Getting When you Try to Give

Dec 11, 2014

2006 was a benchmark year. Jim's eye surgeries at the beginning of the year, Kim being in a car wreck in the spring and dealing with the after-effects for a solid six months, and the arrival of Mr. Ethan in October made it one of those years that can divide your life into "before" and "after".

Consequently, when Christmas came around, with a daughter still fighting to finish high school and a newborn in the house, we were quite happy to just stay home for a low-key holiday.

The following year, we had made new friends who were in a similar position. It was one of those situations of "we'll walk with you down the road we've already traveled" as Tim & Tracy's college-age daughter Rebecca had just become a single mom of Noah in late-November. Because they had a newborn in the family, they were unable to travel during the holidays.

Knowing they were upset about spending Christmas away from family, we invited them over for Christmas dinner. For them, right? To make it a special evening for them? Trying to give them a memorable holiday?

God has such a sense of humor! What was intended to be a blessing for someone else who was feeling down turned into a huge blessing for us! Simply knowing that friends would be joining us for dinner made the whole day special. It gave us something to look forward to after the gifts were opened in the morning, and gave the holiday a new boost around 5:30pm when they arrived.

Inviting guests for Christmas dinner was something we all enjoyed so much, we've done it every year since then. Sometimes we'll invite people who are here at IU and their family isn't even in this country. Sometimes we'll invite friends whose children can't get home for Christmas, or who can't get to their own families to celebrate. And every year, it's the same thing - get up, open gifts, spend the afternoon together, then around 5:00 or 5:30 it's almost like we're starting the day all over again because we are joined by people we care about and who are important in our lives.

I pray you'll be able to spend Christmas Day with someone who is special to you. And if that happens to include opening your own home to someone new, be prepared to be blessed.