Monday, December 5, 2011

Memorial Box Monday: A Special Gift From Santa Who?

It has been quite some time since I posted a Memorial Box Monday story.  Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity thought it was time again for us to share stories of God's provision for His children.  She has based her MBM on the Biblical account found in Joshua 4,  where God instructs Joshua  to build a memorial with 12 large stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel.  In obedience Joshua gather and instructs 12 men to carry the stones and lay them in front of the Ark to remind the people of God's goodness. Linny and many of us who participate have our own special box or cupboard that holds items that remind us of times when God provided for us.  When trials come, and they will~ it is always helpful to look back and remember those times. To read more stories of God's love and goodness or link up your own, visit Linny at the link above.

And now my story~~~

When Joel and I were first married he received his draft notice (1968)and to avoid the draft he joined the Air Force.  He could have taken a seminary deferment, but did not feel right about that, so he enlisted and started out as a private in the Air Force.  After basic training and some specialized training we moved to Albuquerque New Mexico where he was stationed at Sandia Army Base.  Money was very scarce and I think his salary was around $200 a month.  It was a long time ago!  We found a two room apt. where other military lived, and settled in to await the arrival of our first child, Bethany. 

When Christmas came around that year we used what little money we had to make ceramic gifts ( the base provided everything but the paints and postage) and we sent them home to family.  It was hard to be so far from all of them during the holidays.  After getting everything sent off to our family we knew we would not have enough money for a tree, gifts for each other, or a special dinner, but we would be together and not go hungry!

About 4 days before Christmas we received a card in the mail with $25 in it!  There was no return address and it was signed in unfamiliar writing~ "Merry Christmas From Santa!  For us this was a lot of money....we only paid $25 for our first (used)TV!  We were so surprised and so very grateful.  We found a small tree to put our ornaments on, bought each other a $5 gift, and purchased enough food to have a nice Christmas dinner for ourselves and a few other soldiers who had no where to go for the holidays.  I was even able to make a few cookies.

We had our suspicions, but we never did find out who sent us the money, we just know that once again God provided us with just what we needed to make our Christmas special.  That day we thanked God for whispering our needs to someone who became our Secret Santa, and for a gift we have never forgotten.  God always provides and often surprises us with more than enough to share.

5 comments:

Erica Hami said...

Such a special story! My family has received a special gift from a santa this year! Love how God whispers our needs to others for us!

Mom Of Many said...

What a beautiful story and absolutely perfect for this time of year!! I could feel it like I was there. And to think that you lived in ABQ - too bad it wasn't now! Cause then we could have visited each other??

Thank you for sharing Renee. Your stories always bless me. Love you sweet friend!

Renee said...

Thanks for coming by Erica...It is wonderful how God whispers our needs to others...a blessing for those who are giving too.

Renee said...

I know...Alb. would be fun wouldn't it..warmer too than Iowa :) Thanks for coming by busy lady.

Joan Davis said...

Your beautiful story brought tears to my eyes! God's provisions come through many different ways...This time through a "secret Santa"! What a blessing this must have been for you and your husband as you were just starting out together!

Living for Him, Joan

P.S. Please tell your husband thank you for serving our country, especially during that turbulent time back in '68.