Today has been a huge faith day. It started out with worry, unfortunately. I had a plan this year. I wasn’t able to get a lot of gifts for the family for Christmas, but I was able to get them each one good gift and honestly my family has everything they need. That was something that I figured out when I got the brain cancer. Things don’t give you happiness, experiences do. Good Times with your friends and family mean something. Great food and good stories mean something. Learning new things mean something. Puppy kisses and kitten cuddling means something. It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate gifts when given. In fact, I appreciate them so much more now, because I generally don’t get things unless I love them or need them. I see the thought and love placed in giving and it means something more now than it used to. However today I was looking down the barrel of a very Faith based decision. I had my last bit of money in the bank. I had a food order coming in ,thanks so much to the Mormon Church, so I decided that I would buy the last gift I was going to buy so that I had something for my Son. He always tells us adamantly to not get him anything, because in his words, we need it more than him, but I was not leaving him without a gift for Christmas. God has never left us before so I was faithful that God would provide. I took a hundred dollars and got him a gift then I went home and played a make believe game with my daughter called “If I were Ellen and I could give away any gift to anyone for Christmas what would I give?” Danielle and I had fun picturing the looks on the faces of my family when I drove up in my daughter’s fully paid for purple jeep. The look on my son’s face if I sent him snowboarding for a week in Sunshine etc. It is fun to dream and giving away stuff would be so much fun. I envy Ellen for her ability to make people’s dreams come true.
However, I digress. At around 3pm we got a knock on our door. It was Emily’s school counselor. She had some gifts for my girls. It was beautiful. So far this week we had already been surprised by the Kentwood community association that gave us a basket with gift certificates, food and money. We were also surprised and gifted by my friend doing yoga to raise money for us. This had again gave us some money and gift certificates from virtual strangers, that we were so grateful for and very much in need of. What else could I ask for? Then the door bell rang again a few hours later. It was my neighbors from across the street. I was surprised at their visit, so I probably sounded ridiculous from shock, but they gifted me with a turkey , ham and another donation of cash. Now I was dumbfounded. I barely know my neighbors, why would they be so generous to me? God is good and people who give from his promptings are just so wonderful. I was very moved. Then I had huge surprise about an hour later. I was greeted gleefully by my daughter’s old teacher and about ten others baring gifts at my front door for the third time today. They not only gave me a donation that would help us pay the bills that month but they also gifted us with family portraits and more presents they said that they hoped our family would enjoy. They even sang Rudolph the Red nose reindeer to me while I cried from the overwhelming beauty of the moment. I am just so moved right now it is beyond words.
I was telling my new neighbors today something that was told to me a long time ago. My new neighbor Nancy had asked me for a favor. She said she was not used to asking for help and I told her the hands story I heard in church one time. The story goes that a man had greeted St Peter in the gates of heaven and he was taken to a room full of the most amazing treats anyone could possibly imagine.Also in the room were many people in anguish and sadness. The man asks St Peter where this place was and St Peter said “well that depends on your perspective but I would have to say what you see right now would probably be considered hell.” The man was confused but what he noticed when he looked around was that the people around the table were incapable of using their arms properly. They could reach out but couldn’t bend the arm to reach and feed themselves any of this wonderful food. They were unable to listen to the beautiful music because without bending their arms they couldn’t put the earphones in. It was maddening and each person who tried would fail and get more hopeless and frustrated. St Peter said we are moving along son and the man was relieved . As they walked along the corridor St Peter opened the next door to what looked like the identical scene. Everything wonderful was laid out in a buffet before him and St Peter said welcome to Heaven. The Man was now confused. How could this be heaven? It was exactly the same. The man’s curiosity got the better of him and finally he asked St Peter what gives? St Peter explained that nothing is different in heaven. Everyone has the same arms that won’t allow them to enjoy the good things on the table. St Peter tells the man” the only difference that makes this heaven is that in heaven we feed each other.” Sure enough as the man watched he could see each person using the their special arms to reach out and give to the other people.
My neighbor loved this story but I think what hit home and it has gotten my heart everytime was a question a woman asked me once. She said “Brandie I noticed that you give a lot. Do you love giving?” I said absolutely it is one of my favorite things. It gives me a feeling of love and grace when I do it. The lady then said “do you like receiving as much?”. I said no it makes me feel needy and humbled. Then the lady said ” what if everyone felt that way? What if nobody recieved or asked for help, who would we give to?”. She was right. There was no reason to feel bad about receiving because there are so many people out there that feel so blessed from giving that it is our place to appreciate both. Ever since that conversation I have learned to just give back in gratitude and pay it forward when I can. So when I have, I give, and when I don’t I receive. Graciously knowing that I am part of something bigger and better than my mind could ever truly understand. So tonight I pray for those in need. I ask that the proper amazing heavenly souls find them and they allow those people to give to them. I pray thanks to all the people who have made my children and I smile with their generosity. Thank you so much. It means more to my family than you could ever know. A true miracle to have you give to me with your golden hearts when we absolutely needed it the most. Thank you a hundred times over. My daughter came home from work, afraid because she had lost her nose ring at work and she was unable to afford a new one. When I told her we could help her out she was in tears with relief. This morning I was not sure where gas was coming from this week and tonight I slept knowing we were taken care of. How could I ever question if there was a higher power or not when I am so blessed with miracles like tonight? My cup runneth over 😊❤️ . If I don’t write another blog before the 25th than I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an enlightened, and prosperous New Year. I love you all so much. God Bless ❤️