Anyone who knows me well, knows that I like to plan...this being said, I've been planning Ryleigh's 2nd bday party since before she was born. Yes, I'm serious. We needed to crate things to bring to the field and one day I saw the cutest Disney princess bedding with a matching play mat. So, we bought them and I told Steve we would do a princess themed birthday for her when she turned 2! As we have gotten closer, I've been surprised by the number of princess themed items that you can find in Madagascar and even Tulear! One day I was shopping and saw cute princess pens and had to grab a few to hand out to her friends at her party. While we were in Kenya, I found princess bubbles and wanted to purchase those to give to her friends as well...until I saw they were $7 a bottle! Steve and I laughed about how crazy it would be to spend more money on "happies" for her friends than what we spent on her bday present itself.
While at our training in Kenya, we had a volunteer team come from NC. The pastor of the church, Bro. Keith, led worship on 3 different days and always brought a powerful message from the Lord. One morning, he started talking about the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. He said that every year, he challenges his church members to not spend more on a gift for a family member than they are giving to Jesus. Great thought right? Great to live out? It's a bit harder to swallow then, isn't it? He said it's like spending more money on "happies" for the people coming to the party than the actual "birthday boy" so to speak.
It definitely resonated with us, since we had just talked about that illustration with Ryleigh. The Lord has used Bro.Keith to challenge us this year with our personal giving as well as our heart's focus. Our attention should be soley focused on the Lord every single day of the year, and on a day set aside to celebrate the gift He has given - shouldn't it be even more so?
If you have heard about Lottie Moon but you're not quite sure what that means - stay tuned, the next blog update will be full of info!!