It all started back in late October or sometime in early November. Projecting our finances, especially after the demotion at River Grille on The Tomoka, I knew we wouldn't be able to afford our "regular" $10 gift Christmas (giving each person $10 to spend on each other person in our little family). While our norm is really quite reasonable, when you do not have enough coming in, there isn't anything else to go out!
While, in truth, this was at first sort of depressing to me, I came up with a plan that was exciting to me and would include wonderful lessons for our whole family... The plan? To allocate only $50 ($10 each), which would be a stretch but much easier than the alternative, and spend it on gift certificates which we would then give to individuals at the homeless camp near-ish our home. When we discussed this plan as a family, the girls were, at first, sort of disappointed about not getting any presents themselves, but then they caught the vision and were excited about giving to those who need so much more than we. Ria even came up with a plan to have an art show to sell their art work so that they could have more money to buy gifts for those in need. Jess agreed with the plan.
Unbeknownst to me, Jess began to reconsider our family agreement. He was trying to figure out ways he could have gifts to give our girls on Christmas. Then he was fired from RG and he became, it seems to me, even more anxious to provide gifts for the girls even though the way for him to do so in and of ourselves was even more impossible. All this without telling me a thing about his thoughts or feelings.
Then, one day in early December he received a phone call from our midwife. He was out grocery shopping. She told him about an organization that chooses 100 Chef's in the area each year and then provides gifts for theChef's children. (My midwife did not know Jess had been fired from RG.) Jess told me he was in shock when he heard her tell him this and then ask if she could submit wish lists for our girls. He thanked her while on the phone, but the magnitude of the magnitude of the blessing only hit him when he got to his car, where he promptly began to shed tears of gratitude.
He came home and told me all about it. I felt angry at first (because he started by telling me he'd been trying to think of how to get gifts for the girls), but as I listened I became aware of the blessing and miracle. My reaction: "You know this is not about our girls. This is about YOU. This is a gift from Father to YOU for our girls because He knows your heart and the wishes of it and He wants to show you that He loves you and that you are worthy in His sight." I think Jessie heard me this time.... He acknowledged the truthfulness of what I said, at least.
My Ward family (earth angels, in my sight) gave us gift certificates to use at Wal-Mart for the girls. A lot of them.
A really sweet family in our Ward was given dresses (just about the sizes of our daughters), which they wrapped and gave to our girls as well as a matching shirt for Mama. Then, Christmas Eve that same thoughtful family came over to deliver gifts for the girls (2 each, I believe, plus a few gifts for all three)! A whole family of earth angels, that!
So, our Christmas Tree, when we moved all the gifts to places around it, was so very FULL of gifts.... More full than any Christmas I can remember from my childhood... and I have 5 siblings! More full than any Christmas Jess can recall (though he does have only one sib). The only "match" for this Christmas is the Christmas Jessie's sister Anni visited and my sweet, dear friend Heather came to deliver more than 3 large black garbage bags full of presents for our family on Christmas Eve back in 2008 (I think).... We are so very blessed!!!
Now, some might consider all this story a series of sweet coincidences. Some might write it off to synchronicity. Others might say it's a chance collaboration of unlikely events. Another might say it's luck, or a happy accident, fate, or some other such verbal "write off" of what is REALLY miraculous. You see, to see miracles, I have learned, it takes an Eye of Faith. It requires Spiritual Eyes, which are only ever opened BY Fiath, to see what can not be seen by those who would name away that which is plainly seen through Faith... who would close their eyes to what is real and readily before us, but easily explained away. Yes, it IS easy to explain away! I used to do it. Jess has only recently stopped! But let's call a miracle a miracle and open our dimmed eyes to see the fine threads, invisible without Faith, of Father's awesome plan. Let's see them as they intertwine and combine to create this magnificent tapestry we live, it makes up our lives! God's got it! For sure. Let Go, Let God. He will bring so much more than we can provide, if we'll just WAIT ON THE LORD in ALL things!
And so, seeing with my Spiritual Eyes, opened by Faith, I proclaim that THIS, my friends... this Christmas is for Jessie (as well as our daughters, of course... and for me, too, I'm sure, but I just feel SO much that it's FOR Jessie most of all cause it's the wishes and hopes of HIS heart that was answered upon the heads and into the hearts of our children!). Do you see how the Lord loves him?? And our Father loves us ALL this way!!! Isn't His Love amazing??!!!?? The way our AWESOME God knows the wishes and hopes of our heart and manifests them in the world when we are simply TRYING to live as He would have us do to the best of our ability at any given time!??!!
Our God is a personal God. He knows us as individuals and Loves us no matter what. He knows what we are capeable of right now... as well as what we MAY do in the future if we'll just submit to Him and His knowledge and His guidance and do our best understanding of His Will! And He blesses us so tremendously for our pitiful and puny efforts to be like our Dear Savior, Jesus Christ. I must confess Christ in all things. We are commanded to do so and so I do: This is ALL from Him and we are SO VERY THANKFUL!!! We are so thankful to those who have acted as instruments in His hands to bless our lives, to bring such temporal manifestations of God's Love into our world this Christmas. THANK YOU!!!!
Thank you, God.
Merry MERRY Christmas! I hope His Birthday was a lovely day for you and yours and that some of the wishes and hopes of YOUR heart were manifest in this temporal and saddly fallen world of ours! :)
This is my truth. This is my testimony. And I bear this, my testimony, in the name of our Savior and Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. AMEN!
First Mama. Then Writer. Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Apparently I did not share much on this when I learned it about a year or so ago. I wanted to fix that especially since my Dad showed interest in this particular aspect of the Path Father has had me on in learning things to bring me to Peace (also more completely to Christ who is the only true bestower of Peace, of course).