Thankfulness and Things – Christine Barker

God sets the lonely in families… Psalm 68:6

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My heart is so full after What in the World weekend.  Hearing what God is up to around the world coupled with reading all of the blog posts about thankfulness my emotions are overflowing.  Of course we have so much to be thankful for and it is always an encouragement to us when we hear of people who have lost everything they own still being thankful.  To hear of the women forming new communities in the refugee camps is a powerful example of the love God has put in us for each other.

Others have written beautifully about being thankful for the little things, being thankful for community and the people in our lives.  I have been pondering on the things I have that remind me of my community and my people.  I am thankful to have little mementos of people in my family who are now in heaven.  My mother was so sweet to bring me my grandmother’s steel crochet hooks and her snowflake patterns.  I have the snowflakes she made for me to hang on the tree every Christmas. My husband gave me earrings and a necklace his mother wore.   I still have the gold earrings his mother gave me when we were just dating.  I cherish a picture of my 11 year old self dancing with my grandpa at my aunt’s wedding.   As I look around my home I can count on one hand the items we purchased ourselves and am thankful for the outpouring of love represented in each gift that stands there. They are little things.  They are material things that don’t last forever, but they make my life richer as the help me remember and be thankful for the people God has put in my life.

These are all things a child in foster care does not get to experience.  Like the women in the Middle East everything they own, everything familiar is taken away from them when they are moved from place to place.  To have something made especially for them is unheard of.  Material things take on new meaning when nothing belongs to you.  When they age out of the foster care system they have to find a community to belong to.  One of the many things I like about Royal Family is that it has been address this problem since 1985, long before it was in fashion to be concerned about foster kids.  Often times things the kids are given at camp are the only possessions they still have when they age out of the system.

If you would like an opportunity to give a meaningful gift, Deniese Jaskulsky is organizing the making of handmade crocheted (or knitted) blankets to be donated to Royal Family Kids Camp.  For more information she can be reached at necie@jakulsky.com. (If you have no desire to learn to crochet but wish to be a part of it donations of yarn are gladly accepted, ask Deniese for details before you purchase).

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