Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Highlights

Our family decided to take a mini vacation to rest and relax from all the craziness of Christmas.  I think we are at a time in our life when relaxation is an idea instead of a reality.  We are having fun, but it is a lot of work especially with a 1 1/2 year old. 

While riding in the car this morning we went around answering the question, "What was your favorite part of Christmas this year?"  This is how each responded:

  • Lexie's favorite part of Christmas was seeing Aunt Mel.  We don't get to see Mel very much because she is a travel nurse so it is a treat when we see her.

  • Garrett's favorite part of Christmas was the Christmas service on Sunday morning and opening presents.

  • Isaiah's favorite part was the Christmas Eve service and seeing all of his family.

  • Mark and I agreed that our candlelight service on Wednesday night was such a great way to start Christmas.  The whole evening was so beautiful and was a big highlight of our Christmas.   We also agreed that the acts of giving was the top highlight of our Christmas. 

I have heard so many testimonies from readers who did acts of giving this year that I wanted to share a few with you...

This my family went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We had discussed earlier in the week wanting to go eat and leave a $20 tip for our waitress. So last night, I prayed that the Lord would give us the waitress He wanted us to bless. So we had a sweet girl as our waitress, and when we got ready to leave, I handed her the $20 and said "thank you!"  She was so surprised and happy, she hugged my neck and said what a blessing it was. She said "I think I'm going to cry!" I was kinda teary eyed too. It was so awesome!!! It was so wonderful to be a surprise blessing to someone.


I still really wanted to pay for someone's food in the McD"s drive-thru, so I bought some hamburgers for my boys. A lady who looked to be in her 40's and an older lady maybe her mother were in a car behind me. I pulled around and told the guy I wanted to pay for the food of the people behind me. I gave him one of your random giving cards and told him to give it to the lady when she pulled up. She looked a little confused and then she got a sweet smile of her face when he told her and gave her the card. It was fun to watch it happening in the rear-view mirror. :) It was such a good feeling to make someone's day a little brighter.  I'm soooo glad I did this! 

So I gave my gift bags to 5 cashiers on Wednesday. They all acted very surprised. 

I'm stealing the candy bar snowman bouquet. I have a group of kids coming over tomorrow to do this project. I plan to let them choose a business at random.

This morning we knew we had errands to run, hair cuts, bank, bills to be paid, etc. so  I decided to make up some goody bags with some perfume samples, lipsticks, lotions, nail polish and flavored tea bags and chocolates for the women and I knew we were going to the barber shop so I wanted to make two bags up for men.  I decided to go with food items for them so I put in bags of microwave popcorn, a chocolate bar, hot chc mix and some marshmallows along with random act card you shared.   I didn't have any tracts so I wrote on the back of the card Jesus is the reason for the season and a verse on each of them.  We had soo much fun assembling them.  The bank was the first stop and we went through the drive thru.  I had chosen a lane away from the window so we could do one of two things, either send a goody bag through as we were leaving or leave one for the next customer.  Well after much debate with my children, we decided we would send it to the teller at the window.  It was truly exciting.  She looked confused as we sent the tube back to her and drove off.  Fun.  Then we went to the barber shop.  When we were finished we gave one to the man who cut my sons hair and one to a young man waiting.  What a blessing.  They were very appreciative and my son enjoyed being the giver.  So then I had a few places to pay bills and I would go in, pay the bill, and afterwards send the kids in to hand out a goody bag.  The kids enjoyed it soo much.  We had one more bag to give out and we had asked God to put someone in our path and there standing on the street corner was a woman.  We pulled up, my son rolled down his window and handed it to the woman.  Truly an awesome experience and will continue it through out the week.  

This week I was able to pay for the car behind me at Chick Fil A this week.  When I pulled up there was no one behind me, but I knew this is what the Lord wanted me to do and left it up to Him.  Right then a lady in a Suburban pulled in to order.  I paid for both of our orders.  It has been such a neat experience doing random acts of giving for others. 

 I pray that these testimonies were as much a blessing to you as they were to me.



 We had a wonderful Christmas with both of our families.   Breanna had nothing to do with me most of the weekend.  She wanted everyone but me.  I didn't mind too much because she was loving all over her grandmom's. 





 Lexie got this cute puppet from Uncle D.  and was biting Garrett's hand with it.   They have fought a lot this past week and I am pretty sure it is because they have had way too much time on their hands.  School has so many great benefits for the mom and the child.  :)  Just kidding! 

  
Breanna has started posing for pictures.  I am so glad we can finally get some good pictures when I catch her just right...and in the right mood.  

Each year Mark's side of the family draws names for presents.  Part of each gift has to be money in honor of the name you drew.  This year in my honor Mark's family donated to Amazima Ministries.  I love that ministry so much and am so grateful they honored me in that way.   Amazima was started by a sweet girl from Tennessee Katie Davis in 2008.  Amazima sends 400 orphaned  children to a Christian school through an education sponsorship program. These children receive three meals a day, school supplies, medical care, and spiritual discipleship.  I have such a heart for orphans and love this ministry!  Mark and I didn't exchange gifts this year, but he did buy me Katie's book for Christmas and I was thrilled.  I cannot wait to sit and read her story!  To find out more about Amazima go to www.amazima.org

Good night,
Valerie


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