Marked as Mine

When Jackson first whizzed his new Buzz Lightyear around the living room to infinity and beyond, he quickly went for a Sharpie to carefully write his name on the bottom of Buzz’s space boot.

This was HIS special toy.

Now when he plays with Buzz and Woody, they both bear Jackson’s name, clearly distinguishing who they belong to and are loved by.

Jackson's Buzz Lightyear and Woody toys, marked as his.

Jackson’s Buzz Lightyear and Woody toys, marked as his.

This Valentine’s Day, the romance might be squelched by sick kids or a tight (nonexistent) budget. You might not have a special someone, or are away on travel. Maybe love is in full bloom or heartache is weighing heavy.

You are not alone.

God is right there, in the midst of your day, loving you. Your name is ever on His mind and in His heart. He can see you each time He reaches out His hands with those nail scars. And, as one who has believed in Him, He has given you His name. He has written on your life so that all will know you are His.

You are His. And, He is yours.

Recognize that you belong to God. He redeemed you at such cost. You meant more to Him than His own life.

Let God write on your heart’s tablet of His love and faithfulness this Valentine’s Day. Treasure those etchings on your life that forever mark you as His.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

Proverbs 3:3

Christmas Countdown Day 7: Shhhhhhh!!!!

Our Advent Scripture Passage for Day 7 is Micah 5:2-4.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”

Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth

After we read our Bible verses, I announced what our family activity would be tonight. Jackson was thrilled! We were going Christmas shopping, and he and Lauren would get to pick out gifts for each other. He immediately told me what he thought Lauren should get him: a Buzz Lightyear.

I could see all the toys he wished for dancing in his head as he grinned, but when I told him there would be a price limit for our gifts and that Buzz Lightyear was above that, his smile disappeared. He was frustrated. For him, this family activity was about what he could get, instead of what he could give.

My husband gently began talking with Jackson about why we give gifts at Christmas and that we wanted him to experience the joy of giving to others. Jackson’s attitude began to change as Matt shared this verse with him:

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The kids loved looking down the aisles, of course first gravitating to the toys they wanted. They created quite a stir in the toy section at Walmart when they started screaming with excitement over Angry Birds toys. We split up, girls and boys, and went on the hunt for the perfect gifts for the other. After making their choices, I snuck them up for purchase without either seeing their gifts (score!) and wrapped them in at least five plastic bags so peaking would take some serious effort. (That’s also why there are no photos of them in this post, because it would figure that one of them would see this and the surprise would be ruined.)

Now, we’ll see if either kid can keep a secret!!!