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Why I don’t give My Kids Christmas Presents and What I Do Instead!

I remember it vividly. The 9.5ft tall Christmas tree filling up the living room with sparkly presents stacked so high around it that half of it seemed buried. At the time I was the oldest with 7 foster kids younger than me, and the 2nd youngest of my 8 biological siblings. There were a lot of us, but even at 17 years old I sat looking at the tree and wondered how many of those prettily wrapped up packages would be for me. When the much anticipated Christmas morning came I was as excited as the younger kids. My mom was the BEST present giver ever, and I couldn’t wait to see what surprises awaited me.

I remember opening gift after gift, delighted with each new one, but eager for the next. When the tree was empty I secretly looked around it searching for any lost presents with my name on them that might have been missed underneath the mess of wrapping paper, disappointment filling me when I couldn’t find any. 

The first few years Eric and I were married we did what everyone else does. Got ready for Christmas by executing carefully thought out gifts for our little girls. It was fun to be the mom and to do all the shopping for Christmas, but I also remember a lot of late nights and stress over how to provide the perfect gift, not only for each other but for the kids as well. It seemed like the more Christmases that went by the less I was thinking about the baby Jesus and the more I was thinking about how to create the perfect experience for baby Proffitt’s. 

On our kids 3rd or 4th Christmas together,  we decided together that there must be another way to do Christmas that helped keep our little family focused on the Savior, but that would still provide a magical experience we both loved from our own childhoods. After much prayer and debate, we kindly asked our extended family not to give presents to our kids, and we also agreed not to buy anything ourselves.

That first year we decided not to give gifts, Christmas morning was a total failure. We still hung stockings and we told the kids that all of us have Christmas Angels in our lives.

The Christmas Angel is anyone that loves you.

It could be your mom, or grandma, or even a neighbour down the road.

The thing that our Christmas Angel has in common with all other Christmas Angels is that they love us and want to bring a little magic into our lives. 

It was easy than to tell the kids that it was the Christmas angel that filled up their stockings that morning. But after we had opened stockings we didn’t really have anything else planned. While other families were excitedly cleaning up their houses to get it ready for present opening we were looking through the stockings, hoping we’d missed something. While other families were unwrapping, and playing with their new toys, we were sorta hanging out at home doing nothing. I had envisioned us just sitting around in a circle talking about Jesus all day, and thought that somehow that would have been exciting for the kids!

Analaea celebrates her 3rd Christmas

Although I was terribly disappointed, with vision vs reality, I knew there had to be a better way. I had thought it would be enough to take away presents and suddenly everyone in the family would become focused on the Savior, but I was wrong! If anything it made the focus on the Savior non-existent as the kids felt sad, lonely and really let down.

As Eric and I lay in bed that night we reflected on what we could have done better. We realised that if we were going take something as big as Christmas presents away from the kids, we needed to have something pretty fantastic to replace it with. And so over the years we began slowly creating our perfect Christmas Day, making sure it was filled with traditions that were meaningful, fun, memorable AND that helped us turn our hearts and minds to Jesus Christ. Today, 15 years later, here is a list of what we do to Celebrate Christmas starting from December 1. 

CHRISTMAS BOOKS

At the beginning of December I always get my favorite Christmas stories and wrap them up under the Christmas tree. You might remember that I don’t give my kids presents on Christmas morning, however, I do like giving presents I just don’t want it to eclipse the real meaning of Christmas. So If there is something I really want my kids to have that will ADD to the spirit (the real spirit) of Christmas than I wrap it up early and leave a little note from the Christmas Angel under the tree. A few new picture Books about Jesus definitely qualify as adding to the spirit of Christmas.

CHRISTMAS TREE

As soon as December  rolls around we are eager to find a lovely scented pine to adorn the center of our home.  We usually bundle up the children and tromp through the nearby community pasture in search of the perfect tree. The snow is deep and more often than not we end up getting stuck, but it’s all worth it when we strap that beauty to the top of the car and bring it home.

My husband and brother loading up the ugliest tree, they’ve ever brought home!

