Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent Reading Day 16 and Lately

Scripture reading: Isaiah 8:11- 9:7 -- A Wise and Just King
Symbol: A crown for a king of justice and peace
Well, as I mentioned in my last post, it has been a crazy and unusual time for us. Well, unusual in the sense that John has been absent more often lately due to the end of the semester of grad school. Only one more semester, woo hoo!!! So, while the boys and I have been home A LOT lately, John has been gone A LOT lately, which is the unusual part. And with John being gone, family time has looked a little different lately and we just haven't had much time for our typical seasonal sorts of activities, like going all out in decorating for Christmas or making the trek over to the Galleria for our annual Christmas card picture. Yep, that's right, the Christmas card is being sacrificed this season! It's our burnt offering (ha, ha, just kidding, it just seems appropriate to call it that with all of our Advent reading lately)! I've thought about doing a Happy New Year's Card instead, and I still might, it's just not tradition, and if you know me, I LOVE tradition! Or with all my handwriting work lately, I don't know if I have it in me to address and stuff and stamp Christmas cards this year.
Have I mentioned my handwriting job before???? It really is a HUGE blessing, one that came straight from God, of course! John noticed an ad back in July in this parent magazine advertising a job opportunity for stay at home moms or retirees who have good handwriting and can pick up and drop off material in our town. Totally perfect for me. And even better, it is hand addressing mail-outs for non profits and charities! So I have been, in a sense, working for such organizations as Feed the Children and The Navigators. Up until 3 weeks ago, it is basically a once a month type of job. However, in the past 3 weeks, I have done 1750 mailouts....that includes writing a personal message, stuffing envelopes and stamping them. Needless to say, the money this time of year is great but all of my personal time (i.e. naptime and bedtime) is COMPLETELY consumed with this job. This week is the last of it until January. Bummer for the checking account but good for my personal time! And we ALL need a little personal time after the past few weeks!
So all that to say, we've been busy BUT we have accomplished what we wanted for this Advent season.....we have not taken part in the hustle and bustle of shopping and parties and it has been SO GREAT! The boys have really enjoyed the Advent readings and the stories and we are talking a lot about the meaning of Christmas and how much more important it is to give than to receive. Yeah, that last part, I am not sure if they are convinced of that yet, but darn it, I'm doing my best to convince them! We had an opportunity to give to a family at our church who's mom has been imprisoned and the grandmother is now taking care of two small children. We cleaned out our closets and made a trip to WalMart for undies and socks. The boys even met one of the kids at church on Sunday and I am hoping that putting a face with the act of giving made an even better impression. Even in doing this, I was reminded of my sin and selfishness.
This is such a great time to reflect on the gift we were given in Jesus.

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