A few examples...there are many others, but these ones stick out in my mind.
We all came down with whooping cough in August. Our little baby boy got it first, and when our little toddler came down with it we decided that it was better for us all to go on anti-biotics. Anit-biotics for 8 people is not cheap. Especially when you are trying so hard to live on savings and a prayer. (Savings is nice to have, but prayer works!) As I sat pondering and worrying over antibiotics, money and sick little ones, my husband received a call from a neighbor asking if he could help with a side job he needed done. The pay? The exact amount we needed to buy anitibiotics for 8 people. I have faith in the Lord.
As few months ago as we sat planning the meals for the week, we looked at the pile of rice, beans and wheat which we have faithfully stored and felt a little disheartened. ( Now, I am going to have to preface this story with a disclaimer that it is a huge blessing to have piles of rice and beans and wheat! We are truly grateful for the Lord's hand in inspiring us to work hard to have food storage. But some days a hamburger or some cheese could place your palate firmly in heaven. This was one of those days.) As I lamented and despaired about the challenges of eating the same onslaught of meals again this week, the doorbell rang. Standing there was a good friend who was getting ready to move. She asked if we would like all the extra food from her freezer. In her bags were all the little goodies we needed to make beans, rice and wheat palatable for another week. It truly was no big deal to her, just odds and ends and extras that they were not going to have time to eat, but to us it was an answer to prayers. It was exactly what we needed it, and it came exactly when we needed it. I have faith in the Lord.
There have been so many little needs met, just when we need them met. And while it has been a trial to go almost a year without employment. It has hardly felt like a trial. Because the Lord has given us everything that we need, in the very moment that we feel we need it. He has taught me what love and faith and hope truly mean. He has taught me the need to never fear and to always walk forward with faith.
But there is something else the Lord wanted me to learn. You see, it has been easy for me to trust in the Lord. It has been easy for me to believe that the Lord can take care of all things. The Lord is perfect, He is pretty easy to trust. But I have had a bit of bitterness in my heart. I have had a bit of bitterness in my heart for those who we trusted and considered friends but who chose to put our family in this position. I have had a bit of bitterness towards those who have interveiwed and interviewed and interviewed my husband and then never even called back to let us know their answer. I have had perhaps a bit of bitterness towards mankind in general trying to grow in my heart.
As we watched Christmas Carol a few nights ago I realized I had been a bit like scrooge in my faith in humanity. As I sat watching, Marley's ghost seemed to be talking to me instead of to Scrooge when he said; the purpose of life is to learn to love others and to spend your life in giving that love. It really struck me that this is exactly why I have felt a little like a Humbug this year. I have lost a little faith in mankind.
And so, the Lord, always the perfect teacher, has given me the opportunity this Christmas season to have faith, not only in Him, but also in His children. Words can not express the faith and love in my heart for those who have so selflessly and so graciously, and even of their own want, have served our family so lovingly the past week.
I have truly learned from your example what it is to have love and kindness and thoughtfulness and the spirit of Christmas in your heart. I have learned how to say, "I love you" in a million different ways. I have learned how to truly care for those in need and how to lift hands that hang down by your example. I don't know who all of these "elf's" are. But I have felt of your love, your understanding, and your Christlike charity. The Lord has meet all of our needs, and good neighbors, friends, and family have met so many of our wants.
A few examples....there are many others, but these ones stick out in my mind.
A brother in law who calls from the BX and asks if we need anything the very day we run out of conditioner. Have you ever raised three daughters with no conditioner? Trust me this is one of those desperate wants! Thank you for being inspired
A good brother who comes to visit for his vacation and ends up watching all my children while we go to court for two days. He even mops my kitchen floor (which has not been moped for several months) without my asking or even expressing my overwhelming frustration that I just cannot seem to find time to mop the kitchen floor! Thank you for noticing and giving me exactly what I need!
Good Friends who remember our favorite ice cream and drop it by just because. Good friends who have us over for dinner so many times in the past 10 months that I could not even count them. Good friends who bring us fruit and vegitables to bottle. Good friends and true sisters who give some money to make sure the kids have something for Christmas. Good neighbors who pay my boys exhorbinent amounts of money to shovel their walks (my boys are NOT that good at shoveling) Kind neighbors who bring us a turkey. Do you know how good turkey tastes...especially with rice and beans! just kidding...potatoes are cheap :) Thank you for teaching me what true friends are and how valuable they are in my life!
Good Christmas Elfs who leave gifts on our doorstep that are exactly what we would ask for it we were to ask for anything in the world. Good Christmas Elfs who give food and fun and funds. Thank you for your generosity and for being our little Angels. We have felt your love and it has changed our life.
So, if you, like me are tempted to loose your faith in mankind. The Lord can teach you that kind of faith too. The faith that makes your heart grow three sizes in one day. Because that is what has happened to me today. My heart has grown and is overflowing with Faith. Faith in the Children of God who have taught me what it truly means to have Charity. Faith in good people with good hearts and willing hands. Faith in the goodness of others who are sharing the Light of Christ. Faith in you!
May all your of your hearts find faith in the Lord and faith in each other, this Christmas season!
Ps. My husband was offered a job today at a Law Firm in Salt Lake City. (thank you again, good friends for the recommendation) I know this is big news and should be at the beginning of this message, but it is so small when you consider the big things you have done in our life. You have touched our hearts in our time of need. You have walked beside us and borne our burden with us. We are praying for each one of you to have the continual blessings of Heaven in your own lives and with all of God's children. Thank you for teaching us how to love and be loved. God bless us, every one.