I know that the Christmas season has passed, but I just have to share the joy of what our amazing God did for our family in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Shortly after Thanksgiving, we had a conversation with the kids about how this Christmas was going to be different than what they might be expecting due to Rich's unemployment. They would not be getting the big expensive gift that they really wanted. It wasn't going to be financially possible. We talked about the importance of still travelling to spend the week with extended family in Georgia. It was something we were all looking forward to and knew that it was what we all really wanted for Christmas. With the help of a generous friend we knew the travel expenses would be taken care of. The kids made new lists of smaller items that they were wanting or needing. We were praying and asking God to provide the money needed to pay the bills, put gas in the vehicles and buy groceries. We were trusting Him to provide and He did!!
While waiting for unemployment to be processed, the swim & diving team that Rich helps coach collected money to give to the coaches for Christmas. Rich was given the exact amount that I regularly spend on groceries each week. Then two different families blessed us by purchasing brand new basketball shoes for two of the kids for Upward. And that was just the beginning. A few days later a friend from church handed us a Christmas card and said "Merry Christmas". Upon opening the card later that evening we were surprised by what we found.....a very generous cash gift. A few days later I received my paycheck for my independent contracting work. The company had paid me earlier than normal for several jobs, which made my check larger than expected. But God wasn't done yet. Three days before Christmas....the day we were leaving for Georgia....another friend from church gave us small gift bags full of gift cards for various locations. At this point, we were realizing that God was not just providing for our household needs but also for the wants of our children.
Christmas morning was such a special time for our family. Before joining my extended family to open gifts, we took some time with just the 6 of us. We did not want the opportunity to tell about God's amazing love to get lost in the chaos. After they opened their gift, they all had basically the same question "How?". We proceeded to share with them exactly how God had provided the money to pay the household expenses, the travel expenses and even provided more than enough to purchase the gifts they wanted. That morning made a huge impact on my children and their understanding of how much God cares about EVERYTHING in our lives. They were able to see several verses of the Bible come to life in practical ways in their own lives. And to this mom, that is the best Christmas gift of all!!!!
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:4-7
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.