This Christmas we’ve had an opportunity that no one ever prays for. But I’m thankful that we got it.
Simply put...we were just plain old short on money. Now it’s not like we are in the same situation that a lot of people are in across the country. The cupboards and freezer are full of food, we are not at risk of losing our house, we have 2 working vehicles and the 6 of us are for most part healthy.
Over the last 15 years, I can’t remember a Christmas holiday where we weren’t working for some kind of ministry or church.
And this year, we had big plans to have some meetings about some new ventures.
But here’s what happened...
Payments from businesses came late, reimbursements from some organizations that we’d worked for never came at all, and by the middle of December we just didn’t have any money to pay for gas to even go to church.
It was then that God reminded us that we had never spent a Christmas at home at our house with our family...just being us. We then made the decision to not go anywhere, but to simply stay at home and together as a family learn what Christmas is really all about. So, the plans were made that instead of buying presents, with money we didn’t have, we would make presents together for each other and those we love, with the resources that God provided.
On Thursday, December 15th, knowing that we had no money to get to church for the kids’ Christmas program on Sunday, we knew that we had to go to church for worship practice. It sure didn’t make sense to go to church that night...but we knew we had to go. We ended up having a very long talk with our pastor about everything that was going on and walked away knowing deep down inside that everything was going to be ok.
And that’s when it started...
Friday, December 16th, 11:30AM. Got the mail. In it...a couple Christmas cards and a check that was a month early from a client. Now we have money for gas and utility bills.
Sunday, Dec. 18th. Went to church. It was definitely a good day. The kids’ Christmas program was priceless!
Monday, Dec. 19th. Got the mail today. More Christmas cards...and the rebate check from our new furnace we had to buy last month. Money for a few needed things and the ability to give a Walmart gift card to another family in need.
Tuesday, Dec. 20th. 7AM. We’ve got a business loan payment due today. Better get that done. Look at bank website. Cool! An unexpected gift! Plenty to pay that loan payment! 11:30AM. Get the mail. Another nice pile of Christmas cards. Fun to read! Read 1 card and see that this certain friend’s extended family decided to lump their Christmas gifts together and gave us a rather sizable check! Really!! I can hardly see thru my tears! God is opening doors that will give our family the opportunity to give to others.
Wednesday, Dec. 21st. Today we had to go to Bismarck for business supplies. We also got a call from a friend to stop by since we were in town to get our Christmas card. When we opened it, there was yet another monetary gift. It’s kinda getting crazy now!
Saturday, Dec. 24th. It’s Christmas Eve. I got a visit from a friend who left a Christmas treat for me with a Christmas card that had enough money in it to cover the last expenses we had for December.
And so it was, we as a family cooked, baked and created Christmas treats, made gifts and decorations. We were blessed with the opportunity to share Christmas with people who had recently lost loved ones, who were without jobs, people who were missing family and with those we love and some that we’d never met before.
This Christmas showed our family that one of the best gifts of all, is to NOT get what you are expecting.