Somehow the trees seems to look better in the forest than they do when we get home, but isn’t that just like me in some ways? If someone was to strip away all the surroundings of my life, my friends, my family, my lovely house and nice car, would I look as beautiful? I think not, but it is in those imperfections that we find room for Christ, He is the great Jehovah who can make up the difference.  And so as I adorn my tree each year, I think of Christ and how because of Him we are made whole, perfect and eventually presentable to God.

The decorating of the Christmas tree is a special event in our home and over the years we have made a conscience effort to create a tree that reminds us of all things Christ. Here are some of the decorations I put on our tree this year and why:

STARS- To represent the Star that led the wisemen and shepherds to the Christ Child

DOVES- To represent the Peace that Jesus brings to our hearts when we let Him in

BIRDS- To represent the Freedom that Jesus will bring when He comes again

ANGELS- The scriptures are full of references to Angels spreading God’s word

BABY IN A MANGER

CROWNS- To remind us that He is king

PINECONES- Or anything nature to remind us that He was the CREATOR of all things

KEYS- To remind us that God has the Key to all power

HEARTS- To remind us why He died for us- “For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believeth shall not perish but have everlasting life”

CHRISTMAS MUSIC

Music has a great power to influence the feeling in a home and in a heart, which is why songs about Santa, and Snowflakes aren’t top of my list songs for a Christmas playlist. When I play Christmas music, I want it to be deliberate, extraordinary and add to the spirit in our home by delivering a powerful message about Jesus Christ.  That doesn’t mean that Santa and Snowflakes don’t sneak in every so often, but by and large our Christmas playlist is comprised of songs that testify of Jesus Christ.

We have a really lovely playlist on Spotify that has lots of the old classic Christmas carols and but mostly includes beautiful songs that talk about the Savior and not Santa. Here is a list of some of our favorite Christmas Albums:

  • Josh Groban- Noel
  • Pentatonix
  • Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square
  • Susan Boyle
  • Vienna Boys Choir
  • 4 Tenors
  • David Archuleta- David
  • Celtic Woman-A Christmas Celebration
  • Charlotte Church- Dream a Dream
  • Jackie Evancho- Dream With Me
  • Susan Boyle- The Gift

SECRET SANTA

We spend a lot of time doing secret Santa to our friends and neighbours throughout the month of December. We wrap up packages of books, or treats, or hot chocolate and drop it off. We ring the doorbell and hide, and the kids always get caught and the chase is exciting 🙂

CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES

We fill December with Christmas Activities such as: Skating, sledding, skiing, singing, reading Christmas stories around the fire, drinking hot chocolate, & decorating gingerbread houses.

Decorating gingerbread houses

CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONALS

We often have a Christmas devotional each night of the month leading up to Christmas. Usually I’ll prepare a treat, like hot chocolate, and then we’ll sit around the tree and read something inspirational. The kids are allowed to invite their friends to join us for these devotionals. 


I love the devotional packages that I can buy HERE which is filled with sweet stories, songs and easy activities.

LIGHT THE WORLD

Lighting the world with our cousins

We try to do a ‘Light the World’ act of service or love each day in December and can find the calendar for these activities online HERE.

CHRISTMAS CAROLLING

We love to sing to our neighbors, the old folks homes, and the people at the hospital. Often I give the kids electric candles and we bring them while singing. It makes it feel special. 

CHRISTMAS EVE

Acting out the nativity with our friends in Vanuatu

ACTING OUT THE NATIVITY: Christmas Eve is a special night for us no matter where we are in the world. My favorite family tradition of Christmas has got to be acting out the nativity play on Christmas Eve.

We Buy a pre-recorded version of the Nativity play HERE and the kids all dress up.

It’s normally $9.99 but there is always a sale in December for $4.99

It’s usually noisy, and fun, and instantly reminds us what all this fuss is really about. It’s also something that I video tape and which gives us lasting memories 🙂

GRATITUDE CEREMONY: If we are alone, we go around in a circle, each of us holding an unlit candle. We take turns saying something that we are grateful for and as we do we light our candles one by one.

Doing our gratitude ceremony

SINGING: We make sure everyone has had something to eat and then we bundle up warm and go out singing to people. We sing to our neighbors, friends stuck at home, people we miss at church, people we love, people who are in hospital and anyone that comes to mind! It’s one of our favorite things to do, and we never put a time limit on our activity. As long as the kids are still having fun we keep going.

