Tonight I find myself feeling ready to take on the task of living intentionally. Maybe it’s winter being over, maybe it’s being tired of not having a plan and being ran over full blast. Or maybe it’s just the ebb and flow of life: the ability to take on the responsibility of doing more than just coasting through life. I have this really amazing planner that I made the insides to with planning pages for every day, week, and month. A few pages filled in here, a weeks worth never to be taken to task.
It’s been little more than a month since we have found ourselves in an opposite type of reality. I sit here tired, not sure why I even thought of my blog (since it has been since August the last time I wrote to you.) However, I am here. I am listening to hymns played on the piano and remembering when it was I that could play that way. Though I have not lost the know how, I have lost the flexibility I once had. All from the lack of practice. I’ve lost a lot of flexibility from lack of practice in many areas of life. I am sitting here staring at chore cards and working on a master chore list from a book I purchased from Titus2.com and I remember when I first purchased this book to begin training my children how to live every moment to the fullest before we hit rock bottom and had to function out on crisis mode. That was a long time ago. Time marches us forward.
Heard of Dave Ramsey? I’m sure you have. He has been blessed with so much wisdom for finances. I love to read his little images on facebook. They’re encouraging and helpful.
The half year mark just passed. Only 5 months ’til Christmas. This marks the point where I would usually start shopping around for the best deals on gifts for the tots. But for the past couple of years, I have been contemplating the amount of stuff we buy, give away, and eventually throw away in our life.
It’s a lot.
Christmas, Easter, Birthdays–everything times infinity, it feels like. What happens to those “I just have to have this!” things after they get them? They sit in the Easter basket, under the tree, end up broken because they left it lay around. We are overflowing with STUFF!
I don’t want to keep using dollars to purchase these items to just not get used or broken. What about the children’s hearts here. I once heard at work a couple say they do not buy Christmas gifts for their children. I was sad for the kids at the time. Who doesn’t buy Christmas gifts for their children? But all of these thoughts are coming together for me now and I think I get it. I mean, it’s never been about the gifts, it’s been about the love you have for the child you are buying that gift for. They desperately want it, you desperately love them and want to see them happy!
But what if all these gifts given are adding to the strain of “we need more stuff!” What happens when we have everything and still can’t seem to find happiness? What a disappointing place to end up!
I don’t want to take away the joy of Christmas from my tots, just shift our focus. I see a vicious pattern developing and I don’t want them to grow up thinking the more for me the merrier. I want them to have memories that they can keep forever, not just broken or dusty things laying all over.
Every year (at least we try to every year) do the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes from Samaritan’s Purse. The kids choose a child in their age range and are given a budget and a list of ideas/stuff they can choose from. They pick out the items they want to put in, they hand over their budgeted amount to the cashier and we go home to pack them. We enclosed a letter and picture this past year. Everyone thought this would be delightful for whomever received it!
So, we give to others, but last year there were still tons of gifts purchased, broken, and barely used (despite knowing in advance that it would mostly be stuff to take on our Disney vacation.) I think we have decided that in lieu of many gifts, that we would rather spend less money and go somewhere together we wouldn’t normally and make many memories there. Still some stocking stuffer gifts. But that’s all! We are overflowing here–and not in a good way. Hopefully the lesson we’ll all learn here is to have overflowing memories and time together be where our joy is, not overflowing presents. There is room for the frivolous gifts, there are necessary, helpful gifts. I just think we should learn to be happier with less. To focus on things that aren’t about here on earth.
I have been thinking this for a few years now, fewer gifts. It’s not about the presents. It’s not really about the money, either, though our budget is bleeding right now. But have just been reluctant to go ahead and jump. (Okay. Afraid!) I guess, if you never jump then you’re always just stuck doing the same thing. Hopefully, this will take some of the tension off the budget (and me), and the focus off of what we can get for ourselves. So this year, we’re all jumping. Together! Now seems like the perfect time. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. :D
I’m curious. What do you think about this? Where do you stand on the gifts matter? Do you have a goal for your Christmas time giving?
Some time back towards the beginning of this year I decided that my looming health issues had to be halted. Being on medications just is not an option for me until I know that I have at least tried to treat my body better and in return it returning to normal. I wasn’t really looking for a weight loss plan. I had just decided that I needed to eat more normally (nixing so many cheetos) and move my body more. Continue reading
“Trust whatever He has for you. It will be better than anything you can plan for yourself.”
— Francis Chan (Crazy Love)
I’m grateful to know this. I haven’t read this book. Though, now I think I’d like to! Anyone out there read this book? Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God (This is the full title.) I’d like to know what you thought about it!
From Spiritually Single’s page on Facebook. :)
I have added a few things to the site. I wasn’t sure whether to or not. I kind of like this being my haven for thoughts and reflections. But, also, I want it to be a place where as readers you might be able to find encouragement not only for your spirit and mind, but also encouragement in day to day things like healthy eating and financial goals. Continue reading
Every now and again I get inspired to put something out there for the world. Something that struck me as inspirational or that I haven’t thought of in such a way. Sometimes I share those on Facebook, but I don’t want to overload it with things of God and faith. I don’t want to be that person you scroll over and don’t look at what I do post. haha.
It’s just that I see so much hurting in the world around me. Things that are harder than they’ve ever been. Things that push us to the limit of ‘faith’ and cross into the realm of questioning God with “Why?!” Continue reading
The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold us.
~Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
I’m sitting here today totless. A new week has begun, another week of ‘vacation’ for them. For me these are the times of hardest faith. My darkest moments. The only reason I look back with longing on what used to be. Continue reading
New Living Translation (NLT)
A psalm of David.
1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my plea!
Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.
2 Don’t put your servant on trial,
for no one is innocent before you.
3 My enemy has chased me.
He has knocked me to the ground
and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave.
4 I am losing all hope;
I am paralyzed with fear.
5 I remember the days of old.
I ponder all your great works
and think about what you have done.
6 I lift my hands to you in prayer.
I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Interlude
7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me,
or I will die.
8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to you.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
I run to you to hide me.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
11 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies
and destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!