Friday, February 22, 2013

Our Christmas Miracle {Part 2}

Welcome back! This is part 2 of a testimony that I started sharing yesterday on Our Christmas Miracle.  If you missed it, I encourage you to read Part 1 here.

As I shared yesterday, because of our financial situation caused by our unsold house, we were anticipating a bleak Christmas; however a couple unexpected things happened!

First of all, we started receiving some cash gifts anonymously in the mail, which were a tremendous blessing and encouragement!! While we could have used that money to buy Christmas presents for the children, we took a family vote and it was decided that we should save that money to buy food. The children had a great attitude and said they were fine with not getting any presents, but they wanted to be able to eat!  :)

However, I did end up using $100 of the money that we received to buy a gift I thought the whole family could enjoy together -- the complete set of Sue Thomas F.B.Eye DVDs. We were already Sue Thomas F.B.Eye fans, but we only had some episodes that I had recorded when the show was still being aired back in the early 2000's.  We now own all the episodes and are enjoying watching this fantastic, family-friendly program daily!  :)  

145663: Sue Thomas F.B.Eye 5 Volume Set Sue Thomas F.B.Eye 5 Volume Set
By Johnson Brothers Holdings

Inspired by a true story! With hearing dog Levi by her side, deaf woman Sue Thomas uses her unique lip-reading ability to help the F.B.I. tackle tough cases. But her trademark common sense, humor, and faith also catch the eye of handsome agent Jack Hudson! Each volume features 11 episodes, and is approx. 8.5 hours total. 15 DVDs. Closed-captioned.

Because I purchased the DVD set above, I knew there would be at least one present under the tree!  Also, because the children draw names every year for the Annual Sibling Gift Exchange, I knew each child would have at least one gift from a brother or sister. However, I had no idea what an abundant Christmas we would experience!!

The older children (those with jobs!) were all motivated to buy Christmas presents for their younger brothers and sisters (and even for ole Mom and Dad!), so that in the end, we had more presents under the tree than ever before!!  Alan quipped that he should have tried this strategy years ago! ;)

In this picture you can see the gifts spilling out way past the Christmas tree, while Alan was reviewing our year and reflecting on all we had to be grateful for. (Especially the way God relieved us of the house burden!!  Check back tomorrow to find out exactly how He did that!)

I was so blessed by the generosity and love demonstrated by the older kids!!  They were all concerned about the younger children and wanted to make sure they had a good Christmas! They showered them with gifts motivated by genuine love and selflessness!  My heart was overflowing with gratefulness to see their love and concern for their younger brothers and sisters!!  That was the best Christmas present I could have ever received!  :)

The older kids weren't the only ones to demonstrate generosity!  The younger kids gave generously from their resources, as well!  Bethany dug into her "treasure drawer" and wrapped up special items for each person.  Alan was the lucky recipient of some pencils and sticky notes, while I got some warm vanilla sugar body lotion! 

The older boys get a kick of out of giving gag gifts, especially to their Dad and to their now married brother, Josh, so our day was filled with plenty of laughter and fun! 

This is Alan with his new Dollar Tree plunger!  ;)

I was also amazed by the creativity shown!  Matt loved the target that Taylor made for him!! He couldn't wait to rush outside and shoot his bow!!

And Taylor wins the prize for most creative wrapping!!  :)

What can I say?  The Christmas Day that I feared would be full of gloom and doom was instead filled to overflowing with the selfless giving of gifts, the amazing love between family members, the healing balm of laughter, gratefulness to God, and feasting!!!  

That's a miracle all in itself!

Come back tomorrow for part 3 of our Christmas miracle!  :)

Many of these photos were taken by my daughter, Ashlyn. Click here to read her blog and see some of the moments she has Captured.

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