Chris and I adopted an Angel Tree child through a military event for Christmas this year...we intentionally sought an older kid with a hefty wish list since we do not have children and are in a position to help make Christmas extra special for someone in need. So with that we set out to create THE. BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER. for this child. I mean...I was all about it. I put my 'perfected' Black Friday shopping skills to the test and aimed to get as many presents possible with what money we had to give. Of course, this was mostly online shopping since we live in a small city and shopping is sufficient but not abundant.
Four days before the gift drop due date, I got a delayed shipping notification from Old Navy stating the order would be delayed...delayed past the gift drop deadline. I was beyond frustrated because I bought a ton of clothes for a price I was not going to find elsewhere, on a non-Black Friday shopping day. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with Old Navy explaining not only my predicament, but my dissatisfaction with their delivery service. Although they kindly offered to reduce the cost to only 10% of the full-price total, it still left me in a bind. The cost was not the issue…timing and the inability to find the same quantity of clothes was my issue. Again, I had “THE. BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER.” mentality and now this was going to be harder-than-ever to accomplish.
So with 4 days left, I set out again to shop for clothes and re-create THE. BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER. I headed to JCPenney’s to get the best bang for my buck. And although I didn’t do as well as my Black Friday shopping, I was able to get our child exactly the clothes he asked for plus a “cool” Nike outfit (I did splurge a bit on this but I couldn’t resist!).
Due to some other crazy circumstances, I found myself gift wrapping two hours before the gifts were due at social services. I got all the gifts wrapped and started wrapping the clothes only to find the security ink tags still attached to two articles of clothing...my “splurge” Nike clothing. At this point…I yelled out to God, “I’m just trying to create THE. BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER. over here…what gives?” I was frustrated and felt like an Angel Tree giver failure. And honestly, I was frustrated with God because we were just trying to do something good for someone less fortunate than us. But I took my frustration, collected the gifts minus the Nike gear and headed to the drop-off location.
Sometimes God is just SO much bigger than us. I wish I would remember this during times of my frustration. Sometimes I am just the little lost sheep, completely disconnected with His plan. This was one of those times.
When we got to social services to drop gifts, we learned there were two boys (brothers!) that did not get their names on the Angel Tree and were in need of Christmas presents. And do you know one of them just so happened to be the same, EXACT size as the Old Navy clothes being delivered to my house? The moment I looked down and saw the size, I knew that Old Navy shipment was never meant for our original Angel Tree Child. God had a different, more perfect plan. And naturally I immediately jumped on board with His plan because it involved creating THE. BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER. for not one child but three. So I walked into JCPenney with my ink security-tagged Nike gear and exchanged it for 4 outfits for the younger brother and a mini drone toy for the older one.
Sometimes we think so incredibly small compared to His plan. Sometimes we are the lost sheep in need of a shepherd. Thankfully He always gathers us up and points us in the right direction.
Many are the plans in a person’s hearts, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Lord never stop taking my small plans and making them BIG.
Christmas morning, gifts galore, and three boys,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.