Giving

Yesterday I was an especially proud mom.  I mean, I am proud of both of my boys and my daughter everyday, but yesterday was special.  First I have to give you a little bit of a backstory, so please bear with me.

I grew up poor.  I mean the dirt poor kind of kid that gets teased about their clothes and is always skinny because they don’t have enough to eat.  I was that kid.  I often went to bed hungry and went to school without breakfast.  I am not blaming anyone or trying to get any pity, that is just the way it was.  My mom always tried though.  She was a good mom, she was just fighting an uphill battle. Well, one Christmas I was old enough to know that the things of my mom’s with our names on them meant that was what we were getting for Christmas, and that was it.  Then, some ladies from a Baptist Church came and brought gifts for the little kids.  They brought us some food too and darned if I didn’t have something totally unexpected to open on Christmas morning.  I have never forgotten what it feels like to constantly be without, to be hungry and to worry that my younger siblings wouldn’t have anything for Christmas.  I have never forgotten what those church ladies did for my family that year either.

In a lot of ways, that kind of shaped who I am.  So, every year my husband and I have tried to adopt a family for Christmas.  My boys have seen it as long as they have been alive, it has just been something that happens around Christmas.  This year my youngest, Sterling, comes up to me and asks if he can get an angel off the tree where I work and adopt a child for Christmas.  Of course I said yes.  So, yesterday we went shopping and he spent his own money buying presents for some child that he has never met.  He thought about each gift and took the time to carefully choose something that he thought some girl he will never meet would like.

My heart was full.  Full of love for my boy, full of pride of him, full of happiness that at least 2 children would have gifts for Christmas where they may not have before.  (Of course I got an angel too).  If you have never done something like this, try it.  The feeling of giving is one that will fill your heart with joy.  Not for recognition, not for gain and not for any other reason.  Just to make sure that one child, just one has a merry Christmas.  You have the power to change a day for one family.  When you give a child a gift you affect more than the child.  You also affect the mom that worried for her baby, for the dad that worried for his family and maybe for the older kids.  You bring joy to the whole family.  You have the power to perhaps change one person, like the church ladies changed me.

My son is going to be a good man.  If I needed affirmation of that, this weekend proved it.  I want so much to be like him when I grow up.  Go out and make a difference today, you will be glad that you did.

These photos were taken on our way home.  It was a great adventure on a rainy Sunday in December.

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