Christmas is fast approaching, and as it does, I am reflecting on Mary and Joseph. I think about Mary being a young girl with an angel appearing and totally uprooting her life. Joseph was a man that thought everything was fine. He was betrothed to someone he loved, and an angel would appear to him too. They were chosen. Chosen in a way they never expected. I feel that way too.
Almost five years ago, I sat at the desk I am sitting at now, pecking at my keyboard and blogging for the first time. I am no wordsmith, nor did I know how to blog, but God chose me that day to start this ministry. I felt the conviction to write that first blog and trusted He would handle who would be the readers. I didn’t know what would become of it, but on March 12, 2018, I wrote that blog and sent it to the world.
I love to blog, even though my grammar is not very good. I am organic in my writing as it comes straight from my heart. I write anything that is on my mind and reveal everything. Though I love writing, God has placed emphasis in my ministry this Christmas on serving others. In the last 10 days, I have been all over our community serving others in HUGE ways that only God can facilitate.
Christmas 2020 was truly a turning point in my life. I had been asked to help out a victim of a very violent crime. I kept the letter I wrote her to encourage her. Though I don’t remember the specifics of her case, I remember God placing me in her path. I removed her name for her privacy. This is the letter.
I feel so blessed that (Deleted) and I are friends and have this opportunity to show you how special you are.
I had to leave an exceedingly difficult marriage with my small daughter in tow. My first husband abused alcohol and methamphetamine. He quit working, never came home, and had several girlfriends. I did not know God or Jesus then, so I struggled to figure everything out on my own. I was able to free myself and my daughter, Lexie, from this horrible marriage, and together, she and I accepted Jesus as our Savior and was baptized and added God to our daily lives. Fast forward to 2 ½ years ago when God stopped my day and placed my ministry in my heart. A ministry to anchor people to God’s love by holding a gratitude heart and practicing gratitude every day.
I want you to know that before coming to Christ, I was buried in the world’s ways. I spent every penny I made on material things. I was not full (I thought) without showing wealth to others. I was over $41,000 in debt on my credit cards, and I was drowning in debt. A debt I hid from my current husband. One day God laid it on my heart that I had to confess my sin of overspending to God Himself and to my husband. I cried and prayed all day, and when my husband came home, I confessed my sin of overspending. I expected him to leave me but instead, He offered me grace and said we would pay off the debt together and never speak of it again. Then, I realized that grace was much more important than what I bought.
I want you to know that even though I don’t know you except that you are a single mom and your first name is (DELETED), I know you are beautiful and a child of God. He specifically made you and loves you unconditionally. He wants you to turn to Him in good times and in bad times for the guidance you seek. I want you to know that God always stays with us through every walk and season and brings us out better if we can be patient and grateful for our blessings. Walk through each season growing closer to God and trusting in your faith in Jesus.
The gifts and money you are receiving are from my friends and family. We want you to know that even though we are strangers, we care about you and your children. I know someday you will be doing the same for another single mom. I know this because someone did this for me when I only had $37 to provide Christmas for Lexie. Someone came forward and surprised me with kindness. I want to bless you, too, with God’s love and human kindness.
I am praying daily for you. I carry a small blue heart with your name, and I pray for you often. I put a small blue heart in this envelope with my name on it so you can carry it and remember I am praying for you.
Please keep this Bible verse in your heart: Psalm 46:5 “God is within her; she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”
My love and gratitude to you, LoLo Christmas 2020
This simple, heartfelt letter and gifts transformed my heart and led me to follow God’s plan. This Christmas, just 2 years later, there were no anonymous letters to write but truly to be in the trenches because there was work to be done.
Just 10 days ago, I stood in our county courthouse with families that lost a loved one to violent crimes. Everyone in the room was in pain and grieving. I handed out tiny peace angels to each family member. I approached each family member gently and said to each of them, “I am so sorry to meet you here for this reason, but I want to gift you this peace angel. They are hand carved in Kenya, and I pray that you find peace when you hold it.” I gifted 65 that day. The one thing I noticed about each person receiving the peace angel was a small smile of HOPE in each of them.
This emotional day was followed by gifting Christmas Blessings to fifteen families that were victims of violent crime in our community or had no HOPE of having a Christmas for their family this year. I reached out to my donors in the community with a very long list of items I needed to fulfill Christmas Blessings. It was a matter of a few days and my house was filling up with gifts donated by our community for these families. My husband joked that if I did this again next year, I would have to get a storage unit. There were bikes, clothes, games, toys, perfume, books, art supplies, shoes, coats, and so much more. I asked for laundry baskets filled with cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, tampons, laundry soap, dryer sheets, bars of soap, and other miscellaneous items. The families would be relieved of buying essential items for a few months with these baskets. Each family received gift cards for groceries and gasoline. I prayed over each bag of gifts for the families receiving them for a new start in the New Year.
Finally, two days ago, I was honored to be at an event to celebrate Christmas with the homeless. I had no idea how big this event would be, but when I looked at the temperature that morning, I knew it would be freezing cold. The temperature was 31 degrees here in Texas. I began layering on my clothing so I could keep warm. It would have been easy to call and say I couldn’t make it and stay warm, but I knew our homeless friends couldn’t do that.
When I arrived at the event, the wind blew, and I tried moving around to stay warm. As guests started arriving many were bundled in blankets to keep warm. One of the partner sponsors for the event brought a hot chocolate bar from a company called Lattes on Location. This was brilliant and extremely popular with our homeless friends. She also coordinated food from Olive Garden, which was very popular and filling. I always pick up the dirty dishes and sit with our homeless community. I want to hear their stories that I find are not the typical stories of addiction but stories of a twist of fate. Stories include a home that burned down without insurance, a divorce that pushed a mom and kids out of the family home, and someone being scammed out of their life savings. They are people just like you and me trying to bridge the gap.
The first two hours of the event went by very fast. I noticed that the wind had stopped blowing, the sun was shining brightly, and the temperature was now up to 50 degrees. It was such a beautiful day. Here are a few pictures.
I am humbled by the work God puts in my path and the people that help me do this work. Although I have no idea why he chose me, I am honored He did. I pray this holiday season, you feel God’s love and blessings. My gratitude to you-LoLo