Several years ago, the sudden turn of the economy pulled the rug out from under us financially. Some of our greatest hardships and greatest blessings came from what happened next.
Scott closed up his concrete construction company of three decades, we place our home up for sale and he took an out-of-state job managing a flood and fire disaster company. The plan was that when our home sold, we would join him in Wyoming. Scott was only home on the weekends and I’ll tell you, we made the very most of the short couple of days he was home with the family. Money was slim pickings; one-by-one we sold our animals and any belongings that we thought would help make ends meet.
Daily we counted our blessings of the many things that money cannot buy… Family!
When our home did not sell, another a job opportunity presented itself that would bring Scott back to our home seven days a week. Yeah! It was a time for tears of joy and a time of celebration.
However, Christmas was fast approaching, and Scott and I knew we did not have the funds to buy Christmas gifts. We thought about what we could do for our family that would make it a memorable and special Christmas without store-bought gifts.
Realizing Christmas that year fell on a Sunday, and knowing the Eagle Ranch Ministries fed the homeless in downtown Salt Lake City every Sunday, it was a no-brainer. Our family, including our married children and spouses, woke up at 5am, not to see if Santa left a surprise under the tree, but to bundle up and go into the city to prepare the food for the homeless. We were not alone. About thirty others showed up, ready to serve. After five hours of sorting, cutting, peeling, dicing and cooking, the meal was finally ready.
As lunch time neared, the line began to form. Within a short amount of time, the line stretched to a hundred and fifty plus homeless, many with young children. They were so grateful for the warm meal and showed their appreciation with smiles of gratitude and a “Merry Christmas.”
It was our family that was most grateful – grateful for the opportunity to serve others who were down on their luck; it certainly put things in perspective. We had a house to go home to – they did not. We had a refrigerator and a pantry full of food – they did not. Never again were we to feel sorry for not having money to purchase gifts.
That day we received the best gift ever –the gift that only love and service can bring.
It was a Christmas our family will always cherish and remember. And now we also seek to do things every Christmas that bring that kind of meaning.