I believe everyone has something to give. Something we do best.

This is at the core of what we teach our girls at My Refuge House. It is also at the core of my own personal parenting philosophy.

Even as the Christmas Season picks up pace and my to-do list grows, I find myself reflecting on the past year and my ongoing quest to discover, nurture, and give my best…and to encourage others to do the same. It is a radical and transformational journey.

One of my earliest memories is feeling excited for Christmas, but not for the standard little-kid-loves-Santa reason. I was fascinated by my family’s record player.

Because we mainly had Christmas albums, Christmas was also record player season.

My favorite LP (cover pictured above) was The Little Drummer Boy, and I listened to the title song over and over and over. The song still gets me right in the feels.

If you are unfamiliar with the song, it tells a rather simple yet profound story. A little boy is on his way with some other people to see Baby Jesus. Everyone else is talking about bringing gifts fit for a king, but this little boy says, “I don’t have anything.” He looks at Jesus and his surroundings, and he realizes that Jesus doesn’t really have anything either. So he says, “I am a poor boy, too, but I’ve got this drum. Shall I play for you?” He ends up playing his drum the best he can [the song doesn’t even say he plays it well, just that he plays his best]. Everyone, including the animals, loves it. In the end, the baby smiles!

I grew up with parents who give their best to others. My father has literally given someone the shoes off his feet and the shirt off his back…more than once. My mother is a retired teacher from my hometown…students still approach her and thank her for believing in and challenging them.

My parents showed me that we are supposed to give our best in any given situation. When we know we aren’t perfect and think we have nothing to give, we do. It could be a smile or eye contact to let another know they are seen. It could be listening to or amplifying the story of someone who has been told they are voiceless. It could be money because it will immediately impact the life of another. It could be playing a drum.

No matter how small, giving our best matters.

I wish all of you a world of Wonder and Joy this Christmas as you discover, nurture, and give your best. I pray you encourage others to do the same. Thank you for you being on this journey with us. Thank you for giving your best.

Much Peace, Heather