Christmas is almost here…the countdown…(Cutie snowman. On sale, after Christmas, a few years ago at Home Depot.)
Brian and I have already given each other our Christmas gifts…neither of which was wrapped. And considering the gifts, neither of us had complaints. I have literally been asking for a new camera for years…I loved my old one, but it is SO beatup, not great technically…oh, and, it recently broke.
Little did I know, before it even broke, Brian was shopping for a new one. He got me a Mack-daddy for Christmas. The man in the store was so helpful. He commented on Brian’s knowledge of camera specifics and terminology because Brian was asking for such technical details. The two of us seriously know enough to be dangerous…Maybe THAT’s why the old camera broke…
And I gave Brian these canvases of the girls.
The annual Christmas collection for the DSS families has seriously been out-of-this-world-encouraging to Brian and me. We have collected SO much money to pass along to these Mama’s and their children. SO many people have donated gifts. Two families delivered today and my family is delivering Thursday. I am probably going to be the crying pregnant girl. Brian, the girls and I are taking the gifts to the super-in-a-bad-situation family on Christmas Eve. We have beds, sheets, towels, house supplies, furniture, not to mention STACKS of beautifully wrapped gifts…and gift cards that you could live off of for a year. My heart is so tender right now. I tear up about EVERYTHING. I may have to call in a body double for the gift delivery so I don’t snot and drool all over this sweet family. But my body double lives 2 ½ hours away…Julie, you wanna come down?
When I catch another minute, I’ll blog about the stories of the people who gave and the people who received.
I’m still teaching all of my classes. In my classes, I just DO half of what I used to do. But I still burn the same amount of calories. Must have something to do with increased blood volume, or the fact that making a baby in your tummy expends tons of energy already… not sure. But either way, it’s going so good. Actually amazingly. It is such a seriously huge change for me because I can actually encourage, sweat, motivate, talk in the microphone and the biggie…THINK. Because I am not doing everything they are, it gives me time to come up with crazy new stuff. Kickboxing has morphed into a bootcamp-ish class-with gear! I’m loving it. Last week a friend covered class and Brian and I went to one of the 15 Christmas parties that we were invited to this year. It’s the first time I have done something other than go to the gym on a Monday night in 6 years. (weird, but I’m not kidding)
THE 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party!
Somewhere in-between making 34 gingerbread houses from scratch…using graham crackers and homemade icing … 34 children ages 2, 3 or 4…confirming with Santa….over looking piles of laundry to make just one more gingerbread house…answering to Brian that ‘Yes, one box of graham crackers really costs $3.50’….(gulp)’Oh Bri, I’ve only bought 11 or maybe 12 boxes…’I love you’
… deciding how much candy I need for 34 children to decorate 34 houses and eat some as they go….
I seriously thought… I’m not doing this again next year. I can’t. Too much work. Too much mess. Too much craziness. Too much cleanup. Too much. I’ll just do a small party for Carlisle, Evelyn and their friends. It was my yucky ba-humbug moment.
If you talked to me last week, you heard it. Mom, I’m sorry. I was just nervous that the house was going to implode with all the 2, 3 and 4 year olds energy. But God redeemed everything for His glory. The night of the party, Santa was traveling back from a visit to Charleston. Which wouldn’t have been a problem but his ‘sleigh’ got stuck on I-95 in traffic…remember it rained like crazy that day? So, God used that opportunity to change MY HEART. Here all the kids were, hyped up on sugary candy, houses decorated, waiting on Santa. We had time to kill, so we sat down together all 75 of us, in the living room. I asked them about JESUS. About why Christmas is celebrated. About baby Jesus in the manger. And then we SANG. Little voices, Mama voices, Daddy voices. We sang Christmas carols. It was one of my FAVORITE memories of the evening. And it all became worth it. ALL of it.
Yes, I am doing the party again next year. And yes, I’m going to invite a million kids. It’s like Brian always says, ‘No such thing as a crowded party that’s not fun.’
But it was my sweet friend who called me that night. So in tune with me, and said, ‘Jennie, I want you to know. I noticed all your effort.'
'You are creating memories for these children….and their parents’. That actually made it all worth it. And was all I needed to hear to 'remember the words the Lord Jesus himself said: it is more blessed to give than to receive'. Acts 20:35