Singing to people we love


FEASTING: Finally it’s time to go home. We either go home and have a huge feast of yummy food that I’ve prepared before hand or we go to a friend or family members house and feast with them.

Feasting

HANG OUR STOCKINGS: Lastly, right before bed we hang our stockings.

CHRISTMAS DAY

When we lived on the other side of the world, and the only Christmas tree we could buy, cost us a fortune and the only thing we had to decorate it with was some tropical flowers 🙂

After celebrating Christ every day in December, I am always the most excited about Christmas Day.

By now our family has immersed ourselves in trying to think about, become like, and follow Jesus Christ and this is the day where you really feel HIS spirit in your homes and hearts.

STOCKINGS: Christmas Day the kids wake up and we open the stockings together. Since this is the only present they will open we like to all be there. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS: After stockings we invite a family over to celebrate Jesus’s Birthday Breakfast. We have a fancy cake with birthday candles in it and Eric makes us a delicious feast that we eat together after singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. 

WARTIME: After the breakfast we have a war of some kind (nerf gun war, silly string war, elastic war) This has nothing to do with Jesus, but the kids really like it!

CHRISTMAS SCAVENGER HUNT: Next we go on our Christmas Scavenger hunt- we have a pile of 25 pre-wrapped gifts and we always invite 2 or 3 families to join us. We drive around town doing the acts of service or giving out the gifts that are written on our lists.

Download the FULL printable Christmas Scavenger Hunt lists for Free HERE

Download the FULL printable lists HERE

LUNCH: After the Christmas scavenger hunt we come home for lunch. 

VISITING: After lunch we  bundle up again and go and sing and visit people. Sometimes we start visiting at 12 in the afternoon and don’t come home till 11 at night. There are no schedules or rules, we just know that It’s our time to connect with those that might be lonely or sad, or that we love. 

We skip Christmas dinner, although, many times while we are visiting people they invite us in and we eat with them. This is our favorite part of Christmas. It takes some courage to knock on peoples doors and just visit, but it’s always rewarding. 

Christmas night we come home, our bodies exhausted, but our hearts full. 

I have found that the best way to make Christmas special is by making sure we include good food, good friends, and service into all our activities. 

HOW THE KIDS FEEL

This is what some of our kids have to say about Christmas time in our home. 

For Christmas growing up we would wake up at the crack of dawn to open up our stockings that the Christmas angel would fill up for us then we would have a big breakfast with my 11 cousins. The house was bursting with people, so you can imagine how loud it got! With the smells of breakfast that dad was cooking in the kitchen, and the spirit of Christmas in the air, it was a very festive place.

After we had eaten our breakfast, we’d get all bundled up and go out with this Christmas Scavenger hunt basket full of things that mom had prepared beforehand. We would drive around town giving out hot chocolate and shovel driveways and of course sing to our old friends.

As a kid I used to wish that I could have a normal Christmas where Santa would come and bring us a lots of presents, and all we did was play with our gifts all day.

Now that I’m a bit older, I have learned that the true Christmas spirit is about family and service, and even though we never got worldly gifts we were gifted with the special feeling of having family and being able to serve others. I will always remember Christmas time as a beautiful time in my family

– Lizzie 17 years old

I remember one particular year when I was sitting in circle with the other members of my class. These were boys and girls my age, most of which I still felt uncomfortable around. The teacher asked us to take turns going around and telling what we got for Christmas. I was about 13, and was still in the midst of the great struggle of growing up. The kids started telling the wonderful things they had received. One of the boys announced casually that he had been given a brand new iphone.

I was super jealous, and started feeling self conscious, wondering what I was going to say. When it finally got to be my turn, I shyly admitted that I hadn’t received anything for Christmas. It was so embarrassing. My face went red and I remember this awkward silence that came over the group as they tried to act like that was totally normal. In this moment, I just wished so badly that I could have been like everybody else. But my parents never were, like everybody else!

There were definitely times I wished we could have had presents, mostly that is until we started doing service for Christmas. It meant so much to all of us that we were in a position to do the Christmas scavenger hunt and join with other families in doing service activities for other people. It became a tradition we looked forward to year after year. I wondered at first why my mom would spend money buying gifts and gas cards to give to other people instead of just giving her own kids gifts, but eventually I figured it out.

