12.19.2009

christmas stockings

"Mommy, we have to get them this, they will LOVE it."
Two eager hands grabbed toys off the shelf and dumped them into our shopping cart.  I resisted the urge to explain we had a budget, after all this was supposed to be about giving and I wanted him to be wholeheartedly involved.  It warmed my heart to see him so animated about choosing gifts for little kids that may not get any this year.  We had three big stockings to fill with toys and other more practical things like socks and warm shirts.  On the way home, Thaddeus chatted excitedly about giving away toys that he didn't need anymore  (which is a big step for him, my little hoarder).  We talked about sharing Jesus tomorrow with the kids we were going to visit and how happy it would make them to receive the gifts.

Our church met bright and early on this Saturday morning, stockings in hand, and hearts ready to share.  We unloaded in a soggy field, set up the Superstar Kids Club trailer and eagerly welcomed the kids that began to stream in.  It was beautiful to watch the message of Jesus shared as arms hugged children starved for affection.  Joel started a wrestling match and was soon buried three feet below a mass of delighted little boys.  A young girl of 9, with chilly bare arms and sock-less feet stuffed into worn tennis shoes tugged my heart the hardest.  It was then I wished I had brought more.  We had already given away our stockings.  Thaddeus had eagerly passed them out, his face alight with a newfound joy.  He had watched in anticipation as each child opened their gifts.  It didn't seem right for that little girl to return home still cold, still coatless.  I had an extra sweater jacket in my van and I knew it would fit her.  I only wish I could have given her more.  She lingered for awhile, shyly thanking me and accepting my hugs with a need that left my heart broken but full.

My son's words from a couple nights ago now slip back into my thoughts.
As he was dropping a few coins in his gas tank  (that's what little boys use for a piggy bank, don't ya know), he had said,
"I want to save all my money and give it to Jesus."
Who better to give it to than the One whom it belongs to, the One who can multiply it one hundred fold?

My Jesus, help me hold onto "things" less tightly, and open my hands without hesitation to give what you have so freely given me.







15 comments:

Kate said...

Wow, what an amazing testimony of Christ's love. Thanks for sharing that, Joye! Sounds like you and Joel are doing a great job showing your kids how to love others, just like Jesus did and does. What a great Christmas story!

Holly said...

This is awesome and I'm glad that your son is so eager to give. What a great mommy you are.

Fiona said...

This soooooo warms my heart. Being new here it is easy to generalize and although I try not to criticize, from where I sit I see a lot of people here very self-centred at this time. People are so into their decorations and their baking and their own little Merry Christmas time. YOU, dear Joy, are reminding me, that there are people out there who have their priorities right. Thank you.

Andrea said...

Teaching our children to give is one of the most beautiful gifts we can give them. You are doing an awesome job as a Mom. GOD BLESS YOU!

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful story... it just goes straight to my heart! Thank you for sharing it. You are sure raising a young man with a HUGE heart! :)

The Old Geezer said...

interesting blog
God bless you

momstheword said...

What a precious blessing to share with these children.

We have done this although we have not been able to see the faces of the children we've blessed. That must have been wonderful!

Mich said...

beautiful.

Kristin said...

What an absolutely beautiful story, Joye! I know that God will take that sweater and he will use it to multiply that little girl's blessings. I love that last picture. Thank you so much for sharing! Have you heard Leeland's new song "Follow You"? You would love it!

mimi said...

Awesome Joye!!!

Darlene said...

simply amazing post.

Kari @ p.s. love.love. said...

That is beautiful. Isn't it wonderful to watch these children get excited to get their 'presents'?

For the 2nd year in a row my non profit is giving the 2 Ronald McDonald Houses Christmas stockings for all their families. We did 31 last year and were able to do 76 this year. I deliver them tomorrow and they will get them when Santa visits on Wednesday.

Nothing like it in the world. His Love is intertwined in it all. Beautiful.

Becca said...

oh girl this is fantastic! beautiful pictures and words - I love your kiddo and his sweet words :-)

Natalieh said...

You are such a blessing! Thank You Father, for people like Joye and her beautiful family!

Nicole @ BugaBoos said...

What a Beautiful post!! How sweet of your little guy and so precious!

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