Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Today Madelyn and I are hanging out at the house. The usual. Every day in December I have talked to Madelyn about Christmas. It's our Advent countdown of sorts (considering she is a bit too young to do the Advent Calendar-although this is a tradition that we will carry out in the future for sure). We have talked about what took place the night Jesus was born. Thanks to her Gigi and Great Granny, I have even gotten to show her with her very own manger scene.

We have talked about my favorite memories of Christmas from growing up. I told her of one year in particular when my mom took me to pick out an angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree. She was close in age to me. I remember realizing for the first time that people were not as lucky as I was. That some people did not get everything they wanted much less everything they needed. That they may not have a mom and a dad who loved and provided for them. I think my mom knew the impact that our shopping for this little angel together had on me because after we dropped off all the presents for our angel, she took me to a place in the mall that engraves on ornaments. She had an ornament made with the little girl's name on it, her age and the year.

Then I told her about how one year my class in elementary school collected toys for children from another local school that did not have as much as we did. How proud I felt toting the Barbie that I wanted in to my class but that my mom had told me real giving was to let the other kids have it instead. She was so right. I felt better about myself for letting them have it.

I told her of the time in junior high when I had a classmate who lost her brother right before the holidays. Not only did the family have to deal with the loss of their son and brother, they had lost their only car in the accident. My dad probably does not even remember this, but I vividly remember talking to him about it late one night in our living room. I asked him if he would give me a some money so I could do something nice for her. He gave me fifty dollars to give to her. I remember thinking how generous that was. He did not know her. He did not know her family.

And the shoe boxes my 9th grade Sunday School teacher encouraged us to fill for Operation Christmas Child. How fun it was to shop with friends, fill our boxes and know that they were going to another continent. Somewhere far away where a tooth brush was going to make some little child very happy.

And the first year her daddy and I were together. Picking out an angel of our own to buy for. How special that time we spent together doing for someone else was.

Then I realized, most of my favorite Christmas memories are centered around giving. My parents led by example. They have always been an example to my brother, sister and I of what it means to do for others. Generosity. Giving. Shining the love of Christ by their actions.

Christmas is about the birth of a Savior. It is so awesome to me that God did not simply tell us he loved us, he showed us in a tangible way through that birth, the life that followed and the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is the ultimate example of "doing for others" through action. After all, love is an action.

It reminded me of the lyrics to a song being released today by some friends of mine and Lukes.
It's called Shine (love is an action).

Shine, Love is an action
Shine, Oh it starts with a passion
We want to be a heart that's pure
So all will see that we are Yours

It's awesome and you can check it out here on Itunes. It's 99 cents and I promise it will bless you. Their band, Luminate, is made up of some awesome guys. Cody was one of Luke's groomsmen and Sam sang at our wedding, so needless to say we think they are pretty great!

Go buy the song. Tell me what you think. Let it be a reminder this holiday season that God showed us by example that love is an action.

Find ways to give this Christmas. We have the chance to show love to everyone around us through our actions. Shine the light of Christ for all to see. If you are looking for some organizations to support this Christmas check out this post by a fellow mom blogger on some ways to give.

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