Thursday, December 30, 2010

~*~Christmas Blessings~*~

Whew...where has this month gone to?? Shoot, what about this year??

It seems the older I get the quicker the time goes by.

Anyway, here in the Smith household we were probably like any other family this holiday season...CrAzy BuSy! I vowed that I wouldnt let it be that way but alas, it seems thats always the case. We are Blessed though. We have family, friends, church family and neighbors who love us and pray for us. I would have to say that that is and has been the BEST gift we have recieved this year!

I know, I know...very cliche. But for real, prayer has brought us through some serious things this year. Since my family is by far the most important next to God, I couldnt think of a gift more appropriate then that all year long to protect us from harm. :)

Speaking of gifts..material ones that is: Our children were abundantly blessed. Every year we say we arent gonna be buying much because the family does so joyfully, but again thats hardly ever the case. Danielle spent the holidays in California with her grandparents and aunts/uncles. She had a BLAST!!! But she also got the ONE thing (and many many other things) she has really really really really wanted for Christmas: An American Doll! The girl has more clothes the I have for my real baby! Hahaha

Rylie got a bike! Watch out world the child is a natural! She could ride that thing all day and NEVER legs remind of my lack of exercise and she reminds me that in order to keep up with her and her new bike I need to exercise! Funny girl I tell ya!

Elijah..sweet baby eli. His fav thing...hhhmmm. I think I would have to say the wrapping paper everything was wrapped in. He played more with that then any toy he was given. But coming in a close second was his Chuck trucks and cars. Definetly a must have for little guys and with no small parts or metal pieces it makes me a happy mama too...having a boy is waaaayy different. I{heart} my boy! :)

Kevin & Jacki: 1. A bill from MUSC totaling 10450.00 for outpatient treatment for Danielle with a copy of our account statement attched reading "PAID IN FULL-0 BALANCE-MERRY CHRISTMAS! MUSC Billing :) Praise God! He is always providing.

2. My dream minivan- a new Honda Odessey with ALL of the bells and whistles. My fav: heated leather seats...aaahhh!

Family: Baby Jesus...The Ultimate Gift!

We hope everyone had a blessed Chirstmas and a safe and happy new year 2011!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

**jOyFuL GiViNg**

Joyful Giving.

This season I am trying to teach my children about giving. Not just giving because you should
but giving because He gave. It has been a pretty hard topic to teach by traditional teaching methods. Plus as I was thinking about how to teach this to them I was reminded that the best way to teach is by modeling. Especially when it comes to matters of the heart. :) Jesus taught by modeling and what better way to teach my children.

While out shopping in every store we have repeatedly heard " Mommy, I want this!" or " Why cant I have this?" or "But _____'s mom let them have it before Christmas." I will admit my children have repeated these things to me while in Target a few times, however the argument ends very quickly with an answer that surely turns other parents attention to me. I share with my children that although we have the ability to purchase these items that they claim to "want" and that we also all "want" things, these things are very rarely things that we need. So instead of the argument that happens at simple sight of a toy, my kids have been learning a lesson in giving and receiving.

They will ask and I will respond....

"Tell me how this toy will help you serve the Lord today and everyday you own it."

I completely agree that kids need toys to learn through imaginative play and so on and so forth but our children have an OVER ABUNDANCE!!!! So most of the time my kids really cant give me an answer that will convince me that they can use the toy for anything more then personal pleasure. However, other days they completely surprise me by their answers.

Just the other day Danielle and I were at Target.(i know, i know we are always at Target. lol) She not one time asked me for anything for herself. This is a RARE occasion. As we approached the Christmas Section of the store she asked if we had given to "Toys for Tots". We give every year but usually to gain something in return. (Im very embarrassed to admit this. but we are not perfect by any means) An unwrapped toy gets you alot these days. Sad. Anyway, she said she thought we should give 2 toys this year and that those 2 gifts should be something that her and Rylie had on their gift list. She said "Aren't we supposed to give stuff that you really want so your heart feels happy when another child gets a toy that they probably really really wanted?"

She went on to tell me that when we helped a family and donated to the BREAD BASKET at our church that she felt really happy inside. She shared that when she saw Kevin and I praying for needy families and helping a family friend, that it made her want to do it too. Then she asked "Is that joyful giving, if you feel joyful when you do it and not sad that someone got what you wanted?" Since then Danielle has given her very own savings(not all fo it...we are also working on being a good steward of her money) to various programs that her school sponsors including the Cancer Association and the local food pantries in our area. When asked why she will respond:

"Because I have been blessed." Simple child like faith. I love her.

Be blessed,