“Grace and peace to you from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 1:2 (NIV)
I could find no better way to open today than with the greeting found at the beginning of Paul’s letters in the books of the New Testament.
Grace and Peace to each of you, my dear readers!
I hope and pray that your Christmas celebrations have been richly blessed and have you still overflowing with gratitude.
I find myself in awe and shock of the volume of goodness that has been poured into my life and the lives of my family over the past week. So much goodness that it leaves me sitting in wonder, pondering these blessings in my heart, with a joy that overflows through tears in my eyes.
I have been able to do little but praise God for all His goodness and to thank Him profusely for His followers who have chosen to so richly bless my family. Let me tell you what has happened.
Abundance in our Arms
Last week I sent a message to a friend of mine who works at the church we were a part of when we lived in Sioux Falls. We were coming to town on Christmas Eve to spend time with family, and we wanted to attend a service on Christmas Eve morning, so I was inquiring about service times.
My sweet friend’s response gave us not only the service times, but a bit of a surprise. It turns out that someone had dropped off some gifts for us at the church and she had been tasked with figuring out how to get them to us.
I initially replied with a question, asking if she was sure these gifts were meant for us. You see we moved out of the Sioux Falls area, to rural southwest Minnesota in August of 2011. Williams is a very common last name. Perhaps it was intended for another family.
My dear friend was certain that these gifts were meant for us. There were four boxes and they contained the names of each member of my family. In awe, I arranged to pick them up when we came to the Christmas Eve service.
There was no vision in my imagination that could conjure up what we received. When I pictured four boxes, I pictured four wrapped gifts. Certainly nothing larger in size than a small shoe box.
Yet, when my friend took us after the service to pick up our gifts we could do little more than stand in awe. What awaited us was four large moving boxes. Each box had a name taped to it.
As we each hoisted a box into our arms, to carry them out to our mini van, I was so vividly reminded of the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves. The story can be found in Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:1-15. Jesus blessed, broke, and multiplied with such measure that not only did everyone have as much as they wanted, there were twelve baskets of leftovers.
I have often imagined the awe that the disciples must have been in. I picture in my mind twelve disciples each carrying a basket of left overs; arms filled with God’s abundance.
So it was with us on Christmas Eve morning. Arms filled with God’s abundance.
We saved these amazing gifts to be opened on Christmas morning at our home.
Blessing Beyond Imagination
The boxes held a magnitude of blessings. The inventory nerd in me wants to give you an itemized list of all these boxes contained, but since that’s about a fun to read as the ingredients on food labels let me give you the overview.
My children received many items from the need category like shirts, pants, socks, gloves, and coats. But they were lavishly loved with very personalized gifts as well. My son received golf balls, a whole stocking filled with golf tees, a gift certificate to Golf addiction and a new polo shirt. My daughter received several craft kits to make necklaces, bracelets, and latch hook creations.
My husband and I received an entire box filled with necessities for caring for our family. Laundry detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, paper towels, lotion, and garbage bags. We also were given hats, scarves, a sweatshirt, a coat, a wallet, and a $100 gift card to Bed Bath & Beyond.
As each box was opened it was as if we were receiving unending blessings. More and more and more kept being taken out. It left me with just a few things to ponder: Who knew one could give so much in a single box? Who could have been so richly generous to us? How in the world do we go about saying THANK YOU?
One of the boxes contained this letter:
All I think of when I read this note is that the word “Many” before blessings is a HUGE understatement. These gifts were a multitude of blessings, scores of blessings, loads of blessings, hordes of blessings, and masses of blessings all combined together.
Blessings beyond anything that I could have ever imagined. Blessings that were so personal that our hearts overflow with gratitude.
A Letter of Thanksgiving
I have no idea whose hands and feet and hearts have blessed us so richly. The only idea that I could come up with to say THANK YOU to these generous servants was to write this blog post and share it as far as I could get it in hopes that they would read it and know how grateful we are.
Dear Servant of Christ that we only know as SANTA,
Thank you so very much for your rich and lavish blessing upon my family & I this Christmas. Your love and generosity leaves me struggling to find the right words to simply say THANK YOU. We are so humbled and overjoyed by this abounding blessing that I just cry tears of wonder.
I wish more than anything that my entire family could engulf you in a warm group hug to squeeze you with all of the emotions that I can not pack into words. This opulent act of love has our hearts overflowing with gratitude towards you and to God.
Please know that we appreciate these gifts so much. We praise God for His glory and His goodness that has been poured upon us through Your hands. We are asking God very fervently and adamantly to bless You just as abundantly and overwhelmingly in return. May your goodness be multiplied by the Lord’s mighty power and may His blessing give you more than you can hold.
Thank You! Thank you so, so, very much for the precious and priceless gifts that you have given to us. We are so grateful and appreciative!
With Love, Prayers, Praises, and Hugs,
Julie, Eric, Andrew, and Zoey
Beloved and Treasured Lord,
My heart overflows this Christmas season in so many ways. I am so grateful for the immaculate gifts that You have so generously bestowed upon us for Christmas.
For loving us so much that You would send Christ our Lord to reach out to us through the arms of a precious baby. For the tangible gifts of Your goodness that we can hold in our hands and for the intangible wonders of Your lavish love that we can carry in our hearts.
Lord, there are so many incredible people in our lives. I thank You for each of them. Lord, we pray a specific request that You would bless all who were involved in this outrageously generous gift to my family. Please help our overflowing gratitude to spill upon them, creating overflowing joy in their lives.
Praise and Glory to You Holy Lord! In the overflowingly generous name of Jesus, amen.