Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Best Christmas Ever - 2008

You might be saying to yourself, "Camey? Christmas has come & gone. The season has now changed to Valentine's with hearts & candy." I would simply have to agree to disagree with you of course.

The Gravley family of five (Dick - 42, Camey - 40, Austin - 17, Travis - 14, and Parker - 10), decided that we were simply tired of all the Christmases gone by. We ached for it reflect how we live our lifes' moments. We purposed to change our family's legacy. Not just our five mind you.. but to impact the current Brown's too as well as the extend Gravley family.

We prayed and discussed how we would go about our intentional actions. We came up with a plan. We each had a part. We knew what it would require of us. We all agreed. It was a family decision... a family's commitment... and individual ones as well.

One of our gift to our sons and theirs to us was spending time together serving others. There is a ministry in a big city that we simply enjoying being a part of from the moment we even think of going there to even months since we left there. We scheduled a day to go. We worked their Christmas Store from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Funny enough? Dick was the only one of us that had not been there.. We could not wait for him to come to know it as intimately as we already did. It took him all of a couple of minutes. No surprise there given that hubby of mine or their dad.

Hubby & I also purposed that we were not spending more than $200 tops on all gifts that we would buy. We didn't even spend that much. Instead of things, we gave time and ourselves. The boys picked out a few gifts to give to family members but the real gifts were the ones with much larger price tags as seen through other eyes.

Austin made his only girl cousin (Ms. Julia - the princess - my brother Kelly's daughter) an invitation to a tea party. She just beamed from ear to ear as he read it to her. Watching the two of them sipping out of the those cups with Austin listening to her every word and then answering her back in his funny British accent - Hallmark could not have written it any better. He also played football with his brother Travis, Uncle Kelly, Jordan (Kelly & Michelle's oldest son), and Joshua (their middle child). Austin is not a football player. He gave it up in 7th grade due to health issues at the time. They laughed... more than a ball was caught.

We spent much time playing board and card games with my brother's family. As a part of tradition - they spend Christmas Eve at the place we currently live - my mother's house. We were happy to serve the whole household for the time they were here. Cooking and sharing stories of days gone by when Daddy was with us too. We laughed and many tickles were given. By the time my brother and his family left - he said to me, "You know - you guys spent next to nothing and yet we could not have had a better Christmas!" Music to our hearts.

My in-laws came the next Sunday. We spent time together eating and sharing the latest in our lives. We hung out and laughed and really had such a sweet time being together even though it wasn't for long. My mother-in-law had been in the hospital just days before. Praise the Lord she didn't have the massive heart attack the doctors were expecting her to. What a gift for sure! Little did we know what else was to come...

It seems the extended Gravley family were being more touched by our lives than we had even come close to realizing. Needless to say - gifts were given to us that still make our eyes fill with tears at the thought of. Gifts that could have only been orchestrated by One. Our gifts to them apparently was/is how we live life's moments. Still leaves me dumbfounded frankly.

Christmas is continuing on. It is alive tonight just as much as on December 24th or 25th. For the Christmas I am talking about is not one that world says you must go in debt to obtain or that disappears as fast as those cookies on a plate for Santa that parents or grandparents eat.

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for. And yes, they were dangerous!