Give it up already.
I love that the devil cares about this blog.
This teeny weeny space.
It makes me smile that just a few weeks ago my computer up and died, that on several occasions I've had mishaps we still have no answers for, and today, internet snafus as never before.
These hit me like headlights, reminding me that something bigger is at play.
No, I don't blame stains and a clogged drain on the devil.
Just opportunities to encourage- to turn an eye to the goodness of the Lord again.
It's become a regular comment from my husband, "Well the devil doesn't want you to write."
And so here I am anyway devil.
Here we ALL are.
Wondering if we will be able to get out of the house in a week, if we will will know who the President will be and if toilet paper will be found when payday rolls around.
I've rounded the block several times to await a table at the only coffee shop close and open to sit down in to tell you that we are all in this together friends.
I wish I could get you a muffin and hot tea and tell you something crazy funny that happened this week to make you laugh and see you warmed from the inside out.
The kids are coming home soon and the husband and I keep talking about how we can meet their ride farther and farther out from our house just so we can be with them and put our arms around them once again.
This season has changed us. All of us.
Some of us bought lights for the entire outside of the house for the first time in 20 years, after swearing they would NEVER overload the electric bill in such a wasteful way. I won't mention any names but if you guessed my husband you'd be correct.
Some of us learned how to knit hats. HEAPS of them.
Spoiler alert, if you are in driving distance of me you are getting one from me for Christmas.
Or you can just follow the lights to our home and do a curbside pickup.
You know, in the season of all things sterile.
Here's the thing that just brings me to tears,
(Besides that military/coming home for Christmas commercial... really good poetry and too many other things to list here.)
What ALSO brings me to tears is the reminder of the Lord working mightily when we feel so stuck and still.
Our church has a Thanksgiving service each year and an opportunity to give a special offering to each of our missionaries.
We are asked to pray about what the Lord would have us to give.
This offering isn't to fund our missionaries, keep food on their table, or such.
This is just to bless them. An offering. Above what we are asked to give already.
A new asking to bless someone else.
We come together for an early Turkey and the fixings, share our gratitude in testimonies and then put our money where our mouth is in an offering.
One child after another came to me and half sheepishly half excitedly told me how much the Lord had told them to give.
As if we just walk around sharing such private things.
Well they are MY kids after all.
One of mine even asked if she could receive a loan from one of her siblings for her offering.
Yes, this is equally hilarious and ingenious.
We filed-in and this one and that one began serving, helping and such.
And then the testimonies began and be it the first time we are publicly giving thanks in this difficult year, the amazing stuffing, or both but the tears began again and I just wanted to physically touch each of my kids around the table.
I wanted to wrap them all up in my arms and just thank God for each of them serving, loving and giving what they had.
My husband handed me our envelope to give just before walking up the pulpit and we both felt the blessing of just being able to free ourselves of a bit more holding us here.
I sat with the envelope in my hands and thanked the Lord for all the things that money can't buy.
For four out of six kids with de Leon deep brown eyes.
For a husband who loves the Lord and has loved me since size 6.
For a church who has a vision for the Lord to use us all and our children mightily.
For friends and family who stay in my corner even though they now know they are getting hats for Christmas.
One of mine whispers that they forgot their envelope at home and feel badly.
I handed her ours to give.
Aren't we Mom's all here to share the opportunity to step out in bright, clear, faith with our kids and doesn't it just get you in the feels?
This one helped me thank the Lord for all he has given us that we selfishly take for granted and it made my heart exceedingly happy.
They slipped out to use the restroom and I saw them in the back standing and snuggling one of our newest little ones at church.
And I sat and thanked the Lord for all the ways these around me have given to me.
And I thanked the Lord for all that the Lord has allowed me to give in this crazy season.
I've had a knitted washcloth ministry, a hand lotion ministry, a chocolate ministry and even a soup ministry, because the Lord has given to me.
We give because the Lord set the standard for us, loving us SO much that HE GAVE.
He gave much more than a washcloth or container of soup.
And he gave to enable us to give to each other.
We are cleaning off tables when one of mine tells me that she heard the Lord speaking to her in the service time.
Asking her that if souls don't matter to her, then why is she on this earth for?
And I am wondering how you can possibly put a price tag on something like that?
How can you find the worth of one of your own giving her little unfolding hard-surrendered life to the God of the universe in a bathroom stall?
Here's the thing.
We will still have to make another meal plan, another bed, another apology and another reason why someone does have to start the dishwasher after it is chock'full of dishes.
Life doesn't always feel like a warm chocolate chip muffin.
You might get a knitted hat for Christmas.
But we can give all of these things to the Lord knowing he is no man's debtor.
We can surrender all the good, hard, scary and sacred and see the Lord give right back to us more than one heart can hold.
In a world-wide Scrooge-like season be the giver friend.
Give a smile, give a listen, give a hug, give a cup of coffee, give a nod of understanding.
Give a text of prayer, give a song, give it all.
When I see my own children give of their small resources for no other reason than just to bless someone else, I desire to bless them with all that I have at my disposal.
It's my joy to do so.
How much more does our heavenly Father know how to bless us?
Ephesians 1:3- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
In an awkward Holiday season, it IS better to give than receive, but Bible principle tell us that we cannot give without receiving so much more than we give away.