December 10 + Christmas Thoughts

For our kindness advent today we went with donut deliveries.  Amon had his dental crown appointment bright and early this morning, so Josh Kelley took the big kids to school and handed out donuts to our sweet car rider line staff.  I knew Amon would be a ferociously crazy sweet beast since he would be a non-sedated two-year-old getting a crown, so I took donuts to the dental staff as well.  And when the “hot” light is on, come on!

Tomorrow we are gifting someone with the sheer goodness that is a giant Christmas yard inflatable.  This was Josh Kelley’s addition to our list this year and I think it’s going to be one that stays for years to come.

Amon did survive his crown.  He is super strong so I got in quite the arm workout holding him down.  Holy cow is this kid strong.  Our dentist was crazy nice and worked very fast.  And he came out with tokens and bouncy balls and stickers and double balloons.

With December in full swing my mind has been overwhelmed with thoughts about Christmas and what we’ve dubbed the most wonderful time of the year.  I think as we love the community we are in…getting to know their names and stories…and get more involved with different aspects of foster care, my views change and swirl and mix and get jumbled and I have a very hard time sorting them all out and making sense of any of them.  We’ve realized as we get to know the world and develop relationships with the people who normally would have been faceless and just something we gave money to for the holidays, that this is actually not the most wonderful time of the year for a large majority of people.  It is hard and stressful and can be a constant reminder of what is lacking…what they don’t have and what we do have.  A reminder of empty bank accounts, unpaid mortgages, empty pantries and lines drawn.  Of brokenness and simply that this world is not fair.  My heart feels completely overwhelmed when I think about it all…when I think about what God might have intended for this season to resemble.

I don’t know fully what to do about it all.  I don’t know exactly what Christmas should look like, but I know God is stirring our hearts and pushing and leading us towards allowing Christmas to mean so much more…for all year round our lives to be lived differently…to mean so much more.  I don’t want to miss out on His work.  I don’t want to miss out on all He has planned and is planning.  I don’t want to miss out on building relationships with those who fill our neighborhood.  These are His people.  And I want to know them.

We try and keep our Christmas pretty simple…not because it’s right or wrong, but because it’s what our family chooses to do.  We do Santa, but our kids know a lot of families don’t and that’s okay too.  They know moms and dads are the ones who do presents if the kiddos don’t believe.  I like the whimsy and imaginative part of Santa.  We spend about $50 per kid.  It’s easy to let my mind think my kids are missing out or they will feel like they didn’t get a lot, but we’ve been doing 3 gifts since Harper was born and I don’t ever want to convince myself their happiness hangs on pretty boxes or lots of money spent.  And what we spend is plenty for the Kelley kids.  We tend to think we’re not the “rich” people in this world, but compared to the rest of the world, we’re not only rich, but immensely wealthy.  I want our kids to be grateful and see Christmas not just as a time when they receive, but as a time when they give as well.

I want our children to know God is the Creator of the Universe and in a snap of His fingers He can do whatever He would like. He gives us breath and can take it away.  He also loves us fiercely…so much He let His own son be crucified for all of our crappy mistakes.  I want them to understand Christmas is a time to be thankful for the gift of Jesus, but it doesn’t end December 25.  Josh Kelley and I won’t cultivate grateful, humble and thankful hearts in our kids just by doing Christmas like this…or with a kindness advent…it’s a year-round, all day, every day choice to refocus our family again, again and again.  The world gets loud and big and boisterous, so it’s a constant refocussing on what truly matters in this world…loving God and loving people…and telling them about the gift of Jesus.

I don’t have it all figured out.  I feel like every day God shows me something new…some one new…invites me to join Him as He works.  Some days I say yes, but some days I say no.  I’ll never get it all right…I’ll never make the right choices all the time, but I can keep plugging along.  I can keep trying to choose love and kindness and grace and mercy and compassion and show my kids the same.  I can continue to be my awkward self offering just my words and time and some homemade cookies.  I can continue to beg God to diminish my pride, give me Joy in Him and everyday allow me to love Him and His people…the sweet lives all around me.  And pray like crazy our kids can see Christ in the way we live and that not only our Chrimstas  honors Him and brings Him glory, but our whole lives.


  1. This is SO Good, Laura! I have been feeling some of the same thoughts, but you put it into words that I could not. Your children always seem “content” with their lives. You are teaching them things and values that will live on long after you leave this earth. Through their children and grandchildren.
    I know one thing! I’m gonna ask God if we can be neighbors in Heaven!
    Love You, Love your Heart & Faith.
    You Inspire… Hugs, Jo

  2. Laura, a beautiful post. Thank you!

  3. Wow, that post was just beautiful and amazing. You have the gift!

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