The year was hard. Harder than most. We stretched our pennies as far as they could go, and then some. My kids needed shoes. Their toes were creeping closer and closer to end. But this is Texas where you can live in flip-flops for a majority of the year. In October I prayed for shoes. We searched the depths of our closets and found a few forgotten pairs that could be passed down from one sister to another. We were thankful for what we had. A good friend reminded me just to trust. And I did.
November turned our thoughts to thankfulness and I tried NOT to think about Christmas presents. A strange thing happened. Peace poured over me as I began to worry less and thank more. Even if my kids didn’t have new shoes, or a pile of presents, we would focus on family and serving others.
A service project presented itself to our family and the local American Heritage Girls Troop we are a part of. I offered to help an organization called Moms Helping Moms with their Christmas Gifts for children. When I pulled up to the warehouse, they loaded my car with – SHOES! Boxes and boxes of shoes. The shoes kept coming. We ended up filling two van loads and a truck with shoes. When I was loading the last box, the head of the organization whispered “Thanks so much for your help, why don’t you let your kids pick out a pair of shoes?” Answered prayer!
My house was filled with shoes. The shoes needed to be sorted and matched in pairs. As I looked at all of the shoes, I couldn’t help thinking about all of the kids that would be helped through Moms Helping Moms. I also couldn’t help thinking, “Well, I prayed for shoes! God answered my prayer, and gave me a chance to help others in greater need of shoes! My house is overflowing with shoes!” Then I looked at my house. Things might be tight and my kids might’ve needed a pair of shoes, but we really don’t know what it’s like to be in TRUE need. Desperate need. I humbly confessed the times I let shoes, among other things, cause stress, and the times I forgot how blessed I am.
All of the shoes were loaded into a trailer and our American Heritage Girls troop sorted and organized them into groups based on size, age group, and gender. At the end of the project, the girls gathered over the shoes and prayed for the boys and girls. My heart was touched.
The verse from Luke 6: 37 – 38 kept repeating in my mind, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven, Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Days were checked off the calendar, December came, and Christmas crept closer and closer. I knew gifts would be scarce, but I also knew that wasn’t what Christmas was about. I reached a point of acceptance and thankfulness. Then the miracle came.
I shared my answered prayer about the shoes to a few close friends. A few emails later, people from church anonymously gave a gift here and a pair of shoes there. By the time Christmas morning came, our family was given over twenty pairs of shoes! The ones that didn’t fit were returned for other gifts or given to others. When Christmas morning came, we did have a pile of presents. Right next to the pile of shoes! A few that didn’t fit and couldn’t be returned were tucked into a closet. Months later, a friend posted a need. I was able to pass on the shoes. The miracle lived once more.
1 prayer + 1 act of service + a little bit of faith = 20 pairs of shoes
A true Christmas Miracle! Remember last week? The magic of Christmas of became real to us that year. My kids remember this event as the year Santa gave us shoes – and our parents gave us more shoes – several boxes of shoes. It’s really strange because we aren’t exactly a “shoe” family. We each have one or two pairs and are quite content (well, THEY have one or two pairs… I’m a bit different…), so getting that many at once was, well, rather humorous. But isn’t that the way God works? He reminded me that he answers prayer. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over. He pours it into our lap.