When Ashley and Ben, Jr. were younger, we had many wonderful Christmases together, just we three. There was an abundance of presents, lots of great food, and fun visits with other family members.
One Christmas, when Ashley and Ben, Jr. were in entering their teenage years, I reflected on my life and felt so grateful for all that the good Lord had provided me. My businesses were flourishing, and we had all we needed and then some. Right then, the feeling ‘hit’ me that it was time we three did something to help make someone else’s Christmas a happy one too. And, I wanted us to have an experience of doing something without any expectation of receiving anything in return.
We three sat down and talked about that idea and agreed that I’d use some of the money that I would have spent on them for Christmas to help a family in need. But how would we find the right family to help?
I called a minister friend and told him what we wanted to do and asked if he knew a family that was in real need. I could hear a sigh of relief in his voice as he said, “I’ve been praying for a family who is in dire need and your call is the answer to my prayers!” As I listened to him describe their situation, a chill went up my spine and I knew this was the family we were supposed to help.
When I told Ashley and Ben, Jr. about the family, I was very touched about their desire to help. Here they were giving up some of their Christmas - some of the money for their presents - to help a needy family. In that moment, I was absolutely the proudest father on the planet! We got an envelope and counted the money as we put it inside. “Why don’t we put in a little more?” asked Ashley. And Ben, Jr. chimed in, “Yea Dad. We don’t need that many presents.” So, we did.
That night we drove over to the family’s house and we three walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. When the woman answered the door, Ashley and Ben, Jr. gave her the envelope and said, “We wanted to give this to you and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!” As we drove home, I said, “Best Christmas ever!” Ashley and Ben, Jr. replied, “Yes Dad, it really is.”
We, all three by giving, received SO much in return…..a heart full of JOY!