Recently my nerdy tendencies had me researching a lot on the American Revolutionary war. I have read books on the various battles, the major characters and even the women behind the men in the war. A few years ago I read a book detailing the letters written between John and Abigail Adams. Who cares, right? Well, a few years ago Josh and I went with a group of youth pastors to Valley Forge for a small conference held by Joel Stockstill. Things started rumbling around in my spirit about being revolutionary. Little did I know that I would be starting a church just a few years later. Wow, so exciting. But, there's something that we rarely think of when imagining the extreme coolness of changing the world...sacrifice. We commend others for their sacrifice, but what about when we have to do it?
So that brings us to Christmas. All year our family has had it pretty rough, but God has been supplying for the bills, food, gas, transportation, healing, etc. Enter the biggest gift getting time of the typical American kids life. I mean, as a kid, no matter how much my mama tried to teach me that Jesus was the reason for the season, I maintained that it was actually all those pretty wrapped gifts under the tree, with my name on 'em. I have tried to raise my own kids in the same fashion, but kids will be kids. This year we knew going into it that things were gonna be tight and we bore up under the pressure.
I started complaining, I mean praying about it, and God started reminding me about that revolutionary stuff. A Valley Forge Christmas, with freezing and starving and all that, you know, and things started looking a whole lot better for us. Then it hit me that all this Christmas stuff really isn't about Jesus at all. Come on we try to mix Him in there and say that all the gift giving is about the gift God gave us in His Son. But is it really? There are a lot of God ordained holidays but I don't remember Christmas being one of them. Yet, every year I get all out of sorts running around spending money I don't have to somehow bring glory to God? Then it trickles down to how I'm ruining my kids childhood memories because I can't afford to buy them that thing they're dying for this year. Looking back, I can't remember many of my gifts, but I remember snippets of the warm fuzzies I felt over the family coming over and spending time together.
This year we were blessed with a week at the beach, all we had to do was pay for food and get here. That's what we did, but barely and the kids have been great troopers thinking they really weren't getting much else. I really love my kids and the resilience they have for the down times of our lives. Now comes the really cool part. Because we're staying at a timeshare, we got the usual opportunity to go and listen to the salesman try to sell us on our portion of the American dream right here beachfront. We, of course, explained how we really couldn't afford it and after two more tries he finally believed us and we walked away proudly with our free gifts which just so happened to be gift certificates for the mall! Yeah, so even though this isn't His holiday, God still came through for my kiddos once more at the very last minute. Thanks, Daddy!