My husband and I adopted our first child AJ from Guatemala when he was just thirteen months old. Several months after he arrived home we were faced with multiple diagnoses and a whole new road ahead of us. AJ’s first physical therapy sessions revealed some staggering consequences to his early life that were too close to becoming his reality. Had he stayed in Guatemala just one more month, AJ would have lost the ability to use the left side of his body. Had AJ stayed in Guatemala just one more month, he would have died from failure to thrive and malnutrition.
Every day we have with AJ is a precious gift from God. His birthdays became a time of tremendous thankfulness. His first birthday party was a celebration of being able to be together as a family to celebrate his birthday and giving thanks for the tremendous people, progress, and blessings we had received through being AJ’s parents.
I will admit though, I became the mom that social media often mocks. The one who scours the blogs (this was before Pinterest) and plans every detail. It was my desire to celebrate my boy to the fullest. He deserves to be celebrated! Everything was planned with hearts of thankfulness that AJ is still here with us.
Because of our experience with international adoption, our hearts are pulled toward those in need. When AJ turned two we asked those we invited to his birthday party to donate items to a non-profit organization working with orphans in Guatemala. When he turned six we asked for donations to create new baby care packages for expectant mothers served by a local non-profit organization. AJ was more than enough and his life is so much more than a gift.
We desire to give as an act of thankfulness for the opportunity to be AJ’s parents and to watch him live life.
Deuteronomy 16:17 – ‘Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.’
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Giving is so often a touchy subject. The logistics of giving get in the way. Am I giving enough? How much is enough? Is my small part going to even make a difference? Why should I give?
I am challenging you to approach giving from a position of thankfulness.
What has God given you? I realize this is a broad question. Make a list of things you are thankful for; beyond the traditional answers that may hang on the thankful tree this season. Look beyond the one word answers. You have a story of thankfulness. How can you give as an act of thankfulness?
Pray: Dear Lord, I am so thankful. I am thankful for you and your constant open-hand and copious amounts of love, grace, and peace. Give my heart discernment, mercy, and clarity as I reflect on what I am thankful for. Open my heart and my hands to give in an original way in response to your blessings and work in my life. Amen