Something happened when I was busy serving, I was no longer thinking of myself, and the presents were the last thing on my mind because they weren’t what mattered.

The true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with the presents, and I’m although it was difficult to understand when I was younger, I’m so grateful that I’ve had the chance to realize that now.

-Analaea 19 years old

We have been doing this for 15 years, and our kids really love it. Yes they ask why we don’t do Christmas presents, and I always tell them, because Christmas is about Jesus and not us. And they get it, and even the little guys are happy. There is no financial stress around Christmas time, even with our big family, and our entire month is rich with traditions, and fun that the kids look forward to all year.

This is the day, that your heart is filled with gratitude because of the blessings and sacrifices that our Savior made for us. On this day, you know what the true meaning of Christmas really is and why it feels so good to celebrate it simply and beautifully. You don’t miss the tinsel, or the presents, because HIS presence is so strong in your home and it fills you up!

I’d love to know what your favorite Christ-Centered Family Christmas Traditions are, or if you’ve ever tried doing Christmas without presents!

Carbon Dioxide & The Bread of Life

Early this morning our little troop of students showed up to learn about Carbon Dioxide and Jesus- the Bread of Life.

Our newly baked loaf of bread was the perfect object to keep the kids interested

First we started by talking about different chemicals, & chemical reactions.

The kids blew into their bowls to see how big the bubbles could go

I gave them each an empty bowl and had the following ingredients available:

  • Hot Water
  • Food coloring
  • Dish soap
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Citric Acid
  • Straws

We took turns combining chemicals to see what the chemical reactions were with each one. These are some of the things we talked about:

WE ARE SCIENTISTS: During these activities we get to think and act like real scientists. We are going to compare things, ask questions and make observations using our senses.

BAKING SODA: Did you know? A long time ago people used baking soda to help their bread dough rise? They also used it just like we use soap today. Baking soda is used in lots of foods that we eat. It’s also used to clean space ships!

CITRIC ACID: Did you know that citric acid is a substance that is found in lots of fruits and vegetables. You can find it in lemons and oranges and other citrus foods. All acids taste sour, so if you were to taste citric acid it also would be sour. Citric acid is edible, and used in food, so that’s why it’s okay to taste it, but other acids can kill you or burn your throat if you taste them or EVEN TOUCH THEM!

CARBON DIOXIDE: The fizz that is created when we combine these items is called Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas found in our atmosphere. Its chemical formula is CO2, which means it is one carbon atom bonded to two oxygen atoms. It is a waste product in our bodies and is also produced by burning fossil fuels.

YEAST: Yeast is the thing that make bread dough rise. Yeast is alive all around us in the soil, in the plants and even in the air. Yeast needs sugar to feed it and warm water to make it wake up.

They got to choose several different elements and combine them together to see what they could make, or what chemical reactions they could observe.

So while we were mixing and talking about all these different things we also took a ziploc bag with warm water, some sugar and some yeast in it and sealed it. We wanted to see what was going to happen to our bag when the yeast ate the sugar.

Flat bag of yeast

We also started a loaf of bread. We talked about How Jesus is the Bread of Life. And it’s because of Him that we can be forgiven of our sins and become perfect like him.

The kids were HAVING SO MUCH FUN mixing their potions and learning from the science experiments. This part lasted at least an hour before I told them we need to clean up. Once we had, I put the bread in the oven and took the kids into the other room to watch some movies.

We watched THESE MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

After the bread had finished baking, we checked on our ziploc bag to see what had happened. This is what we found!

Our bag of yeast after one hour!

I explained that as the yeast ate the sugar, it created a gas which was carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide made the bag blow up and feel tight. I was going to throw it away, but of course the kids wanted to wait until it exploded on it’s own!

Once all our things were cleaned up we ate the bread and read stories in the sunshine!

Time to share the bread 🙂

Rocks, Crystals & Jesus

Hello! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by! Today I’m going to share my lesson plan for Rocks, Minerals & Jesus. As you know, I like to bring in my faith to every lesson I teach to my kids. This is just ONE of the many reasons that I LOVE TO HOME-SCHOOL!

