This Christmas Eve day seemed to be like most others- we celebrated Shelby's 13th birthday, prepared for Christmas lunch since we were hosting this year, and other typical activities for the day before Christmas. However, this Christmas Eve ended up being a day that I will never forget and not just because I became a mom to my first teenager :) I share this story in hopes that you will be encouraged and inspired.
The doorbell rang around 3:30, and I couldn't imagine who it was since grandparents and aunts and uncles had already visited Shelby on her special day. I opened the door to find a friend, her parents, and her sister-n-law along with their husbands and children. I asked if they were carolers, and her mom began to sing but then explained that they did not come as carolers. Feeling very curious at that point, I listened carefully as my friend's sister-n-law began to speak. She explained that each year they forgo giving gifts to each other so that they can bless someone in need. She proceeded to say that after reading our blog and learning of our fundraising efforts to help bring Hudson home, the 3 families decided that they wanted to bless us this Christmas with a monetary gift for "Hudson's Adoption Fund". I was in tears by this point as were all 3 of the women. I was . . . speechless. . shocked. . .amazed. . could this really be happening to me??? I have read where other adoptive families have been blessed in similar ways, but I truly never expected it to happen to our family. Quickly I began to offer my sincere gratitude for their kindness and generosity. What a blessing. . . what a wonderful feeling to be the recipient of such love- the love of Christ displayed through the thoughtfulness of others. I truly felt God's presence at my front door.
David was inside as his brother and family were visiting Shelby for her birthday. We all met inside our foyer and began to open the envelopes. There were 3 beautiful Christmas cards with such encouraging sentiments written inside. The children were doing the math as I was trying to compose myself. . .as the children said the total out loud, I began to cry joyful tears again. How could this be? I honestly do not recall another time in my life where I have received such a wonderful gift in a most unexpected and surprising way. A gift given from the hearts of 3 families who love the Lord and who obviously believe that it is truly better to give than to receive. Praise His name.
As I reflected on this gift and its perfect timing- the day before Christmas, I thought of a baby in a manger. . . another gift that was undeserved, a gift that took many by surprise although it had been prophesied for thousands of years, a gift that could not be repaid. I'm so thankful to call Him my Lord and my Saviour and so thankful that He chose to lay our family on the hearts of these 3 families this Christmas. I am so thankful to have truly seen the love of Christ right here on this earth. . .in fact right at my own front door. Thank you to 3 very special families who touched our lives this Christmas in a most unforgettable way. Thank you for encouraging me when I desperately needed it. . .thank you for loving and giving straight from your hearts. . . thank you for following your hearts as you heard Him call. . .thank you for inspiring me.
Inspired, yes, David and I are inspired to "do" Christmas differently next year. I know what a difference this gift made in my heart, in my life, and in the hearts of my husband and children. We want to ring some one's doorbell next Christmas season and truly touch a life in a most unexpected and unforgettable way. Would you join us in prayerfully considering how God would want you to "do" Christmas next year? There has to be a better way than giving "stuff" to people who really have enough "stuff" and who have enough $$$$ to buy the "stuff" they want in the first place. How about a family pooling their resources together, giving a gift, and showing the love of Christ to someone in need. . . a single mother, a widow, an adoptive family, a family struggling to make ends meet. The needs are plentiful, but I am afraid that the workers are few.
"What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him '"Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed, " but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." James 2:14-17