Do It Differently

Christmas is an opportunity to overload our families with Christ… However; instead of really tapping into the beauty of the season, we tend to overload our homes with unrealistic expectations, frustration and disappointment. A few years ago I had to write a paper for school on Consumerism as an Ideology vs. Christianity… The discoveries I made while gathering information for my paper changed something inside of me. I have always had a desire to live on less in order to give more, but, this was not a concept I instilled in my children. Like many other parents, I wanted them to “have more” than I did growing up. After I finished this course, I decided to change the definition of “have more” in my household. Instead of having more STUFF, we would have more honesty, more memory building, more trust and more quality time spent. I began teaching my children that this life is not about them, but about what they can do for others.

We began serving as a family and looking for ways to put others above ourselves. The first Christmas with this new found freedom of not living up to the worlds standards of success was delightful. We were presented with an opportunity to sponsor a young man growing up in foster care and we made Christmas a special time for him. My children and I sat down and agreed that they would receive one “big ticket” item and a smaller item that lined up with their interest. The rest of our holiday budget would go towards another person. We have since carried on that tradition and that is truly the highlight of our Christmas season.

Jesus has asked us to serve others, regardless of the time of year… Galatians 5:13

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love… There is a great opportunity to not only bless another person, but to literally show our family and friends what it means to be a follower of Christ… God tells us to train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it… How amazing would it be if we all trained our children up to be selfless, compassionate people who sought out ways to improve the lives of those around them… Can we say a world changed?

I encourage you to find a way to get your family involved in giving back this holiday season… We all know a struggling single parent who could use a little extra help this holiday season or a homeless individual who could use a hot meal and a warm coat… Or maybe it’s a sick friend who would love some homemade cards from your amazing little artists… It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something a little different this Christmas and watch the frustrations fade and hope come alive. ~DeShawne Coleman

Merry Christmas!!

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