We have at long last fully recovered from a huge financial setback several years ago, but I remember being flat broke like it was yesterday.
I remember on a particularly down day back then, after agonizing over a razor thin budget, I walked out to the mailbox at the end of the driveway of the house that we were getting ready to lose.
We received a nice heartfelt card with a gift card for $100 from a friend. I was moved to tears.
I remember taking that gift card to the store, and walking down the aisles next to my husband with our toddler in the cart as we got much-needed groceries. And I felt so relieved and grateful.
It was an absolute lifeline that we needed at the time, and I’ll never forget that feeling.
Several years later, we are in a much better place and I now make it a mission to remember those truly in need. We know what it’s like to be on the receiving end, and now we get to give.
We gifted our sponsored child and his family with extra donations for Christmas. We have also seen the works of the Nashville Rescue Mission up close and personal through volunteering, and we donated to them as well.
Then my husband picked up a Salvation Army Angel Tree card and last night we got to shop for a 4-year-old girl.
It was adorable to watch my husband shop for a little girl since we are a boy household. We picked out a coat, shirts and pants, shoes and Frozen toys for her. I helped with the clothes, and he insisted on getting her the big Frozen toy. Adorbs. I know she’s going to love it.
I wanted to shop for her as a family to create a magical lesson-learning time of giving for our boys. I’m so glad we did. But the boys were a total pain in the store. They had to be told several times to simmer down, and we ended up separating them.
We went during their “after-dinner crazy time” because it was the only time we would get us all together before leaving for a holiday road trip within the next few days.
We maneuvered our giant plastic Target shopping cart (that I love) around the narrowest toy aisles known to man (why do they do that?)
We got what we needed and they did help pick out nice things for her, but I was a little frazzled by the time we left the store. They remained crazy in the car all the way home, and I still had a lot of things to do to prepare for our road trip. I was a little on edge.
But after we got home, I went to check the mail. And what I found completely redeemed everything.
The card reads:
Audra, thank you for being wonderful, your passion, strength, encouragement & your caring heart. Today I’d like to invite you to treat yourself with love.
I don’t know who you are, Secret Santa and deliverer of wonderful words, but you can consider my next several days MADE. Thank you so very much.
It was a wonderful feeling to know that I was thought of and seen in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It completely refueled me on patience, warmth and love and I am so grateful.
I don’t know who it’s from, but I think that’s a good problem to have. I had a positive effect on someone along the way, and that’s a wonderful feeling you can’t put a price tag on.
We live in a chaotic world, but loving on people will never go out of style.
Think of others. Show kindness and love, and tell the people around you that they are seen and appreciated. Our world needs it now more than ever. I promise it will all come back to you.
Go spread some joy! And I wish you all the Merriest of Christmases.