GIVE MORE (Mimi Lee)
A dear friend of ours went through a marital breakup a dozen years ago. She decided to return to university full-time for a year in order to build a stronger financial foundation for her and her two children. Obviously that year plus the ensuing years were tough times for her financially, but she was determined to continue to give Christmas gifts to our family, as a gesture of love.
Tim and I hail from B.C., where most of our family still is, so we didn’t have family to take the kids for an overnighter in order for Tim and me to spend time together, to strengthen our marriage. At Christmas each year, our friend gives us a creative gift— a gift certificate for a weekend of “babysitting.” We love this gift because it enables us to look forward to one getaway a year (even though we spend much of that escape time talking about our kids)! For the past 12 years, this has been the wonderful gift we’ve received from our friend, and she hounds us to make sure we redeem it!
An added bonus is that our friend has become more like an aunt to our children and has taken the kids on many adventures during these annual weekends, including Bethany’s Christmas pageant, the Westheights corn roast, and the Santa Claus parade.
How grateful we are for this relational gift. And yes, even though it’s no longer a surprise, we still look forward to getting together with our friend and her children at Christmas in order to exchange gifts and “ooooh” over our kid-free-weekend gift certificate. If you knew our kids, there’s no amount of money you can pay to get somebody to spend a weekend with them (just kidding, Jared and Kiana). What a generous gift of time and love. We are thankful for this annual tradition when our dear friend demonstrates how to Give More.
Challenge (by Devon Wagler)
The word ‘virgin’ in the Hebrew can be translated as either ‘young unmarried woman,’ or ‘virgin,’ since a young unmarried would be expected to be a virgin in that society. Besides, what kind of sign would a young woman getting pregnant be?
What do you find to be truly unbelievable about the nativity story? Often the mistakes we make about this story are built off of pre-conceived ideas we have from hearing it told incorrectly so many times. Take some time to see this story in a fresh way.
“It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one’s fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit .” (Isabel Currier)