It was so cold and slippery out that even the school bus decided to stay home this morning. There was a cold blizzard blowing and I thought nobody would show up, but I was wrong! What it really meant was that we were delighted with lots of extra visitors. Anaya was glad because she doesn’t like being the only girl at my home school classes 🙂

Today was a perfect homeschooling day. I spent the morning gathering all the supplies that I have been collecting to start teaching the kids about 🌑 Rocks, Minerals and 💎 Crystals.

As soon as the kids saw the table covered in our precious rock collection, including diamonds and fools gold, they were pretty excited!

We spent at least an hour reading a million books about gemstones, and rocks and how they are formed. I had just been collecting books on gemstones from the thrift store since I decided to teach this lesson last week.

Whenever I’m doing my cleanup or preparation for the next activity, I put on YouTube movies so the kids can watch movies on how rocks are formed. Today we watched these ones:

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeuYx-AbZdo

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsIHV__voMk

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVy3dzLSMLg

After the movies, I sent all the kids on a rock hunt.

I printed out THIS rock identification table, and once the kids came in with the different rocks they had found we spent some time trying to match them up with what we saw on our table. I was completely amazed at how many rocks we actually found that were on the chart, just from searching outside!

After all of that we did some watercolor paintings of our jewels.

While they were painting I led them into a discussion about the apostle Peter and Jesus Christ.

I read this scripture from Mathew 16:18

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Our Lord then declared to him: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”

I asked what would happen if the wind blew on grass, or a strong mountain. Obviously the grass would bend but the mountain would not. When we build our testimonies on JESUS CHRIST it’s the same as building our testimony on a rock. It’s strong and unmovable.

I love 😍 it when I can share my faith with these eager, and attentive kids. I think it really means a lot to them to be able to learn in such natural and normal ways, and I’m so glad that we are doing this together at home!

Peter P. brought his microscope so we were happy to check out all our rocks and crystals. It was super awesome, and we could even see the crystal formations in our pink Himalayan salt as well as our sugar. The best looking rock was our pyrite, or fools gold.

I love this little microscope because it’s super affordable, but really does a good job of magnifying things. Peter bought from discovery toys.

Afterwards we made Geode cookies with real glass candy crystals for our rocks, minerals & crystal lesson plan!

The older girls did some water color and we delivered some of the extra cookies to our neighbor who helped us the other day.

RECIPE FOR SUGAR COOKIES

  • 1 cup of Soft butter
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 3/4 white flour

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together butter, sugar and egg. Add vanilla, and then add baking powder & flour until everything is light and fluffy. Cook for 7-10 minutes.

RECIPE FOR ICING

  • 3 cups powder sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Mix everything together with a mixer until it’s fluffy.

We first spread the icing over top of the cookies and then put them in the microwave for 10 seconds so they went really nice and smooth. Afterwards we used food coloring in a paint tray to paint our cookies and then we decorated it with the glass candy that we made.

How to make edible glass candy

RECIPE FOR GLASS CANDY

  • 1 1/2 cups of corn syrup
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 1/2 cups of sugar
  • Once hardened you can just crack it with a fork or spoon by hitting it into desired size of pieces.  Once it is sufficiently hardened and cool to the touch, just crack it with the back of a spoon or hammer 🙂

Mix everything together in a pot over the stove and stir it until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved and it starts to boil then DON’T stir! Leave it for 10-15 minutes until it’s a light caramel color or comes to 300 degrees if you have a candy thermometer.

We pretty much had the best time ever learning about Rocks, Crystals and Jesus!

Plus our house is now full of pretty cookies, pretty, candies, pretty watercolors and a lot of happy kids!

Leave a comment, and tell me how you relate Rocks, Crystals & Minerals to Jesus 🙂

xoxo

Beckyboo

A lesson I learned from a seashell

The wave crashed up washing black sand and frothy sea foam onto my bare feet and with it came a little white shell. I bent down and picked  it up. Inspecting it carefully, I turned it around and around and then tried to return it into the ocean where it belonged. Rather than throwing it back I found myself whispering ‘just one more’ and guiltily stuffing it into my pockets.

