simplyhelpinghim

      It seems longer than 8 years, but I know all too well others that have not yet found this joy and thanksgiving that CHRISTmas provides! Thank you for stoppin by! Blessings!

  6. Tara J

    Stopping by from The Proverbs 31 Sanctuary.

    I really liked your post, I have been feeling this way too, I am pretty sure I heard this from Alanah L on youtube about giving three gifts, I cannot remember Gold – Something of Value(wanted) – Frankinsence – Something Spiritual and Merr – Something Needed. I think that is how it goes.

    Tara.

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      I love that quote! :) Thank you so much for sharing it! :) Thank you for stoppin by! Blessings!

  7. Joyce

    Stopping by from Company Girl Coffee

    I LOVE THIS POST! This is where we are too. I love seeing all the holiday stuff, and even the “Christmas” crafts, etc out there, but I feel like my efforts for celebration this season doesn’t need to be put to waste on some silly snowflakes. They are fun to make though. :p I want our new family traditions to be more focused on giving Him gifts, and all the other things to be just extras. Have you heard of the book The Sparkle Box? There is an awesome message in it. http://ourthotfulspot.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/the-sparkle-box/ I’m not much of a gift-giver to being with since I hate shopping, so that never has been my focused, but it’s tricky if relatives give us gifts every year and we have nothing in return. I suppose there is a way to balance all of this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      I have never heard about the Sparkle Box, but will definitely check it out ;) I love Christmas too, just want to be doing more for those truly in need. Thank you for stopping by and sharing! :) Blessings!

  8. Bobbi

    Good for you…slowing down is hard…going against the flow of popular opinion is abundantly hard as well. Pleasing God must be FIRST in our hearts and minds…perhaps especially at this time of year when we SAY it’s about Him…we’d better be showing that it really is!! ))HUGS(( You’re doing great!!

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Oh yes, it is not easy to go against the flow, nor to admit I was wrong in how I viewed Christmas these last few years. It truly is ALL about Him! Thank you for stoppin by and for your kind words! Blessings!

  9. Jelli

    I’ve heard lots of great things about the Jesse tree, and plan to implement that at our house next year too. I think it’s great that you’re cutting down on gifts and looking up this season to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Visiting today from Fellowship Fridays.

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      It is a wonderful time together, and I love how Ann starts at the very beginning (In Genesis). We haven’t been able to do the daily tasks, but next year we will for sure be doing that! Thank you for stoppin by! Blessings!

  10. JoAnne Potter

    I have not wanted to give gifts this year, either, but unlike you, am not sure why. It may be selfish guarding of my time. It may be that my attention has been so often absorbed in writing a novel. It may be the understanding that no one on my lists needs one thing. I can’t do what you did because my husband and son’s love languages are gift giving, but want to change something. Hope I can figure it out.

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      I didn’t want to give any gifts this year at all, but chose to give 2 to each of my immediate family members. A few close friends will receive a small gift from me as well. Beyond that I have chosen not to give any gifts. I know my children would not understand the not getting any, because we have taught them since they were little that we give gifts to each other just as the wise men did to Jesus. Praying you find the balance that works for your family. Blessings!

  11. Barbara Isaac

    Thanks so much, Misty. This wanting to give outside of immediate family is growing in me as well, and just giving myself by being in the moment with those who need me rather than rushing around getting stuff done.. Oh, how He helps us to slow down!

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Oh yes, He will help us slow down! We just have to rest in the moment, knowing that He will help us get all we need to do done. Beyond the needs, we must be open to what He is calling us to do! Blessings sis!

  1. Friday's Link-Up- 16th Edition Womanhood With Purpose

    [...] Misty from Simply Helping Him with It’s about giving [...]

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