Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of MyLifeWithTheseKids friends! This has been a very busy year for my family and I, and we are extremely thankful for God’s faithfulness, provision, grace and mercy through it all!! We were reminded this year that God opens doors that no man can shut, and that He will be your defender when you make conscious decisions to put your faith in Him and to always operate with integrity! So thank you Lord for those faithful reminders!

As far as this Christmas season goes, we have been blessed to give gifts  to Feed The Hungry ministry/organization from their catalog where you could choose gifts that are literally  life saving- chickens, goats, green houses, mosquito nets, etc! We had fun choosing 2 chickens and a Chubby Cheek nutrition package for some babies! Amongst other things, it gives a parent so much joy to be able to grant the desires of your children’s hearts. Check out the video below of Jabin getting what has been on the top of his list!

Caleb, on the other hand, has been obsessed with motorcycles since early Spring. He even went to school this fall creating stories to his teachers of how he rode to school on his motorcycle, and he put so much detail into those stories that his teachers even asked me, “Mrs Gonzales, did Caleb ride to school on a motorcycle today?” LOL LOL #myboy

 

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My husband hadn’t yet taken it out the box yet, so Caleb’s initial reaction was one of slow shock! LOL
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Here we have it out the box and put together! Lord help us!

Elijah, being the youngest boy, really just wants what his older brothers have! We thought we had a hit on our hands with the Paw Patrol Mission Chase toy, but as you can see below, he had his eyes on Caleb’s motorcycle. He doesn’t look that excited huh? Ah well!

Thans mom, but uh can I get on Caleb's motorcycle?
Thans mom, but uh can I get on Caleb’s motorcycle?

I did attempt at being a responsible parent by giving the boys books. Jabin ripped open the wrapping paper, revealing “The Big Book of Bernstein Bears Beginner Books”. I’m looking over his shoulder, corners of my mouth all turned up, proud of the big interest in reading that’s been developing, expecting atleast a smile in return from him. But what do I get? He gave it all of 1.5 seconds of a glance over and dropped it on the floor, with a bang on our hardwood floors and moved right on to the next gift. Sniffle. My husband, who has never been a fan of reading, burst into laughter with a “I told you that was a mud gift!” SMH!  My dream is that one day books will be exciting for Christmas!

So, I pray everyone else is having a Merry Christmas! But the reality is I know everyone is not. I know some of you are struggling with sadness, loss, depression, anxiety, and more. It makes me sad to know that this season prompts such emotional distress. Jesus really is the ONLY reason for the season! How God wrapped himself in flesh because He knew that the world needed a savior in His son Jesus, will always be the focal point for our Christmas’ and I hope this in some way penetrates however you may be feeling in this season, and pray that you get a sense of joy that Jesus truly did give you the best gift ever when He gave His life for you and I! Many blessings to you and yours <3

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

Why Our Kids Don’t Believe in Santa

The Christmas season is in full force! Everywhere I look I see red velvet bows, decorative houses bright with lights, the classic Salvation Army rep spreading cheer and ringing bells at our local grocer entrance, and one of my favorites, the Holiday seasonal drinks from Starbucks! I am even more excited this year since they are doing a B5G1 free, and you best believe I ensure I get my sticker every single time I get my Chestnut Praline or Caramel Brûlée Latte, and those are the only two I alternate between. #issues

Yay my next one is FREE!
Yay my next one is FREE!

Something else that excites me during Christmas season is gift giving! Caleb, my 3yo, has a teacher who admired my purple lipstick one day and revealed that purple was her favorite color! So I remembered to include something purple in her gift from Caleb as an expression of our appreciation and her care for my son. My oldest son, Jabin, got out of our car this morning and presented gifts to the two women who are religiously outside every single day- rain, sleet or snow – helping all of the children out of their parent’s cars safely which makes all of our lives easier. We can just pull in the car line, allow them to get our children out of the car, and we wave, say” thank you”, and drive off! One of the young ladies was SO excited that she was thought of, and her face expanded with a smile and she gave Jabin the cutest little pouty lip and hugged him her thank you. Giving just gives me JOY! I love it!

Now, on to the point of this post. CHRISTmas begins with “Christ” for a reason-Jesus Christ! It used to be that stores would willingly and enthusiastically have signage and employees that unabashedly exclaimed “Merry Christmas!” But now, that is not the case. “Merry Christmas!” has been replaced with “Happy Holidays”, because our society at large is eager to make this a pagan holiday, one that has nothing to do with what it stands for. Let me remind someone today, that Jesus is the reason for this season! Christmas represents the birth of Jesus Christ, who was born miraculously from the virgin Mary, all because God sent His son to earth so that He could walk amongst us, teach us, love us, show us His perfect ways, and ultimately willingly lay down His life for us. So, do I teach my children to believe in Santa during this Christmas season? Absolutely not. Why? Allow me to explain.

The Bible declares for us to raise up a child in the way that they should go and when they are older they will remember and not depart from that training (Proverbs 22:6). That goes for every area of their lives. The Bible also suggests that we should have child-like faith for a reason (Matthew 18:2-4), because children are much more eager to accept what is just as it is without the tainted second guessing that simply living life will teach us to do. If an adult holds out a piece of candy, the child’s instincts is to grab hold of that candy and eat it! Not to wonder, “is this person trying to hurt me? Is this person giving me candy that is poisonous?” For my husband and I, this concept is very similar to teaching our children to believe in a fictional character that holds absolutely no power. By teaching our children to believe in Santa, you are teaching them at a very young age to put their innocent child-like faith in something that is not real! That is not the way that I want to train my children, to put all of their faith and hope and trust that Santa will deliver their hearts desires. If you really think about that, that is DEEP! No wonder some of us grow up fickle towards the things of God and are tossed to and fro, hot in our faith and devotion to God one moment, and then we are cold the next, and then we walk through life lukewarm, which is a spiritual state detestable to God. I’m really not trying to preach I promise lol! However, we live in a day and age that it is CRITICAL to set our children up for spiritual success, if you get my point.

Now on the other hand, do we disdain Santa, do we turn up our noses at all the people in the lines at the mall eager to plop their children on the red-suited man’s lap and get them to deliver their pinterest-perfect smile? Nope! In fact, we join them! Santa for us is a fictional character, same as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a Snowman, Sponge Bob, Power Rangers, Iron Man, and etc. Our goal is not to spoil the fun for our kids, but to give them the truth in love so that they are not trained to give their heart-felt and innocent faith to anything other than Jesus Christ (well we put our faith in people too, but obviously people fail us because we’re human). We want them to know at their young tender ages, that God gave His only son so that we could live and live abundantly! We want them to know, that when tests and trials come their way, that Jesus is real and that He is deserving of their faith because He will work everything out for their good! We want them to know, that if sickness or disease ever came across their bodies or someone they loved, that they will have unadulterated faith to call on the name of Jesus and believe that healing is theirs! Faith is something that we learn … let’s show our children through our living and teaching that faith should only be put into things that are real :)

Ok, ya’ll can send ya’ll offering (or hate mail) tooooo (lolol). Kidding! I hope that you all have a VERY Merry CHRISTmas and that this season for you and your family is filled with love, laughter, and joy, because Jesus is truly the reason! I know that the issue of “Santa” comes up every single year amongst parents and it will forever be a debate. I just wanted to share our beliefs and why we do NOT teach our children that Santa is real. But I’d like to invite you in on the discussion! Do you teach your children to believe in Santa? Were you taught to believe in Santa? As an adult and or parent, what are your Santa beliefs now?