The greatest gift

Yesterday my sister, niece, Avery and her BFF headed north to spend the day shopping at the outlet malls.  We did some good progress on Christmas wish lists.  We have been doing this shopping expedition off and on for years.  The 2 of us love a good day of retail therapy.  Our other sister would probably rather have her hair pulled out one strand at a time. HAHA!!  God gave her boys for a reason.  I am so thankful that we are able to go out and shop for what we need, want and desire to give!

I don’t know about you, but I find a lot of joy in giving.  I love shopping for Christmas and finding just the right gift.  When one of my nephews asks for hot sauce, he is going to get  it!  And I know he will love it, and use it!  (I hope he isn’t following my blog, or he now knows what he is getting for Christmas!) As a big family with 5 kids who all went through really hard times, we spent our first few years over indulging and spoiling them.  Honestly, we kind of felt like they deserved it. We have created some of our own new traditions, held on to old ones and all love every part of the holiday season together. We all enjoy different parts to the holidays.  But being a family that enjoys spending time together is my favorite. Family is my everything.  My siblings, in-laws, parents, nieces and nephews, and those friends that I consider family. They all hold my heart.  I love nothing more than being with them. They are a gift to me. Better than any gift wrapped and under a tree.

God gave us the greatest gift when He sent us His one and only son.  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world he gave his only son, whoever believes in him, shall not parish and will have eternal life.”

By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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