I open the refrigerator. I take the chicken eggs out, and continue to take out the prepackaged already sliced pig bacon. I turn on the electric stove remembering I forgot to take out the already churned flavored and spreadable butter. I read two blogs that give me daily doses of reality and conviction for my own habits. The one prompting the above is called Sit a Spell, and how we really don't appreciate the things that we have on a daily basis. It was while doing breakfast that this reality was really hitting hard this morning. I was telling Luk how if we didn't live here in the United States that we would be hoping that our chickens laid eggs, that we even would own a pig to get pork meat, etc. He doesn't grasp the hardship that would be. I show him pictures, but he doesn't SEE it. So, I have to try to show him in some way.
Yesterday, Reson and I got back from a vacation. It was one that we didn't know we were going on, but it's funny how those unexpected things happen in your life. Scroll down to see the awesome postcard we picked up on our way back.
Isn't that great!? I'm sure by now you can sense the sarcasm in this part of my post. Yep, we are victims of a scam. A well done one if I may say so. Isn't that great? Actually, YES! There were a few things that I took from this experience. First, I want to clarify that my only heart ache is that I did involve someone else in the "deal" because I didn't want them to miss out on such an opportunity. I am grateful that they are God loving people who see that really it's a "that sucks" situation.
So, what did I get from this: ALOT!
1) It's interesting that I never even thought, "my poor boys, their Christmas is ruined!" No, I was upset that I let another group of people down with my judgment. What I got? I got that when you surround yourself with people that you care about that love you back you care about their feelings. It was actually an overbearing feeling. I bawled my eyes out thinking about it.
2) The second blog I read posted this yesterday (the day we found out it was scam), "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ." Enough said, really. This year we were pretty minimal in our spending compared to last year. The scam did involve the big gift for the boys. I could have thought many things to get angry about it. I did get angry, but it wasn't a "how dare you" anger. It was referring to the anger that stemmed from the crying for what I wrote above.
3) On the scam-side: always go to a place like www.godaddy.com search out that website and see who it belongs to. If it says this: N4892 Nassau Bahamas Tel: +852.81720004 = SCAM. You put the URL in make a domain bar, it will say it is used, but you will see where it says "more info" click there and you will see where the domain came from. The site will look legit, have FAQs from customer, payment details to the last "T," and they will even put the pretty "secure site" logos on there.
4) Report it! www.scamchecker.com is a source that you can find scams or report one. I encourage you to do it.
5) Finally, one other person posted a report on the same scam. It was actually the same the day. She went on a tirade on how this ruined her kids Christmas, that they didn't spend the money on taking their children to some dance competition, and that how could these people do this to children, etc. I am again reminded that so many people in this world care to much about materials.
Final thoughts (this will be lengthy as this is my full reaction to the whole process):
I'm sad that people think that this is okay to do. I'm sad that I got someone else involved. I am, however thankful. I still have a home; I still have money for groceries; I still have two happy little boys that have NO idea that they were getting this gift, and lastly our year of minimalizing began NOW!
God has never hesitated on taking things away from Reson and me to show us that we need to refocus. Why were we waiting until next year to do our Christ-centered Christmas? Why did we purchase an expensive item when we wanted to be Christ seeking people all year round? I believe God was telling us no, you are going to seek this new traditional NOW! With that I am repentant that I thought next year was a good time. I am reminded again that God's time is the right time. We do already have six gifts for both boys. The full blown tradition will be three gifts, and looking through our Compassion Catalog to buy something for people who find JOY in God, health, family, food, and friendship. We are going to do the Compassion gifts this year, too.
We have our Jesse Tree going strong, and everyday we are reminded that God is control and His plan is the best plan for our lives. I lost money. It was basically like handing it to someone, and walking away. Deep down I'm hoping that they are using the money to help the people in their country, but the pessimist me knows it is mostly likely not. I could get angry. I could cry that it ruined my boys' Christmas, but I can't because it didn't. It didn't ruin my Christmas. I look to what Ann Voskamp wrote, "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it's a sign that I've taken on something of the world and not of Christ." I look beyond Christmas though. If there is anything in this LIFE that can burden me, then I am surely looking to the world and not to Christ.
I have decided that I am upset that I didn't get a tan while on vacation in the Bahamas. Reson was upset that he didn't get to take photo while there. In all, we will not be going back to the Bahamas EVER, however something tells me if I say that God will find a way to put me there. So... I leave with saying I will not be going to the Bahamas if I had choice, but if be God's then I guess I will. =D
Merry Christmas! "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it's a sign that I've taken on something of the world and not of Christ." I leave with us as we are today, JOYOUS!
Photo by Stockton Photography