Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas ✽ Joy to the World

"Happy day after Christmas, and merry rest of the year. Even though Christmas is over, the light of the world is still here!" -Matthew West

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6

"So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come Peasant, King to own Him
The King of Kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary." - "What Child is This?"
"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." -Luke 2:8-20 

I hope your Christmas was filled with that same wonder that all who heard that glorious news that very first Christmas, whenever it was, experienced... that awe and hopefulness. But more importantly, I hope it was full of that belief and joy that those shepherds experienced... confidence in the Savior so deep, that they couldn't wait until morning, and wouldn't keep silent, until all those they could tell that wondrous news to had been given the gift of hearing. May we, like Mary, treasure up all the details that came together perfectly in this event, all the fulfilled prophecies, all the humble believers God used, and ponder the true worth and meaning they hold for us <3. 

Our Christmas was spent at home, enjoying the day together. We made a yummy dinner, watched some Christmas movies/documentaries, celebrated the last evening of advent, and opened gifts... lots of gifts, because there are a lot of us, and it's hilarious how long it takes to get through us all, haha. I'm hopeful that I'll get to share some little bits of our day in a future post, but I make no promises, because every year I say I will, and every two out of three years I end up not. But there were some hilarious and adorable little moments that I'd love to memorialize, soooo....

Each year, I tell myself that I need a break - as soon as Christmas is over, I'm not doing a thing. I'm exhausted, I want to look back at memories instead of being worried I'll fail somebody... and I want to read. Because no time of year makes me feel more like reading, and no time of year is so impossible to get around to it in.

But each year... December 26th comes along, and I am thoroughly cleaning closets, drawers, folders, boxes, and papers. Because I've done nothing un-Christmas-y, certainly not cleaning optional things, for weeks, and my new gifts must not be desecrated by being placed with mess ;). I should just start scheduling it in... It's funny, but as much as I need a break by the 20th, I am totally ready to get caught up on life by the 26th, and relish it, haha. Over the next week I'll answer all my emails and letters (although I'm far less behind on these than most years?!), and I usually do a blog post... which is where this blog post, complete with Christmas chocolate and hot chocolate in my very own Christmas mug as a gift from Bethi <3, comes in ;). With all "my" space clean, all my correspondence caught up, and all my extra to-dos for the month having all been Christmas focused, THEN I finally really get around to taking my "break" (and enjoy it three times as much), which I try to take simultaneously with an internet break, and fill with lots and lots of reading, bible study, and for-fun creativity... oddly enough, this creative time often ends up being art of some sort, even though I'm not good at it and don't do a ton the rest of the year. This year, I got gel pens and a bible study with lots of bible journaling ideas sprinkled in it... and so, I'm quite confident that art will once again be the elective of my choice ;). This year we older four are also going to spend a few days with my aunt before the new year!
But, before I get busy catching up and then vanish off the face of the earth for a currently undetermined time (I'm having some issues with my wrists/hands after all the non-stop crocheting, and so my usual "yay, I'm going to stay off the internet!" is turning into, "I hope if I don't pick up a crochet hook or my phone or turn on my computer for a while, I can get rid of this"... haha.), I wanted to share something very special with y'all, and to ask if you could share it with others you think may be interested in helping. Each year, Reece's Rainbow, a special needs adoption ministry, holds a Christmas blessing fundraiser through December. The goal is to get all the children on the "Angel Tree" a $1,000 grant. This grant helps with their adoption costs, and at times can be the only way that families can commit to a child they would bring into their home without hesitation were the cost not an issue. Many of the children are over that $1,000 dollar wall, and some are significantly higher, which is a joyful thing to witness! But there are still many children who's accounts are under this goal, and only 5 days left.

So, if it's something that the Lord lays on your heart to help with, would you mind chipping in with even jut a few dollars to one of these precious little ones? It adds up to such a big difference in the grand scheme of things. God takes those thousands of "just a few dollars" and uses it to bring about the ability for a family to take these precious and needy souls into their home, where their life is changed forever and they can experience love, for many for the first time. 


You can go here to make a direct donation to a child's account. If you'd rather get yourself something fun with your Christmas money, you can take a peak at my shop and 50% of all the proceeds from all my sales the rest of the month are going to go into the account of the child with the smallest sized grant come December 31st. Thanks to the purchases several made purchasing Christmas presents, we were already able to make a donation to one of the little ones, and it was such a blessing to me to know that those "little dollars" that would have been spent anyway were adding up to bless a child in need! So, if those purchasers see this post... thank you, from the bottom of my heart! I may have "made" the donation -but you made it possible! It was a beautiful display of working together to bring about God's glory!