I laughed aloud at myself. Every. Single. Time. I saw a shell or a sparkly bit of sea-glass I felt compelled to pick it up. IT’s like I was remembering my childhood and hadn’t yet grown out of the habit of trying to keep pretty things. In fact my own collection of seashells which sat neglected on the countertop at home, was bigger than both my other sea collecting daughters pile. This  obsession was becoming a problem and I’d have to stop soon!

My kids who were ahead me on our walk came running back with their hands full of large dirty and broken seashells that they had found at a burnt out fire-pit. They were the huge snail shells that the locals would catch when the tide was out and roast over the fire for dinner. I remembered clearly not too many nights ago when Eric and I had heard noises outside and gone with our flashlights and machetes to investigate.

We found a group of grown men squatted around a fire, laughing and joking. Eric and I were so entranced by their meal and methods had ended up staying and swapping stories until late into the night. When their rice was finally cooked in the heavy pot they had positioned overtop the fire, more men startled us both by seemingly appearing out of nowhere and throwing down their evenings haul. They had been out night diving and they had collected  one small fish and 5 large snails. This would make the perfect meal they told us with a grin.

We sat for hours visiting and watching as they taught us all the best ways to prepare snails and fish and rice. And then sometime after 10pm when their meal was finally cooked they divided it all up equally amongst themselves and dug in with their hands. Juicy snail water dripping off their fingers and contented smiles on their messy faces they offered us some of the food, but we declined.

My mind jolted back to the present and I looked at the shells in the kids hands. They were ugly, brown, and burnt from the fire. But as I turned one around I saw a hint of mother of pearl. I Remembered back to my old childhood days on the islands when I would bring shells to my father and as if by some kind of voodoo he would transform them into something so breathtaking I was sure it had been made by magic or mermaids. There was mother of pearl in these shells, I was sure of it.

I excitedly told the kids that we were going to do a science experiment. I had seen a bottle of Muriatic acid in the old shipping container out back and was sure it would do the trick.  They had no idea what I was planning but I bossed them around telling them to get bowls and gloves and glasses and shells and water. We set everything out on the table and filled up the first bowl with the strong acid. Careful not to splash we gently set the dirty shells into the clear liquid. Immediately it started to bubble attacking the impurities and eating away the calcium coating.  Only minutes passed before their hidden treasure started to show itself.   Layers of Calcium Carbonate which had taken years to create, quickly dissolved and in it’s place was an iridescent shimmery shell that looked incredibly more beautiful and valuable than anything the children had ever seen.  They were mesmerised by the transformation and began asking so many questions. Where had it come from? Why was it covered up? How did I know it was there?

I was having a proud mamma moment at having successfully impressed my kids as well as nephews when I realized that God had his own message He was trying to tell me.

I excitedly told the kids that we were going to do a science experiment. I had seen a bottle of Muriatic acid in the old shipping container out back and hoped it would do the trick.  They had no idea what I was planning but I bossed them around telling them to get bowls and gloves and glasses and shells and water. We set everything out on the table and filled up the first bowl with the strong acid. Careful not to splash we gently set the dirty shells into the clear liquid. Immediately it started to bubble attacking the impurities and eating away the calcium coating.  Only minutes passed before their hidden treasure started to show itself.   Layers of Calcium Carbonate which had taken years to create, quickly dissolved and in it’s place was an iridescent shimmery shell that looked incredibly more beautiful and valuable than anything the children had ever seen.  They were mesmerised by the transformation and began asking so many questions. Where had it come from? Why was it covered up? How did I know it was there?

I was having a proud mamma moment at having successfully impressed my kids as well as nephews when I realized that God had his own message He was trying to tell me.

I grabbed my scriptures and started flipping the pages. I remembered reading about this somewhere. The book fell open to Joshua 3: 5

And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you. 

I read another scripture:

The Savior said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. “Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;“Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Image Credit: Wikipedia

The mother of pearl had always been inside that shell. It took a process that I am sure would have been painful to that shell if it had feelings to feel. But it was worth it! It’s light was shining. I want to be like that shell, broken and covered in sin and sorrow but humble enough to turn my life over to He who can heal. He who can make whole. He who can erase my sins and make me new again, even Jesus Christ.