Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thank you...

A little over a year ago I took a leap of faith and left a good job for an opportunity to own my own business and try to develop my talents in different areas. To say that the last year has been extremely difficult is a gross understatement. On several occasions I have gone to bed not knowing where our next meal was coming from or how I would keep a roof over my family's head. On those nights sleep has not come of its own accord, and I have had to pray my anxieties down to a manageable level several times throughout the night, pouring my fears and desires out to my Heavenly Father. Last night was one of those nights, and at 3:00am this morning, I found myself kneeling at the foot of my bed, pleading for help for my family and guidance for me. After receiving a measure of peace, I was able to lay down and go back to sleep.

When my wife got up this morning she found an envelope someone slid through our mail slot containing the following note:

Dear ...,

Many years ago when we had small children at home and very little money (no extra for Christmas) there was a knock at our door. A stranger handed me an envelope and said "Merry Christmas" turned around and walked away. To my surprise and relief there was money inside that envelope. We were able to provide SANTA for our children that Christmas due to someones inspiration and kindness. Now as parents we want our children to believe in Santa for as long as we can (and it doesn't hurt us as adults to believe in him too). We vowed that some day we would PAY IT FORWARD to a family we felt inspired to help if we were ever in a position to do so. So PLEASE accept this gift so that you can provide SANTA for your children. You are a very special family and we know that you have given service in so many ways yourselves. Have a very Merry Christmas!

This is the second anonymous letter we have received this week containing a gift that has come at a time when we have really needed it, and as a very direct and specific answer to prayer.

This past year has not been fun, and I don't know that I would willingly choose to go through these struggles again. But in spite of that I have learned and been reminded of some things through the experience that perhaps I could learn in no other way.
  • Our Heavenly Father is not an absentee parent. He is very mindful of us and our struggles and is always willing to accompany us in the midnight hours and give us peace and strength.
  • He can turn all of our life's experiences to our benefit and blessing if we will let him.
  • He blesses us through the generosity and spiritual sensitivity of others, who serve Him and are in turn blessed by the service they give.
  • We are only alone if we choose to be so.

Whoever our two anonymous benefactors are have brought the Christmas Spirit into my heart this year. More than meeting an immediate physical need, their thoughtfulness has touched our spirits with their generosity and kindness, increasing our testimony of God's love and our faith in His help. God's choicest blessings be with you and yours for this precious gift. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stuff I have done...

I read my sister-in-law C's blog today and was tagged as a result. Here is my response:

I have done the things BOLDED and in BLUE.

1. Started your own blog. 2. Slept under the stars 3. Played in a band 4. Visited Hawaii 5. Watched a meteor shower 6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Been to Disneyland 8. Climbed a mountain 9. Held a praying mantis 10. Sang a solo 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch 15. Adopted a child 16. Had food poisoning 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. 18. Grown your own vegetables 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 20. Slept on an overnight train 21. Had a pillow fight 22. Hitch hiked 23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill 24. Built a snow fort 25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Run a Marathon 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice 29. Seen a total eclipse 30. Watched a sunrise or a sunset 31. Hit a home run . 32. Been on a cruise 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 35. Seen an Amish community 36. Taught yourself a new language 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (ha!)38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person 39. Gone rock climbing 40. Seen Michelangelo’s David 41. Sung karaoke 42. Seen Old Faithful Geyser erupt 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 44. Visited Africa 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight 46. Been transported in an ambulance 47. Had your portrait painted 48. Gone deep sea fishing 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling 52. Kissed in the rain 53. Played in the mud 54. Gone to a drive-in theater 55. Been in a movie or on a TV show 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business 58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia 60. Served at a soup kitchen. 61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies 62. Gone whale watching 63. Got flowers for no reason 64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma. 65. Gone sky diving 66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp 67. Bounced a check 68. Flown in a helicopter 69. Saved a favorite childhood toy 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial 71. Eaten Caviar. 72. Pieced a quilt. 73. Stood in Times Square 74. Toured the Everglades 75. Been fired from a job 76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London 77. Broken a bone 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person 80. Published a book 81. Visited the Vatican 82. Bought a brand new car 83. Walked in Jerusalem 84. Had your picture in the newspaper 85. Read the entire Bible 86. Visited the White House 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 88. Had chickenpox 89. Saved someone’s life (I tried, but he didn't make it) 90. Sat on a jury 91. Met someone famous 92. Joined a book club 93. Lost a loved one 94. Had a baby 95. Seen the Alamo in person 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake 97. Been involved in a law suit 98. Owned a cell phone 99. Been stung by a bee. 100. Been held at gunpoint

Now, copy and paste this into your own post, and BOLD the one's you've done.