Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Jar Story: 'I'm overwhelmed with joy at giving this gift to another parent'

Last year, 2009, the day after Christmas I stepped out onto our back porch heading out to run some errands. I found a large gift bag and not a foot print in the snow in sight . . . I brought the bag inside, assuming it was homemade cocoa from our neighbor who frequently blesses us with such at Christmas. I realize that the bag seemed heavy for cocoa and pulled out a Christmas Jar. I had never heard of the story of the Christmas Jar or the book . . . I was overwhelmed, as was my husband. Initially my husband felt a bit proud, wondering why someone thought he couldn't provide for his family . . . We have 4 children who were at the time 9, 4, 2, and 6 months. Since the birth of our 3rd son in 2007 I have been a stay-at-home mom, something my husband I both felt God put on our hearts, despite the fact that my husband's income was not enough to cover the bills each month. We stepped out in faith believing that God would provide. Three months after leaving my job, my husband had a new job opportunity that did help out but things were still tight. We were getting by and provided a nice Christmas for the kids using money from a small home-based business that I have. We tucked away the money from the Christmas jar intending to purchase a family gift down the road that all of the kids could enjoy. Things ran short about mid year and we ended up using the money for a bill, but it was a blessing none-the-less. January 1, 2010 we began to refill the Christmas jar and we are waiting with great joy and anticipation of blessing another family in the next few days. We have been unsure who to give the jar to - until yesterday when our assistant pastor's wife shared with me a story about another family with 4 children who had told their kids that while they were going to celebrate Christmas, they were unable to buy gifts this year due to financial hardships they have endured lately. I am so excited to give them the opportunity to pay a bill or two or perhaps go shopping for something for their kids. I can't imagine not being able to give my children any gifts at Christmas, and I'm overwhelmed with joy at giving this gift to another parent! Thank you for sharing this amazing idea. We fully intend to make this an annual tradition in our house. I love the fact that we can use this to teach our children at a young age the joy found in blessing another family in the name of Christ - without any need of thanks or credit for ourselves. Merry Christmas

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