Friday, December 28, 2012

happy birthday, Jesus!

*this is always a very hard post for me to write. I really considered not writing it this year; I don't want to be misunderstood. 
But the simple truth is, this blog is the record for our family. We want to remember. We want to remember what we gave to Jesus 
as much as we want to remember the funny things we say, and how to make the foods we like, and when somebody got baptized. 
I don't mean to offend, condemn or brag. I just want to record. so we can remember.
 If you are encouraged, I'm glad. and grateful. If our annual Christmas post makes your skin crawl - skip it*

I woke up Christmas morning not feeling real swift,
so we ended up postponing our birthday party.
I'm feeling much better today, 
but sadly, a few of the kiddos are sick now.
We decided to go ahead and have the party anyways,
'cause if we wait 'til everyone in the house it totally well,
well, it might be awhile...

We did things just like last year, except there was real cash in the envelopes instead of fake money. (The bank loved me this month ;-)
and we didn't have any cake (I don't think it was missed)
We've had a small chunk of 'Samaritan Money' set aside for a few months now, but we never felt led to use it, 
 so Tyler said we could spend it on gifts for Jesus, too, in addition to the money we had earmarked, 
which made me happy. 

My sister gave me some money;
she wanted to give to Jesus, but trusted me to spend her money for her :-)
I could have just added her money to mine, but I really tried to pick something that she would be passionate about.
She owns a small shop in Rogers (and has an etsy shop) where she sells, among other things, her hand made jewelry.
She works with beads and gems, common metals, and even gold and silver.
She loves to learn new skills. (Fortunately for her, her brain actually works...)
All of those thing combined, made my choice easy:
I went in with her 50/50 and we gave a hard-working woman (maybe even a jewelry maker?) a small business loan!
What's especially cool about that, is,
when that woman's business is up and running, and she repays the loan,
the money is then loaned out again, to another woman,
and the cycle will continue to repeat, and the gift will keep giving. Indefinitely.
I'm so tickled!!
(anybody else want to send me some money to spend?? ;-)

What else did we buy??

lots!  :-)

I love how our choices reflect us.
We bought:

A dozen baby chicks (Lexi)
10 'Greatest Gift' booklets to be included in shoeboxes (Lily)
Food  for 2 children for a week (me and the girls)
Food for 4 hungry babies and/or nursing mommas for a week (Lily and Lex')
A pair of chickens (Lily)
Training for an evangelist (Brandon)
5 fruit trees - these will provide food and income from selling both fruit and saplings (Brandon & Jeremiah)
2 shares of a fish pond (Tyler)
Help for children with disabilities (Brandon)
Mosquito nets for a family (Brandon and Lexi)
2 Bibles (Brandon)
A sewing machine (girls and I)
 (before the seamstress takes home her machine, she will receive 6 months of sewing training and Bible teaching :-)
A goat. (Josiah)
Lexi really wanted to give bees, but a beehive was very expensive this year, so we passed on that.
Brandon wondered if there was any way to give safe heat (beyond clothing) because many deaths and injuries are related to unsafe heating practices. I think that is something we'll need to research this year, as that is not something that was in the catalogs we have.
Tyler and Brandon gave money to World Vision's Maximum Impact Fund, so they can use it where its most urgently needed.
I gave money (which will be multiplied 5 times) for emergency food
and we all put money towards emergency clothing.
The money given for that will multiply twelve times :-)
So our combined $90 will buy $1,080 of warm clothes and boots and such to protect people from harsh winter weather.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Happy Birthday, Jesus; we bought these presents
just for You.


  1. LOVE it! I'm so glad you share what your family does and I'm encouraged to see the hearts of your children and how they're such givers! Awesome! Hey, now that we're in Arkansas, we'll have to get together sometime!

  2. I really cannot imagine who would get upset over your posts! I was very touched by this one! THANK YOU!! love you all, and hope everyone gets to feeling better soon! :(

  3. eh ~ you'd be surprised what people can get upset about.... ;-)
    love you, Sis!!

  4. Oh I just loved this so much!! Smiles!


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