Christmas 2017

Sometimes when we are in the middle of something amazing we think we will never forget how wonderful a thing is or how blessed we are in that very moment. Then one day life takes a turn and we can hardly believe that goodness really happened.

So, just in case, so I have proof that it was real, I am going to write it all down now.  Then one day if I need it, I will have it to look back on and remember my first Christmas "alone", and what a blessing it was.

2017 started chaotic and scary, a rush of fear and anxiety brought in the year. An urgent need for a lawyer, and a desperate fear caused by having 1300 a month in bills and an average income (state aid + all the work I could acquire) of about 900 (the math doesn't work, but God is amazing!). God provided every need, including all the money needed to rent a car to drive to Oregon for court and, somehow I returned from the trip with as much money as I left with and was able to make extra payments on bills and in spite of missing the equivalent of a full month's work,  I had all I needed to make every expense. 

August to Mid-December was spent waiting for the judge to sign the final judgment and start receiving spousal and child support. 

By the time Thanksgiving was over, I was completely out of reserve funds, my Christmas tree had rotted in storage, I had money to keep a roof over our heads, but nothing for Christmas gifts,  my credit cards were maxed (thankfully I only have two and they have VERY low limits on them), and I was looking at being alone for the holidays because this is the kids first Christmas with their dad.
I wasn't sad or upset per se,  but I was scared that I might find myself depressed while the kids were gone. And I was concerned about how the kids would really feel if I had nothing for them for Christmas,  including not even a tree... Then God showed up! (Not that He ever left...)

A few days after I found my tree had  not survived the year in storage, I got a PM through Facebook,  from a sweet lady I have not been face to face with since I was 12. She asked for my mailing address.  Since we are on Facebook, and it is not uncommon to make that request, for the purpose of sending cards,  I gave her my address.   A few days later, she messaged me again and informed me she was buying us a tree and having it delivered to my front door!  I was stunned. Shocked. Overwhelmed. What a blessing! The kids and I had already accepted that we were not going to be able to have a tree. So, I didn't tell them one was coming! We were heading to our friend's house for an early Christmas the same day the tree was to be delivered, I just had to stall. The kids'  faces when they opened that package, was all the Christmas this mom needed! Then a couple days later, this same lady (its been 30 years, I am a virtual stranger to her!), sent me a Christmas card with $$ in it! Then I got three more cards the next day, all with $$ in them. Then I met with my counselor at the college, and she gave me the information to receive gifts from Toys for Tots!  Now I had a tree and it would have some gifts under it!! I was getting excited! Next came (with some threats of legal action if it didn't happen) my first support payment, that gave me extra $$ enough to pay my credit cards down to no longer beyond their limits, and gave me a little to buy a few gifts.  Then came my pay from the one house I clean every week, and they included a Christmas bonus! And another card with $$!!

The kids left on their trip to Oregon, and I went to pick up the gifts from T4T.  The gifts couldn't have been more perfectly suited for them!
Then I went to buy the gifts that the kids had pointed out to me, and everything was on a BOGO free sale, mix and match all the things both kids wanted!
Then I was invited (first time ever!) to a Christmas Eve party. And I invited myself to spend 3 days with the adopted parents, and My Shirley invited me to come spend a few days with her after Christmas! 
The Christmas party was outside my comfort zone, but I was blessed to go and it was a good stretch for me. I needed it.
The time with Mom and Dad George was amazing.  I was getting over a cold, but they were sweet the way they watched after me during those few days. We had a friend join us for Christmas dinner and it was a quiet and refreshing day! All three days were such a blessing,  I don't even have words, there is nothing like quiet visits with the parents.
Now I am in Lancaster, enjoying a few more days. Kid-less. Pleasant.
I am guessing I have received all the $$ I am going to get this Christmas,  and that is fine with me! I have been so blessed it is almost embarrassing to say out loud the amount I have received!  But I will keep it in a safe place until I know exactly what I am to do with it all.

I am just amazed! This could have been the worst Christmas ever, and so far it has been the most blessed one I ever experienced. I am humbled by the reality that I was resigned to accepting a bummer of a Christmas and God blessed me instead with a Christmas that will be highlight in my memory for years to come.

God is so good!

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