Sunday, December 12, 2010

iGet2Give 2010

It's not about's about HIM...and them. The Spirit of Christmas lives within each of us everywhere we go and in everything that we do. It is waiting to be shared at just the right moment and with just the right people that God places in our path.

Today has been a "Spirit of Christmas" kind of day. It all started 7 days ago...on Monday. 5 of us friends went to one of the best events in NW Arkansas. (We went last year and knew this to be true after attending many others throughout the year.) The event is fittingly called "iGet2Give." The premise of the event is to gather with other women and receive really nice gifts. The only caveat is that you cannot keep the gifts...the gifts MUST be given away to someone who really needs them. It's designed to provide us an opportunity to either pool our gifts or individually give them away. This year, the 5 of use pooled our gifts because it just seemed to be the right thing to do. We had fun Monday night talking, planning and wondering who our "lucky" family would be. Little did we know that God was already at work and we were in for a great surprise! Here's the story:

On Monday afternoon, Jazmin went to the Pharmacy to get some NyQuil. She ran into a lady that she had not seen in over 2 years. It was the mother of a young boy that played on the same soccer team as her son, Will. They had been friends during the season of soccer when their boys played together, but soon lost touch after the season was over. Seeing each other after 2 years was a surprise and yet a blessing. After a quick conversation, Jaz learned that this lady had lost her job and was raising her 3 boys on her own. Jazmin didn't think much about it at the time as she was in a hurry and went on about her business...she had to pick us girls up for the iGet2Give event...

After the event was over and we all were at our own homes, Jazmin was wrestling with an uneasiness and just couldn't shake it. At 2:30AM that night, we all got a text from her stating that the friend she ran into at the Pharmacy earlier that day just wouldn't leave her mind. She couldn't remember her last name and didn't have her phone number. What was she to do? How was she to get in touch with her? These thoughts went over and over in her head all night long. The next morning when she was getting her kids ready for school, she asked them if they remembered this family. Her daughter did and ran to get her school yearbook because she thought that one of the boys had been in her class that year. And, sure enough, he was and there was his name...right next to Melissa's. Bingo! After a few phone calls, Jazmin was in touch with her long lost friend.

During their conversation, Jazmin learned why she had this family so heavily on her heart. Times were tough and money was very tight in their household. Christmas was just not going to happen for them this year. There was no money for the basics, much less gifts!

After a few phone calls and texts between the 5 of us, a plan was in place and resources were being tapped. Within 24 hours, we had planned this family's Christmas blessing. We are all vendors and we were able to add to our gifts that we received on Monday night and make quite a robust gift.

Through the contact that we had with the Mom this week we learned that she went to church for the first time 3 weeks ago. She has visited a few churches in the meantime looking for the perfect church home. She was motivated to get to church for her boys when she learned about a program at one of the local churches that focused on Fatherless Boys. Her 3 boys fit in very nicely and the program was targeted for a family such as hers. A void in their lives will hopefully be filled through the Love of Jesus!


Today as we gathered at my house to wrap and put together all of our gifts, our conversation kept going back to the fact that the Spirit of Christmas doesn't come in the comes in the GIVING of gifts. Doing for others who (for whatever reason) cannot do for themselves. Isn't that the essence of exactly what Christ did for us?

Here are a few pictures of this GIVING:

Jazmin, Paola, Michele, Courtney, & me
Our gifts that we "won" to gift someone else

Courtney wrapping an outfit for the 7 year old
Michele stuffing the Oscar Mayer Wagon with all sorts of goodies treats!

Jaz, Paola, & Courtney filling a Rubbermaid tub with household items

The NIV Study Bible that I purchased before knowing that she had just started going to church.
We all signed the blank page of the bible with words of encouragement and love

Our 4 gifts turned into the richest of blessings!

Santa's Sleigh

The Girls with Andrea
me, Courtney, Michele, Andrea, Paola & Jazmin

After spending a good portion of the afternoon with Andrea and her boys, we learned that she had seen a whole lot of "life" that I hope none of us every have to. But as you see, her face has a beautiful smile and she is not bitter. She is humbled and thankful. THAT is only a gift that God can give.

We have all exchanged phone numbers. We plan to keep encouraging her and holding her accountable to the things that she has asked of us.

*Note - the picture in the background was painted by her Grandmother. They are a Native American family and are proud of their heritage. The artwork in her house was all painted by her grandmother and Andrea was very proud to show us her work. She died a year ago and was the reason (we think) that Andrea had to quit her job.
Of this I am certain. We are all called to be the hands and feet of Christ. We are to listen, trust, and OBEY the nudgings of the Holy Spirit that is in each of us. That is the Spirit of Christmas...every day.
Look for Christ in Christmas this year.


Barbara said...

Boy, you wait a long time to post but when you do--it's a doozie!! This is awesome and I wish I could have been a part of it. How wonderful to be able to share as you all did. How blessed Andrea and her children are to have you girls as friends.! God bless you all.

pc repair boca raton said...

Boy, you wait a long time to post but when you do--it's a doozie!! This is awesome and I wish I could have been a part of it. How wonderful to be able to share as you all did. How blessed Andrea and her children are to have you girls as friends.! God bless you all.