And this is LOVE....

Today I read 1 John chapter 4 with my children. It was our bag for today. When I set this plan I had no idea what the day would bring.  But God is love.  Not God shows love or gives love.  He does this, but the more important understanding is He IS Love.  (v.8)  We can love because He first loved us.  The greatest demonstration of this love was in the gift of His Son, Jesus.  God put on human flesh to sacrifice Himself to rescue humanity.  To rescue me.  He IS Love.

We are to be a sponge.  We are to absorb who the person of love is.  It is not an action or a feeling, it is a who.  In order to give love we have to receive love.  The love we receive from God is not to hoard or to just enjoy for ourselves but to give into the lives of others.  Soaking Love in and squeezing Love back out.

Today started rough.  It came at the end of a long, hard week of a long, hard month of a long, hard year.  I am tired.  I am ready for a break.  I am missing my husband who is traveling for work this week.  I cried out to God.  He answered me with LOVE.  And this is love....

love came in a big orange pot with a fresh hot dinner for my family

it came in a box of cookies filled with so many different types that my kids acted like they had just been to the candy store, okay and maybe i did too

it came in two separate cards in our mailbox.  one with money for my kids to go shopping and one with money for kevin and I to go out on a date

it came with a ring at the door after the kids had gone to sleep, and there stood a delivery man with the gift of a yummy dessert

it came through phone calls and messages of encouragment and prayers and reminders that i am not alone

it came with a phone message from my hubby that he has found an earlier flight tomorrow

Today's activity was to read 1 John 4, to learn about love and to take some peanut butter balls to our neighbors.  God provided for my kids a practical example of love through all those who took time to share with us today.  And after receiving from others they were so excited to give some away.

We usually make a large variety of baked goods to pass out.  Keeping it simple this year and just made one.  If you are looking for a simple treat for the holidays, this is it.  Super easy, super kid friendly, super yummy.
Mix: 1 c powdered sugar, 1c chocolate chips, 1/2 c powdered milk
Stir in 1 c peanut butter
Add water a T at a time until you get the consistency that you want
Roll into balls and cover in crushed graham crackers.

With four kids they come out in different sizes and shapes and everyone and everything is covered in crumbs... but it is all part of the fun.

And for those who need to know that our family is real.... making these also involved many reminders to not intentional dump crumbs on the floor, to stop fighting over stools, to take deep breaths, and to not freak out if their creation did not appear perfect in their eyes.  It also helps to have multiple bowls of ingredients so more hands can work at the same time.  At the end everyone had to stand still with their hands up in the air while I swept up the crumbs and stripped off their cookie crusted shirts.  As soon as I said, "put your hands up in the air", Faith started singing, "I put my hands up in the air sometimes like it's dynamite".  Which goes along well with her other favorite this week "i shake my tail back and forth".  There were multiple reminders about how showing love to others needs to begin by those who share your living space.  We are all learning.

Thanks for the role so many of you played today being the hands and feet of Jesus to me and my kids.  Thanks for being examples to my children of what following the commandment: "you shall love your neighbor" looks like.  Our prayer as a family is that we would know Love, that we would know Jesus.  Our prayer for you is the same.

Jesus is patient.
Jesus is kind.
Jesus does not envy.
Jesus does not boast.
Jesus is not proud.
Jesus is not rude.
Jesus is not self-seeking.
Jesus is not easily angered.
Jesus keeps no record of wrongs.
Jesus does not delight in evil.
Jesus rejoices with the truth.
Jesus always protects.
Jesus always trusts.
Jesus always hopes.
Jesus always perseveres.
Jesus never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13)

Merry Christmas!!!


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