No Money for Christmas

By: Easter Ellen

Jan 17 2006

Category: Uncategorized

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So here I was early December with all my money (literally ALL) gone. From renovating the house I was moving into to be in somewhat livable condition, to the move itself, to paying the previous landlords $1500 for the stupidest types of repairs. And here I was with four children waiting on Santa and on me for Christmas. There was no access to credit for me and no one to borrow from. I was beside myself and grasping to figure out a way to make Christmas happen. I thought about a part-time job on top of my full-time one, but I was already burnt out from a brutal year of kidney stones, renovating, moving, already having a demanding full-time job and taking care of all of the running around that raising four children on my own would have.

All I could do was pray to find a solution, win a lottery or just count on God to provide for it as He always has come through in the past. I would start to have panic attacks just thinking of it, and each time, I would just keep giving it back to God and telling Him that He was the only way to not have the kids let down for Christmas. To make matters more complicated, my sister-in-law, who is very dear to me, had invited me down for Christmas to her home in Florida. She paid for the tickets for my children and me to go, but it meant that I would have to go without pay for almost the last two weeks of December as I had used the remainder of all of my vacation time when I was off with kidney stones. (Grrrr… I HATE those F%#*&$$%$#things!!!!!) As usual, my heart won over my head, and I made the decision to go down to have Christmas with her family despite what it would cost my finances to lose the time worked.

The month went on as I scrambled to pay bills and get things in order after moving. A friend called me in the 2nd week and let me know that it was on his heart to pray with me for finances as he sensed that it was probably an issue with me knowing all that had gone on in 2005. We prayed for money for Christmas and for enough to get me out of the financial spiral that I had been in since taking a change in position, moving into a house that was literally falling apart so badly that it did not even have running water (that is a story in and of itself for another time), and missing so much work time with the kidney stones. He called me a few days later to let me know that he sensed that some of the money would be released from God to be able to get through Christmas and that the rest would come later. You have to understand that I am a firm believer in God, in what faith can do and when He says that He will provide, I don’t even question how anymore. I just believe. I also have come to believe that God is an 11:45 God (meaning that usually He chooses to delight me at the very last second. So I rested in knowing that it would come, but, admittedly, I was a little anxious.

I got an email from an acquaintance of mine that said he had come into some money and felt that the Lord was screaming for Him to bless me with some of it. He told me that it was not a lot, but that it should serve whatever purpose that the Lord had for it. The only condition was that he wanted me to use it towards Christmas – not bills. I hesitantly accepted as I did not know him well and was somewhat leary. After praying about it, I felt that this was, indeed, a gift of the Lord and that it was part of my blessing. It was a nice amount, but not near enough to cover the children’s Christmas, but would at least help a lot in some gifts for my family in Florida. I was so grateful. In the meantime, my boys, who were beside themselves wanting the xbox 360 were completely devastated that not only did I not have the money for one, but that it was known by EVERYONE that there were no X-Box 360s to be had! Pangs of guilt filled me as I kept reminiscing as to what I could have done without to have gotten the system. It did not help though.. feeling guilt just kept making me feel worse and worse. Again, I knew it was not exactly the most Godly request, but I did pray about it as it was my sons’ desire to have one.

On the Sunday before I left, my sister-in-law called me from a balcony overlooking the ocean while her husband was inside attending a meeting. I told her about my quest for the XBox 360 and she said she would find out if there were any available down there. She called me back less than two hours later squealing in delight telling me that she had found one. I could not believe it and knew that it was a God-send!!! That was a huge relief for me in a way that I cannot even begin to say. I mean, I know that all kids want what they want, but my eldest son had been talking about it for more than a year. He would call me into his room to show me on the computer, all of the latest updates and news as it was being developed and the games were in the works. I can’t begin to tell you how often he would talk about it – not because he was trying to manipulate me into getting into it, but just out of his utter delight in all of the new updates etc. ( I know that I sound like an awful parent with a kid so fixated on gaming, but honestly he is pretty balanced.)

The day before I left, the friend that prayed with me asked me if I had received all that God had promised. I said not yet.. but it was already the 18th, so I was nervous (not doubtful, just nervous). I told him about the XBox 360 and also that I had come up with a plan that would work for everyone. I had decided that I would buy my little one gifts for Christmas (as she is a huge fan of Santa still) and that the other children would receive a few token small gifts and a promise of money on the 31st which was pay day. It was enough to give me peace about it and I even had told the three older children of this and they were cool with it as they knew how much we had been struggling. (Isn’t it terrible that they even had to know that?) Well, my friend said that he would give a small amount to spend in Florida, and once again, I was so thankful. I literally had no spending money for down there at all.

When I got down there, I went with my sister-in-law to go shop for my little one and her children with the little bit of money that I had. She handed me a credit card and told me to shope for the kids with it and that I could pay her back on Payday. I could not believe it! There it was – just what I needed! It might have been the 20th already, but now I knew that it would be ok. I bought what I needed for each of them.. but she said not to worry about the little one as she had done most of the “Santa” shopping for her. Again… I stood dumb-founded!!! I am not talking about colouring books and crayons either… she had bought her significant gifts that now were off my shoulders.

Every night, we feasted with her family (lol – anything from finger foods to roasts to pizza to home-made baked beans!). There was a desert table set out with endless chocolates, pies, cookies, candies and goodies galore that the children could just walk up to and pick from whenever they wanted. Her giving went beyond touching my heart and I knew that in her own kind heart, God was reaching out and blessing me in a way so unmerited yet so appreciated.

Needless to say, Christmas was beautiful. The children were thrilled and they were surprised at not having to wait until after Christmas. On top of that.. the pay that I was not going to receive was really troubling me, but I knew that I still had some commission coming in so I was hoping it would be enough to cover my debt to my sister-in-law and my bills. It ended up being enough to catch me up in most of my bills so that I was not delaying some bills this month and others next month etc. It was incredible how it all came in at once. My sister-in-law would not accept the money from me for the gifts, but said that she would later on when I really have it. What an incredible blessing!!!!

Well, that is my Christmas story and the blessings of God that so delighted me that I have felt compelled to share it with anyone that would find a blessing in reading it. I am so thankful and can only love Him more every day.

Bless you all lots and lots,

Easter

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