Holiday Clean Up

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Today, is November 21, 2015. It is my niece, Shawanas birthday, she celebrates her 17th birthday. But it is also a day that marks the passing of my daughter , Curry ,20 years ago. Three years after my daughter passed away, my niece was born that same day. I felt then it was a gift from God to be remembered through the years. My niece never met my daughter, her cousin. They live in South Dakota.  When Curry passed, I was left with all these memories, photos, notes and cards. So I built a large photo album. Starting with Curry’s last days to her birth. I carefully chose the notes, the photos, the things that told her story. By the time I was finished with the photo album, it reflected her life, not only her life but her life with he Lord and what role He played in her life. It was my therapy and helped me deal with her illness and her passing. I kept the photo album for a while, then I sent it to my sister Laura, she then shared it with her two daughters, Amanda, and Shawana. Each year my sister pulls out this photo album and they talk about Curry. My sister still has this photo album in her possession.


When Curry passed away, I was left with all of her stuff. Clothes, shoes, coats, toys. I knew Currys heart, so in the days that passed after her death I began to box up her stuff and give them away to those who were in need. I called the Christian radio station at the time to see where these things could be used. I gave away two American Dolls that were given to Curry from her grandmother. I gave them to Amanda and Shawana I knew they would love them as Curry did. Item after item, I found a home for her stuff. And if someone had given her something, like I remember a baby doll, I gave that back to the woman who gave it to her. I knew Curry would be pleased with what I had done with her precious items. I knew the Lord was pleased, and my heart was lighter because of it.


My journey has been anything but smooth and easy. But I know the Lord it is in every step I take, I can only trust him, and remember Jeremiah 29:11.


With his holiday season lots of preparations are being applied. Lots are cleaning, shopping, baking getting ready for the family to come and celebrate. But for many of you the holidays are a crushing time, a painful time, a depressing time, and for some, they will not even celebrate. I understand. But I want to encourage you today to take a step of faith and see how you might be able to help someone else and help yourself at the same time.


Have you ever noticed when you feel bad, and you begin to pray for others, and in praying for others, the fog or bad feeling you had has now disappeared? I would like us all to consider others this holiday season. How you say? Lets start with your holiday clean up. Do you have coats in your closets that you never wear? How about the kids coats? Then take a moment, take out what you don’t need and donate them. Could be to your church clothes closet ( these will be given away not having to be purchased) or you could give them to the salvation army or Goodwill, of which they will put a price tag on them, but not a large one. Go through your blankets, sheets, other household items and donate them to the local mission this year. There are so many who need these items. Do you have more craft items than you need, then pack them up and either give them to the local nursing home for craft day or donate them to the Local Ronald McDonald House where they house families of seriously ill families. You could call the oncology department of your local hospital and see if they are in need of craft supplies. How about books? Movies? Music CD's? At some point in our lives we have way more than what we need while there are others who go without.


Do you have more money than you know what to do with? Then I recommend you find a family, could be in your church who could really use a meal. Maybe you could take them out, maybe a gift card, maybe a gift basket, maybe a turkey like Scrooge gave away to Tiny Tims family. If you look around, someone in your little circle needs something this season.


Do you sing? How about Christmas Caroling for your shut in neighbors who can not get out and enjoy this kind of thing.


These holidays are not all about us, they are about others, about showing the Love of Christ to those around us. Some will die this season, some with out knowing Jesus at all. Some lie in a coma, some do not remember who your are. Some are out of a job, some have been evicted from there home for lack of payment. How else can we show Christ to them but to extend our hands to them in someway with Love.


This is your chance to show Christ to others this season, even if just the Lord sees what you do. Personally, I like to be behind the scenes. A gift of love is the truest form of Gods love.


The truth is , this could be our last Christmas together. We do not know what awaits us. Remember to be kind to the frazzled cashier, smile at those who may be frowning. A smile is a smile is any language. A hug when someone is crying can mean life or death to someone. Your hug, like my hugs to my neighbor Maryann, is the only human touch she gets, and that is only once a week.


This is our time to shine for the Lord in ways we don’t at other times of the year. Take a look around you today, someone needs something from you today. There are those who will take there own life today for they feel they are all alone in this world. What you do for them in that moment may be what they needed to give them hope and to stop them from taking their own life. If you feel a nudge from the Holy Spirit, it is a time to take action.


Blessings to you all this Holiday Season.


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