It was mid December in 1998. We had just 3 small children and my husband had just started work again, after being in between jobs for several months. We had just begun to pay of late bills so buying extras for the Christmas season was out of the question.
We had been participating in a small home group study each Sunday evening with others from our church and the leader asked each of us to purchase a coffee cup for the mug exchange we were to have the next week.
Jason and I knew it would be difficult to find the funds to purchase mugs, but we went shopping several days later, looking for just the right cups. I can still see us standing there in that Hallmark store, each with a $10 mug in our hand, the least expensive options available.
We hesitated then said what we were both thinking, “We can’t get these, there is no way we can afford this.” We put the mugs back on the shelf and walked out.
We went to Bible study that next Sunday, with no mugs to exchange. We sat in a circle as everyone before us grabbed a wrapped mug from the table and opened it to see what it would look like. The idea was to purchase a mug that had a phrase or scene that meant something to you.
Our turn came and I looked up at my husband who simply said, “We aren’t able to participate.” The group moved on and those to the left of us continued to unwrap a mug one person at a time.
We enjoyed the rest of the evening and nothing was ever said of our lack of participation.
The next day, as my husband walked out the door to head for work, he asked me to email the group leader and let him know the reason we weren’t able to participate. The email I sent read something like this:
Jason and I wanted to apologize for not being able to join in the mug exchange. We tried, but we’re still getting back up on our feet financially and when we went to the store to each buy one, we knew we couldn’t afford them.
We only have a Christmas tree because of Jason’s friend who brought us one when he learned the reason why we didn’t have one. And we have just a few presents for the kids.
I just wanted to let you know it wasn’t because we didn’t want to participate, we did. I hope we didn’t offend anyone….”
Shortly received a reply quickly from our leader who apologized profusely. He asked if we’d be at church that night for the Christmas eve service and I said we planned to be. As we walked in the doors that evening, a friend came up and asked for our car keys. We handed them over then enjoyed the service.
When we got to the car that night after the service we could barely fit the children in the back seat for all the gifts! Our entire car trunk, and much of the back seat was stuffed full of presents. We were blown away and blessed beyond belief. Among the gifts was a certificate for a free turkey, an envelope of cash and even a few things for Jason and I.
When we’d left our house that night for church just a few little boxes sat tucked under the tree for the next morning, when we returned that night and brought everything in, our living room, and our hearts, were full!
It was a Christmas that Jason and I will remember the rest of our lives. Not for the material blessings but for the outpouring of love from church family, friends and even people we had never met.
Today, many other bloggers and I are offering a Christmas blessing to you! I’ve been blessed to be a part of this giveaway for the past several years. This year someone will win $400 PayPal Cash!
We pray the LORD will use this for the family He wishes to bless in this way. The rules, details and entries are below.
Every good and perfect gift comes from above! Merry Christmas!
CHRISTMAS BLESSING GIVEAWAY 2015
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Giveaway Rules: No purchase necessary. Must be 18 to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Open to US and Canada residents only. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or associated by Facebook. By entering this giveaway, you agree to release Facebook, Woman to Woman Ministries and all participating bloggers of all liability. Contest ends at 11:59PM CST on December 6, 2015. Winner is randomly chosen by Rafflecopter and will be emailed.