Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a very low-key, laid back kind of person. I try not to get stressed, and to take things slowly. It's pretty much in my character to stay calm. I guess I learned that growing up. I always had a need for peace since my childhood had so much chaos.
I absolutely love the holiday season. The family gatherings. The lights and trees. The decorations and festive atmosphere. It just makes me smile; especially inside. But even in the midst of all the festivities, and decorations, I cannot forget or pretend, not see all the hurt around me.
Preparing for the holidays is more than purchasing gifts, getting the house together, or making that perfect meal. For me, preparing for the holidays is also preparing my heart to give just a little bit more than I normally would.
Growing up, I was blessed to have such a large family that could depend upon one another. I learned as I got older that every one was not as fortunate as I. As I look back, I realized that there were many times when we really didn't have much. But what we did have seemed to multiply when we dared to share.
I often speak of my Gram. And many of the recipes I share, I have learned from her. However, one of the greatest lessons I learned from my Gram had nothing to do with food. It was the lesson of sharing what you have—even if what you have isn't much. She would always say, that if we would share the little that we had that God would be certain to turn that little into much.
You know what? She was right. I don't know how many times I saw her, my mother, my Nana, and my aunts, prepare a feast with very little, and see it multiply. We had more than enough for our family, and the few dozen friends that always showed up. God did bless—in a powerful way. I witnessed the miracle of the Five loaves and two fish, right before my eyes. It was no longer just a Bible story; but living proof of God's promise to provide.
Times are still hard for many. I hardly watch the news, or read the paper; because all I hear and see is bad news. But in the midst of it all, I know that there is good still going on, and I want to be a part of that good, and I hope that you would be, too.
While preparing for your holidays, I ask that you would open your hearts, and perhaps for some, your homes to a family that stands in need. Many supermarkets have gift certificates that can be purchased for a holiday meal. Why not pick up one or two, and donate it to a family or friend you know who needs some help? When you go to purchase a turkey, why not get an extra one? Perhaps you and a few other family members can get together, and each contribute to putting a basket together for someone in need.
The truth of the matter is—donations and giving are down this year. Way down from this time last year. Many people have been hit by the economic crisis, and have yet to recover. Let us reach into the depths of our hearts, and help to lighten the load for someone else.
True; you may be the one standing in need; don't be afraid to ask. Or maybe you are someone that doesn't have much; maybe you only have the “two small fish and five tiny loaves”. Whatever you have in your hand, let God multiply it for you. I've seen it happen many times when I dared to share the little that I had; it always became much.
I hope that your holidays are filled with love and joy, and answered prayer. May your hearts be prepared to receive an abundance.