Giving away hard-earned cash at Christmas

Hello all!

 

It’s four days after Christmas, and I hope you’re still experiencing the afterglow of a wonderful celebration. I hope your celebration WAS wonderful…

 

As I reflect on Christmas 2014, I must say that I am quite content with the details. Oh, I’d love to have seen more of our family, but overall, my heart was blessed by the season—and I feel a little more ready to take on a new year.

 

  • We did exactly the amount of decorating we wanted to do—and not a bit more.
  • We took time to drive around and look at Christmas lights—more than once!
  • I got my Hallmark Christmas movies “fix” while playing in the vintage ornaments.
  • We spent time catching up with friends.
  • We shopped for the grandsons online—and avoided the crowds!

 

Those things were all really nice and kept holiday stress from coming in the front door, but

Why am I feeling so hopeful?

 

Because during the Christmas season, Renaissance Man and I experienced something that always energizes us!

We saw people looking beyond themselves… spending hard-earned money to do for others.

 

Sometimes we got in on the fun…

 

Operation Christmas Child at Samaritan’s Purse

Shoe boxes for two little boys—in honor of Little Man and Little Sir

Sam Purse

 

Angel Tree

Two more little boys…

Angel tree

 

Pillowcases for children at the National Children’s Hospital

(Manila, Philippines)

Thank you Kelley for offering Blogland an opportunity to minister … and for being our hands and feet!

I recognize these two pillowcases—and now I have faces to go with my prayers.

pillowcase project

Don’t you love the creative “thank you” note Kelley sent?

 

Another time it was a story my Mom told me…

 

A school nurse, doing routine scoliosis checks at the local small-town Jr. High school, noticed that some of the girls desperately needed new undergarments. Rather than doing nothing, she mentioned it to a friend who helped spread the word. The school’s P.E. teacher passed out slips of paper and told the girls in her classes that some women wanted to provide for them at Christmas. Anyone who wanted to accept the gift simply needed to turn in their information. Out of 125 girls, 24 returned the forms.

 

Over $700 was raised! My Mom and a friend were the lucky ones who, with the help of two Walmart associates (notice the ripple effect?), picked out 2 bras and a pack of panties for every girl on the list—and packaged them up in pretty gift bags to be distributed to the girls. My Daddy, who I’m sure saw the sparkle in Mom’s pretty blue eyes, said it was an “uplifting” experience for all!  🙂

 

BP Xmas

 

But the two that most touched my heart were these acts of generosity done in honor of Renaissance Man and me…

 

Our Christmas present from Daughter the Older:

Gifts for a 14-year-old girl at a youth center for troubled girls

“She was the only one who wanted jewelry and, more importantly, she was the only one whose requests gave me the feeling she was trying to believe in her future. I wanted to make her something beautiful to make that belief a little more tangible.”

Nowell Xmas

 

Our Christmas present from Daughter the Younger, our Favorite Fatigue Wearer, Little Man, and Little Sir:

Angel Tree gifts for two little boys

Angel Tree 2B

Angel Tree 2A

 

Just writing this post brings tears to this mother’s eyes as I recall a time many, many years ago when my girls were 4 and 5. A women’s mission group I attended planned a baby shower for needy mothers. We were to bring new or gently used gifts. Money was tight, and I had nothing to spend on a new gift… and all of our baby things had been given away.

 

I wanted so much to attend the shower, but (pride?) I wouldn’t go empty-handed…

 

For some reason, I told my girls about the party my friends were having for mommies who didn’t have anything for their babies. I said they needed things like diapers and blankets and pajamas. I watched as Daughter the Younger left the room, returning a minute later holding a receiving blanket she used with her dolls. “Mommy, you can give this to the mommies for their babies.” And then Daughter the Older went to her cradle and got another blanket and eagerly said, “Take this one, too!”

 

With a lump in my throat, I watched as God used my daughters to answer my prayer for provision. I’d totally forgotten that when “all” of the baby things were given away, the girls had each kept two virtually new blankets for their dolls. Together, we spent the afternoon washing and drying the blankets—then folding them carefully, tying each one with a bow.

 

I honestly remember very little about the baby shower except how proud I was to pass those selfless expressions of love from two beautiful little girls to mommies and babies who needed them more. That same sense of overwhelming pride filled me last week on Christmas morning—and today—as I thank God for the generous hearts of my daughters and son-in-law… and the life lessons they are passing on to the next generation.

 

So what now?

 

For many people, this time of “seasonal generosity” is coming to an end, but my prayer is that’s not true for you. I don’t want it to be true for me.

 

images

Let me ask you a question…

Is there someone—perhaps a group of people—tugging at your heart?

  • orphans
  • trafficked children
  • prisoners
  • abandoned elderly
  • foster families
  • pregnant teenagers
  • runaways
  • abused women
  • illiterate
  • drug addicts
  • homeless families

 

If I could give you $100 to invest in someone who really needs it, where would you spend it?

 

Won’t you leave a comment and tell me who’s on your heart? If the answer is “no one,” then here’s a suggestion…

 

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There’s still time to Give Hope this year.
YOU can stop abuse, exploitation, and abandonment of children right now.

Your partnership with Hope Unlimited for Children helps create hope and a future where none existed. It helps make God’s love a reality to each child. Please prayerfully consider making a year-end gift to Hope Unlimited. ALL GIFTS MADE OR POSTMARKED BY DECEMBER 31ST WILL QUALIFY FOR 2014 TAX DEDUCTIONS.

 

Don’t know why I like this charity? Read About Me to find out!

 

Something to think about…

 

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.  (Matthew 7:11)

 

I’m joining Tell Me A True Story.

Comments

  1. This is a real heart-warmer! Thanks, Susan, for putting focus where focus belongs: OTHERS.

    My mind is still reeling from adding 160 photos to my Pillowcase Project (Kelley Highway) post, so thank you for pointing out the pillowcases you contributed. That little gal was entertaining herself shoving pesos between her toes. Took my mind back to nearly three decades ago when I captured on video our older daughter playing with Daddy’s pocket change on our bed one evening. Memories… Sweet little children.

    The little guy was hurting badly, then a white lady comes in smiling behind a face mask. Often they’re afraid we’re just another medical staff member “who’s going to hurt me with a needle or poke around on me again.” Bless their precious little hearts.

    Happy New Year hugs to you, Susan. The best is yet to come.
    Kelley~

  2. Hazel Moon says:

    This is such a lovely story of giving. Your sweet girls gave from their heart the doll blankets, which brought tears to my eyes. This year I gave two lovely ladies some keepsake jewelry. A favorite opal ring that since I gained weight, I can’t wear. It is like new and looks lovely on my granddaughter (almost 20) on her finger. Angel tree and Samaritans Purse are making many glad hearts this year with their many helpers. Thanks for sharing your lovely story with us here at “Tell me a Story.”

  3. So very happy to connect with you this season! My heart beats in sync with yours in so many ways! I loved reading about how you and your children have learned to be vessels of honor for sharing God’s Love! Will try to spend more time with you in the future. Sending my love ……Nancy