Monday, December 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Redux

It's December 19th and I'm just getting Thanksgiving on the blog... sigh. Life has been full around the Smith home these past few weeks. We're squeezing learning in around lots of parties, baking, family visits, and general Christmas merriment. Lots of joy here lately.

Our sweet friends the Oberdicks hosted our second annual homeschool Thanksgiving celebration this year, and it was so much fun. Sharon outdid herself orchestrating a creative craft, great food, wild fun, and an activity to enable our kids to bless others as God has so richly blessed us this year.

First, the kids made thankfulness trees and wrote down the names of all the people they're grateful for this year.  Chloe's was adorable, and the boys barely glued down a leaf before they abandoned the project in favor of Andy's super cool playset outside. Nothing unusual there.

Our sweet Jamesy was invited, and had loads of fun playing a raucous game of peek-a-boo with his cousins.

After delicious food and lots of time catching up, we assembled a Christmas box. We all had brought little toys, treats, school supplies, and hygiene items, and we had the kids put them in the box. They learned that a little boy somewhere in the world who would otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning will instead get to open this box, and feel loved and special and that he matters to someone, despite his circumstances.

As I watched all those little hands helping to pack up the box and snapped away with my camera, I couldn't help thinking of the shiny bicycles my kids are going to race down to on Christmas morning, and the tables overflowing with food and treats that they will sit at all day. How I pray that this simple box will bring joy to some sweet little guy when he gets it. How thankful I am that God has allowed me to take care of my children with such ease. I know He hasn't blessed me with so much so that I can hoard that blessing for myself... I just  hope that I can be a good steward of all that He has given to me. 

 As always, it was a wonderful time of fellowship with sweet friends. I am thankful this year for each one of them.

"Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, "Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I'll handle the works department."    Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove."
James 2:14-17 (The Message)

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