There were many years at Christmas we didn’t have a lot but we always had enough. I had committed to staying home with our six littles. That meant one income for a large family. Jer always worked hard, doing whatever was needed to make ends meet. The kids, now grown, attribute their work ethic to him.
One year, about a month before Christmas, our toaster stopped toasting. This was the year God began moving me into ministry and it felt like we were under attack, with all kinds of crazy things happening. I had just told a friend the day before that the enemy really couldn’t harm me but only do things like make my toaster stop working. Yep, the very next day my toaster died. I decided I need to be more careful about what I said. It wasn’t like we had the cash to buy a new toaster, so each morning I would turn the oven on broil and toast the bread on one side, then the other. It really was a hassle but we made it work. I always loved how our kids were appreciative of what ever gifts they got, even socks. They usually needed them. We found creative ways to make it all work. I had returned from an event with multiple free items given to me. I wrapped them to help fill our kids stockings. We were creative and fragile. Some how we always had more than enough. Our family gives lists to each other to help in the selection process. I’m quite practical and usually ask only for what I need. So, I was thrilled when I got a new toilet seat. Don’t laugh, I was seriously happy but there was one gift that made me even happier. As I sat in my chair, holding a rather large box, the kids sat around me on the floor. I had just ripped through the paper on top and saw what it contained. Knowing how excited the kids would be about this gift, I slowly pulled the paper down, keeping my eyes on their sweet faces, anticipating their reaction. Their eyes grew large and their mouth’s dropped into a shape of an O. A toaster! They literally cheered and jumped up in celebration. It’s one of my most favorite memories. Having more isn’t necessarily better. Not having everything meant every gift held more meaning, more appreciation. We are truly blessed and often forget to be thankful.