|Andrew gave all that he had.
The Wade Family Christmas is a large affair, with a gathering of over one hundred, our clan mostly dressed in Wranglers and boots, gather at a local reception hall. Each year, our extended family chooses a family in need. Often we donate food and firewood, and money. This year my parents, and the kids and I packed up our firewood to give to a family member going through a difficult time. After dinner, the monarch of the family announced another collection would be used to purchase new dentures recently lost at the nursing home.
A few days later, I discover money and a note on the kitchen counter. I counted the money and read the note from Andrew: “New teeth.” I called Andrew into the kitchen to explain. He said, “Well, it’s not a lot, but it’s all the money I have, except for Wal-Mart gift cards. You can’t buy new teeth with a Wal-Mart gift card can you? We know two people who need new teeth and I want them to have my money. I have teeth. Everyone needs teeth, mom.” I cried. I lifted my head to the heavens and thanked the Good Lord above for this boy!
We spent Christmas Eve with my parents, my sister and her children. After the presents were opened, my mom announced she had one more gift to give. She handed Andrew a crisp twenty-dollar bill and said, “Andrew, I heard about you giving all your money away to help buy new teeth for Wilton. This is for you!” Andrew’s eyes lit up with excitement, and then he spoke, “But Grandma, this is too much. I only gave away $18 not $20.” She smiled at her only grandson and said, “No, you keep it!” From across the living room cluttered with wrapping paper, I asked “Andrew, what is it I always say about giving?” With a huge grin, he erupted, “YOU CAN’T OUT GIVE GOD!” It’s true; we can never out give God! In fact, the Bible says to test God on this subject.
“Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
I received many treasured gifts this Christmas. However, the most treasured gift was watching Andrew walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s nudge to give; then watching his face light up when he received back more than he gave. That’s how God works. You can’t out give God!
My knight in shining armor told me he loved me! Be still my heart!
I love the way God dropped a JOY bomb smack dab in the middle of an ordinary day! This past week I volunteered at my kids school during Spirit Week. On this particular day the kids were dressed in a Kingdom theme. My son wore the silver duct tape costume I made for him last summer during our Kingdom Chronicles Vacation Bible School. He wore a crown, a duct tape tunic, plastic sword, and silver duct tape shield. I love duct tape projects!
My son saw me through the open door of the teacher workroom walked in and asked for money. But this time I was obliged to help. Mr. Hill’s bake sales are known far and wide for being the best. (Plus the money goes towards a good cause, a Spring trip to Monticello). Thanks to two previous snow days I was unprepared and all I came up with was $1.00 in coins. My knight smiled at me, crown slightly crocked, and said “Thanks Mom!” Then my knight walked back into the room and said “Hey mom” then he held up his hand and gave the sign of these numbers 1-4-3. Tears pricked my eyes. Without saying a word I motioned back 1-4-3-2.
1-4-3. This is our secret code for I-love-you. I cannot take credit for this. My friend Michelle shared this with me over a decade ago. This was something special between she and her dad. Just the two of them. I can recall standing in her kitchen of her first house when she shared that with me. I remember the way she cried because her father had just passed away. She whispered “1-4-3 Dad.”
I began speaking in code with Andrew many years ago in the height of his I-want-to-be-a-spy-stage. This stage coincided with the Mom-it’s-not-cool-to-hug-you-or-say-I-love-you-in-front-of-my-friends-stage. Thus, I borrowed 1-4-3. He loved it and so do I.
Tears spilled down my face. My knight in shining (duct tape) armor told me he loved me!
1-4-3-2 Andrew, I love you too!
I love how God turns an ordinary day into something extraordinary.1-4-3-2 Lord! All the more!
“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12