Saturday, November 19, 2016

Give, Because He Gave First

Priscilla bringing hundreds of stuffed animals to kids at the Denver Children's Hospital. 

As the holidays draw nearer, I wanted to inspire you and your family to start a new tradition.

Use the holiday season to teach your kids, to give, because Christ first gave.

(1 John 4:9)

What would your kids say if you told them “You get to do something nice, anything you'd like, as long as it blesses someone else?”

And please know, this doesn't have to cost you anything! Maybe you could have them take handmade Christmas cards to the residents at a nursing home, or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Or maybe they could raise money to give to a needy child on an Angel Tree?

The point is, to teach your kids that the greatest gifts in life are free!

Because love is the greatest gift you can give.

And in teaching them this, you're teaching them the greatest lesson of all!

Society has taught us to give our kids every little thing on their wish list, AND THEN they'll be happy! However, true happiness can only be found when living a life of purpose!

Giving your kids their every wish and desire, is only teaching them a false sense of “happiness.”

With good intentions, we're teaching our kids to expect, want, and desire, materialistic things.. And that will bring you “happiness.”

To prove my point, ask them, “What did we get you for Christmas last year?” Most kids won't remember, okay, they might remember one thing... But I can assure you, they'll never forget doing something special for someone!

My husband and I had to learn this the hard way. By 2008 we had acquired a bunch of wealth, we bought whatever we wanted, all the best of the best, we had a lavish lifestyle. And yet, we weren't happy!

It wasn't until we lost everything, we were homeless, had to move in with our parents, we didn't own a vehicle. And yet, during that time, we became pregnant!!!

As crazy as it may sound, that was when we realized, that the greatest gifts in life are free! “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” (Mark 8:36)

Now, I try to use every opportunity to teach my kids to “live a life to bless others.”

Last week, a young lady in my youth group was telling me how she had lost 100 lbs. At first I was like “That's great, I'm so proud of you!” But then I found out how she accomplished it. Apparently, both her and her roommate, had been in between jobs. They didn't have money for groceries, and they had been living off crackers for months!!

She was new to our youth group, I had to explain how our youth group worked. “If you have a need, you tell us!” No matter the need, my husband and I will try to help!”

Sometimes we have to buy them jackets, shoes, clothes, groceries, anything, anyone of them might need! We've helped pay for utilities, we've made their payments, and paid their rent...

We feed all of them every week, love on them, and mentor them. And not because we have to, because we’re not paid pastors, and we don't have supporters sending us money....It's all on our own dime. I'm not saying this to brag, but to prove a point. We might not have as much as we did in 2008, but the difference is, now we are happy, truly happy!

You see, in doing this, we too, are being blessed! AND we are teaching our kids to give back! They’re getting to witness first hand, what it means to “live a life to bless others.”

And now they get it! It might have taken a few years...But they finally get it! “If mommy and daddy choose to be frugal in this, then we can be extra giving over here!” And they get super excited about it!

My 4 year old daughter, ecstatic to bless a youth with two shopping carts worth of groceries.

There are times where our kids want something, and we remind them. “You don't need that. It's okay to “want” but it's better to appreciate what you already have.”

Now don't get me wrong, we give our kids presents at Christmas!

But there's is a way to give them gifts AND to teach them at the same time! Make it a new tradition, maybe make it a family discussion where everyone gets to help come up with ideas!

It's different for every family. Pray and ask God “How can we teach our kids, it's better to give, than to receive; and that the greatest gifts in life are free?”

As parents, it's only natural to want to give our kids their every desire, want, or dream. And that's okay. Please know that!

Just make sure that you're feeding their hearts, just as much as their desires!

Train them up, and they will grow a desire for blessing others. Then they’ll understand what real happiness feels like. You won't regret it.

I'm your Mrs International reminding you- TO CHOOSE LOVE,

Priscilla

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