Add This to Your Blog!

 And if you can't make even a small donation... could you share this in anyway you can? Somebody you know might be able to help. If you share this, something could even happen to bring one of these children to the attention of their future family. You never know what a small act can bring about <3. And no matter what else you can do, please say a prayer for the little ones this organization helps. "The prayer of a righteous man produces much", and these children do need so much. Maybe the prayers and funds and exposure they get this Christmas can be the means that have them in a loving home next Christmas <3.

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri


8 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas! It sounds like you had a really great time. Now we slip back into the responsibility of the life once again. I did some cleaning today as well. It was a harsh wake up call! I do hope your hands feel better! <3 the cause you are helping is noble. Although I can't donate I will pray for it.

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    1. Thank you! We did!
      Oh, I enjoy the cleaning... I'm just not sure why, since I don't want to do anything for days before I get to that day, haha! And thank you... they'll be fine, I just need to be contentious about helping them heal/relax ;).
      Thank you Vanessa <3. All the prayers are a gift <3!!!

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  2. Glad your Christmas was a special one :) And sorry you feel afraid of failing people! I do hope you're not worried about me, haha!
    You are so funny. I feel bad for you. I guess it's my turn to send you some reminder that I'd be helping you if I could ��<3
    Oohhh, that will be so fun! Tessa, I'm assuming?
    Lol! You poor thing. Hope your wrists feel better soon <3 But now every time I see these special things that came in the mail, I'm going to feel bad - I'll see you sitting there, wrists aching and all.
    And Bri. You'd make anybody do anything, the way you write. I'm serious. Such a precious, heartfelt, but really eloquent plea. I'll pray for this + these kids for sure, and I'm thinking about donating :) (Do you know if they get put in Christian homes...?)
    Love love love!

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    1. That comment was about little people I was afraid wouldn't have a Christmas present, haha! Although I was thinking that about you for a while until we went to Granny's ;).
      Naw, I'll make it. I'm almost done!!! I think. ;)
      Yes, Tessa! I'm looking forward to it sooooo much!!!
      Oh, but Alyssa, your dishcloths are KNIT. It uses totally different muscles, and although it takes longer, it doesn't do whatever that is to my wrists. So you don't have to feel bad at all! Hahaha! And it wasn't getting painful, just bothersome, until the last two gifts anyway, haha!
      I'm gonna cry, you just about melted my heart. You are so sweet, girl!!!
      I'm honestly not very sure what part Reece's Rainbow plays in the actual adoption process. I think it might actually be like a middle man that hooks the families up with the kids and their agencies and raises money for them, but isn't actually who places them in the home? I have read dozens of Reece's Rainbow family's blogs, and I'm still a little confused, they seem to do something different for each family, haha, and I think it's because the different agencies they work with may have different rules for them, but I'm honestly not sure. It is a christian organization, and all of the blogs I have happened on from Reece's Rainbow's "My Family Found Me" page have been Christian homes, as far as I remember, but I can not say for sure that each and every family has been, especially if Reece's Rainbow just refers them to an agency. I wish I could! I just know that all the Christian special needs adoptive families I come across have almost always been touched by Reece's Rainbow in some way. I wish that the Hidden Treasure's online auctions were still a thing... that was such a sweet way to help get these kids home to christian families, but that totally flopped after they got a new coordinator, and it was so sad :(.

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  3. Oh! Haha :)
    Yay! I’m sure you’ll have a great time!
    I THOUGHT SO. But then, you never talk about knitting, and you crotchet waaaayyyy more than I ever have, soooo I was like maybe it’s a special stitch? But leaned toward the negative and that’s why I didn’t specify as to how they were made in my comment... haha!
    Ahh. Thanks for sharing :) that is so so sad!! :’((

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    1. That's because I never knit anymore, hahahaha... I mean, I do, but I LOVE amigurami projects, and when I do blankets, crochet is far more practical. But I actually learned to crochet only because a neighbor taught me to knit, so. I often wonder what my time would look like now if she hadn't taught little 8 year old me to knit? Haha!

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"May the Lord, the God of your fathers... bless you!" Deuteronomy 1:11