That is what I have been feeling as I entered this CHRISTmas holiday. SHALOM. God has blessed our family so much. My husband stepped out of his job of nearly 25 years in August. It no longer was worth it for him to stay in the position mentally, physically, even financially. He started a new adventure with another guy on the leadership team of our church. He is doing what he always wanted to do-flip houses. They will have completed their first house in less than 3 months. I am so proud of him. And there is a potential buyer!
Why do I share this? There has been no income from Joe. It will not come until the close of the house. So I took on a second part-time job to cover most of the lost income but it barely covers the bills and cost of living we have with all our girls. It meant no money to buy Christmas gifts this year. But I had complete SHALOM in this. I turned my focus instead to the true meaning of CHRISTMAS and all was good mentally and spiritually for me.
We told our girls we would do Christmas once the house closes (Joe will make more on this house than if he had stayed at his previous job). The girls have accepted the gift situation but they struggled with it at first. I had to remind them that being in a blended family they would receive plenty from their other parent and grandparents. They will not be in need.
We did not share our situation with others because we are so blessed with all that we have. There are so many others out there who no loner have an income or house or food this season. Instead of opening gifts next to a lighted tree I wanted to go on Christmas Eve, which is our holiday time with our girls, to a shelter to serve those who truly do not have what they need-but all the shelters have plenty of help that day. I could only imagine the possible effect it would have had on our teenagers.
Last Sunday, at church, the leadership team (of whom my husband is a member of) approached Joe stating they knew how we had use our own income within the youth ministry over the past few years instead of using the youth budget. Since we are not paid in this ministry they wanted to present us with a gift. We have not asked to be paid in this ministry. We are filling a need. But on Sunday, Joe was handed a "love offering" that we can use to celebrate a secular Christmas and pay a few bills. Unbelievable how HE works. We tried to give it back.
I don't want to lose the sacredness of what I had found in my heart. As I stated above, even before this blessing I had such a peace about this holiday. I didn't need the presents. I don't want the presents. The girls would be taken care of. It's not about that. It's about SHALOM, the completeness of our faith in the birth of our Christ. So, we will accept this blessing and try to bring it into the sacredness we have in our heart. We do not plan to buy much-maybe two gifts per child, maybe three to reflect the gifts of the wise men. We want to keep it as spiritual as we can.
What I cherish most this season is the fact that I have scripture to connect me to this event, this event that has become my whole being in life. The meaning of CHRISTmas. SHALOM. Completeness. Wholeness. Health. Soundness. Tranquility. Perfectness. Fullness. Rest. Harmony. A God who can make anything happen chose to have His son enter this world in a stable instead of a kings palace. God chose the imperfect for the perfect...just like He chose us...imperfect to be made perfect in Him. Love. Grace. Security.
SHALOM. I wish you all peace as you celebrate this holiday with your family and friends. I wish you soundness of mind and fullness of heart. I pray for harmony and tranquility within your homes as you come together. And may "the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His face upon you and give you SHALOM. In the name of SAR SHALOM-the Prince of Peace."~Numbers 6:24-26