This morning, I was blessed to spend Christmas Eve morning worshiping with some of the very best, most wonderful, beautiful friends I've ever known. Our children put on a precious little play. (Aidan was a shepherd and Ian was Joseph, which he at first was DISGUSTED about, because after all, JOSEPH was married to a GIRL!!!)....
The singing was great, the play was adorable, communion was meaningful, the prayers were heartfelt and moving. But the most worshipful moment of all came when my friend Kristi spoke.
She had barely gotten three words out of her mouth when her voice cracked and she began to cry.
"...I'm just so thankful for the gift of Jonathan," she said. "The court costs have been so high. We've made so many sacrifices so we could pay the adoption lawyer. Last week, we sold my car so we could make the final payment. But the thing is, Jonathan is a gift. He's priceless. And I thank God for giving him to us."
It just melted my heart. I know that money has been tight for Dale and Kristi, and I know they've made sacrifices this year that they never dreamed they'd have to make. But I also know that they're learning tough lessons in all of this, and I know that they're being prepared for the future in some way. And I know without a doubt that they don't regret the sacrifices they've made and are making. In fact, Kristi was grateful that they owned a vehicle they COULD sell for enough cash to pay the lawyer. Jonathan is worth it to them. So this year will be a skimpier Christmas than years past. This year, they'll have to make do with one car for a while. This year, there'll be no big fancy computer purchases and exotic vacations.
But this year, there'll be Jonathan. The gift.
No amount of money could lessen the importance of that.
No stack of gifts under the tree could mean more to their kids.
No new HDTVs or Playstation 3s could bring more pleasure than this little brother they've come to love and cherish.
Kristi GETS that.
And because of her, I get it too.
I love her for that.
Thank you God, for Jonathan. For giving my Aidan another "little brother" to guide and love. (Aidan ADORES Jonathan.) For giving Kristi her heart's desire. And for reminding me today, through Kristi, that it's not about money. It's about gifts. And you're the best gift-giver of all.
I received this in an email from my friend DogtownScrapper:
Hey Stacy, I so love reading your and other’s blogs. I think your challenge is great!! I haven’t got the courage to start one yet, but it always makes me think about what you are challenging people to writeabout. Recently I was reading Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I was just randomly opening pages and came across Oct 23rd (if you have the book). The topic is money………. she says, “Take a deep breath. Relax. Be open. …….. The love of it. The lack of it. How we accumulate, spend, save, and squander it, lust for it, worship it, worry about it, work for it. Like success, money is an emotionally volatile issue for most women. It’s probably the most complicated relationship we have - and the one that controls our lives because we let it.”It goes on to say………“...our lives are hell not because money is so important to us, but because it is not important enough, …… if money were more important to us, we would seek to understand its impact and how it influences every aspect of our lives."Anyway Stacy…….I thought this might make aninteresting challenge……….. I think Diane is right. This DOES make an interesting challenge, especially on the heels of the biggest spending season of the year. How did money affect you this holiday season? Did it affect you at all? Did you overspend? Did you work within a tight budget? Did you feel guilt or anxiety over how much you spent? Did you find yourself wishing you could spend more, or wishing you had spent less? Did money control the way you gave, and did it influence the way you received?