Was it only a few days ago? Is this for real? Will it last?
~ Introduction ~
It seems for the longest time The Santos Times has been battling an attitude problem. The children have been fighting and hating one another. Mr. Santos has been a bear. There is a deep crease in my brow from a constant frown.
For many nights, I have cried myself to sleep over the state of my family. Why is everyone so mad all the time? Why are we so ungrateful? My deepest prayer is that we would love the Lord, love each other, love our neighbors. Instead, we've been surviving one another. This hasn't been constant, but it has been daily. The tone of our family has not been loving.
Was there any proof in my life that I was a Christian? On the outside we looked like Christians. We talked like Christians. But something has been missing for a while. Maybe it has been the two years of 'unemployment' or the death of loved ones or all the little things that go wrong every day that leave one feeling defeated.
I prayed, "God you are so big. My family and our life is so small. But our problems are too big for us. Everything seems impossible and nothing goes right for us. Please, Lord, please help us. Help us to live the way you want us to live."
Do you know that there is no way that you can be good on your own? It's impossible. The Bible says "There is none righteous, no, not one" Romans 3:10
No amount of complaining, or discipline or scheduling could change my family. We were a mess.
But guess what? Our mess is not too big or deep or ugly for God. He makes all things new...and so...
It's a miracle. Only God could have done it and He continues to do it in us every day. Hear me! If it can happen at The Santos Times, it can happen for you.
~ The Game ~
We picked up this book at the library the other day.
The stories in it are very sweet and they really turn one's heart to loving each other. The story of Christmas, Jesus coming to earth to be born, the angels singing "Peace on earth, Good Will towards men;" it all just melted us.
We were excited to celebrate Christmas and suddenly we found ourselves swept up into a 'game' that has changed my family.
Every Monday, we draw a Santos name and for a week we do 'secret' good deeds for our person. For each good deed done, we add a link to a paper chain we are making. The chain is supposed to go around our Christmas tree, but it may be too long for that. We might just string it across the house.
Instead of rushing around and complaining in the morning, Sister is laying out clothes for Sister. Brother is setting the breakfast dishes before anyone gets up. Daughter is making Mother's bed. Husband is closing the window because Wife is cold. And we are all adding to the chain. The tone of the house is giving and loving and exciting.
Perhaps you don't see this as a miracle. But I do. For so long I tried to MAKE it happen in my family. When I let go of trying to do it on my own, God gave it to me as a gift. I have nothing to boast about.
Thank you God for good gifts. Thank you for sending your son to save us.