Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas was different this year

This year, our family went through a time of need.

It changed everything about our Christmas this year.
and made it one of the most magical Christmases we have ever had.

Thanks to amazing friends {who are the very Hands and Feet of Him who loves us so}, and for SO MUCH provision from God, we were not only in want for nothing, but we were blessed with abundance.

We still wanted to give each other gifts, and we did so modestly, using Christmas as a day to get each other things that we truly needed, such as stuff for the boys' school, or umbrellas, or clothing needs. Plus a few extra small goodies (like the Season 3 disks of Chuck. The gift of Laughter from my honey. If you don't watch Chuck, truly, you must start. I digress...).

We had a gracious plenty under our tree... a multitude of donations from our friends.
I tell you this for one reason alone. With the hope to point others toward the Glory of God. Every need we had was met and more. Even our wants were gloriously granted.
And, this Christmas was so clearly a culmination of an amazing year where God revealed to us, in a much needed and personal way, that He is our Jehovah Jireh {God who Provides}.

Not only did God take care of us during our time of need, He used this time to turn our hearts more toward Him, and to put our family in a situation that is MUCH more prosperous (and I am not talking about money):
What was dead, was replaced with life. What was strained, was replaced with peace and ease. What was dark, depressing, and down, was replaced with hope, joy, laughter and upward-climbing.
How can we thank Him???

Thanks to the moving prompt of this post, we began a new tradition this Christmas.
Why hadn't it crossed our minds to do this before? I don't know.

But this year, instead of spending our resources in the typical Christmas fashion (we still did a little bit!!), we gave our gifts to Jesus. It is His birthday after all!
All the while, I could not get this verse out of my mind:

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
   “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
   Jesus said, Feed my lambs.
 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
   He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
   Jesus said, Take care of my sheep.
 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
   Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
   Jesus said, Feed my sheep..."  {John 21:15-18}
So, by His grace, we chose to Feed. {click on the links to find ways you can help too}
With Water.
With Food.
With the Word of Life.


We spent the afternoon of Christmas, curled up on our couch, and pouring through Giving catalogs. Picking out gifts for Our Lord.
Then, down to the playroom we went... and we filled box after box. 
Picking out gifts for Our Lord.
for His Sheep.


Merry Christmas, dear ones. May His Love put a permanent smile of wonder on your face and in your heart. May His Love cause you to shake your head in amazement. May His Love prompt you to Feed His Sheep.




8 friends had a thing or two to say...:

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

GLORIOUS!

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

Lots of love,
Jill

Jenny said...

Oh Darlene...I am so glad you had such a glorious Christmas! God is so...good! Blessings to you all!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I'm glad you had a wonderful holiday...times are tough but praise God for His provision and abundance!!

Merry Christmas,
Melissa

Stacy said...

Praising God with you for your glorious Christmas and all of His provision. How true it is that as we grow more and more into His image,(often through hardships/trials), there is an outpouring in our lives and the lives we touch of Him, as He abounds within.

May God continue to show Himself strong to you and all of us, this coming year. And may we continue to press into who He is and His amazing love for us all. May His love prompt us all...to feed His sheep.

Much love to you. Thanks so much for sharing!

Love in Christ,
Stacy

allenaim photography and design said...

You have THE most beautiful soul Darlene...what a fabulous way to spend Christmas...

BTW...I totally tried the dried grapefruit and I totally failed, but it STILL smelled fabulous. I will definitely be trying again...and not just at Christmas - thanks for the idea!

Laura said...

So beautiful, Darlene. Yes, when we are weak, He IS! Giving thanks for your special Christmas this year, friend.

writingcanvas said...

It was nice meeting you here and reading about your Christmas. We went through this several years ago, and were so blessed by others being so tenderhearted towards our family. I am thankful you experienced the same and how real Jesus was to you through this. Our children learn a lot about Him thru this!

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Sounds like a beautiful Christmas celebration...and wonderful provision from our faithful, amazing God. Continued blessings to you and your family...