Monday, December 27, 2010

So this is Christmas

Wow, we had quite an eye opening Christmas. A few months ago, our church started a program called Kidz Konnection. It was partly my idea. I say that with complete humility, because the part that was my idea was based in sheer desperation. What we were doing for our children's program was not working and we decided to try something new. We decided that Tuesday nights would be the night for the program. From 7-8:15 p.m., children ages 3-12 come and have dinner, a Bible lesson, craft, and game time. We divide them into 4 age groups and rotate them to each activity. That way, we only have to have one person prepared to teach the lesson, etc. It is a wonderful system and we have AMAZING volunteers!! We have about 30 children from the housing projects that come every week and we have fallen in love with them.

For Christmas,  I wanted to give the "Community Children" a nice dinner and gifts, something that their entire family could come to. So, I solicited volunteers to purchase gifts and cook food and we had a wonderful time. We had 70 people attend and we were able to give AMAZING gifts to 37 children.

This was the tree with all of the gifts for the kids

Fast forward one week to our Christmas. We are not rich people. We both work for a living and we work hard. We are very proud of our ability to provide for our children and give them what they desire. But this year...after seeing what some kids experience felt excessive. I really didn't even spend that much. Well, I did, but not as much as I have other years.

The loot from Mom & Dad

My children are the only grandchildren on both sides of the family and the only great grandchildren to one set of my grandparents. Everyone LOVES buying for them, and who can blame them? We have a very generous family. The kids received a trampoline and swingset from Mike's wonderful parents, Nanna and Grandpa Roger, and about two dozen toys just from extended family. YIKES :) All day Christmas, I just had this nagging feeling that they had so much and other we know, were having such a lousy day. I guess this past year has really changed me. I don't want to punish my kids for having enough, but I want to give them balance. That's something we are really going to work on this year. And, we are going to keep helping these "Community Kids", showing them the love of Jesus and giving them our unconditional love.

But, somehow, it just doesn't feel like enough. I feel like we are raising our children to be so materialistic. People often joke that they hope the kids have good jobs when they are older or marry well, since they have been so spoiled. I used to laugh and honestly, feel a little proud. It made me happy that my kids always dressed well and have fun toys. Now, I wonder if we have set them up for a life of misery, constantly wanting something else. This year we are really going to work with the kids, with good deeds and giving to the less fortunate. Hopefully, we can counterbalance some of the damage we've done, without punishing them for having a good family.

Well, how's that for a heavy second blog post :)


  1. Andrea, You sound like a wonderful young woman! What a great program and how generous you all are!

    I, like you, worry about this next generation who have so much! They take it all for granted for the most part. Everyone, in my opinion, needs to go on a mission trip to see how most of the world lives. It truly opens your eyes to being so thankful for every little thing we enjoy! Never take for granted having running water in your bathroom...or for that matter...even having a bathroom!!

    You and your sweet family have a blessed new year! And take care of yourself with the new baby coming!!

  2. Great post, Andrea...and thought-provoking. Have been following with interest and admiration the Kidz Konnection ya'll have been having; personally, I believe all our churches need to be more involved in our communities and with the "least of these."
    Several books the Lord has led me to and some of the blogs we both read,(especially those who have written about their involvement with Compassion International) have challenged me and created that same sort of "uneasiness" you allude to. Coming from a wonderful family and having always had my needs/wants met.....yet realizing that is not the case for so many, I can totally relate to your comments.
    Will be joining you in the coming year in an effort to find that "balance" and more effectively live out my faith. Love ya!