Since it looks like the holiday shopping deals have started flooding my Inbox, I figured this was a good week to share a story to remind us all to be a blessing to others in this upcoming time of giving.
At the end of 2018 it was time for a new vehicle. I had been driving my previous SUV for 11 years. I remember buying it and the first Gen iPhone in the same month, right before I had my youngest daughter Kassadi in 2008.
Over the years we trekked through 17 states for various sporting events and family trips. I managed to reach over 250K miles but then started to have numerous issues, and realized it was time to upgrade to something more reliable.
It was assumed that I would get another SUV – we needed the space to haul all our track gear every weekend – the tents (yes plural!), chairs, wagon, cooler, air mattresses and whatever new item we would add to our equipment stash after we saw someone else with it and decided we MUST have it! We also wanted a third row again to be able to transport teammates, cousins, and whoever else may need a ride during our travels.
I had my heart set on a Toyota Highlander. I had spent the last 5 years admiring the new body design and had my heart completely set on getting one when the time came. When we decided it was time to start automobile-shopping, I was excited to start the search for the perfect Highlander.
I probably checked out every Toyota dealer’s website within a 50 mile radius to compare available models, colors, prices, and features. I was even given one for the weekend to test drive and had quite an experience that I shared here earlier this year.
There was no other vehicle for me, or so I thought. But I wasn’t crazy about the leg space or available storage when the third row was up. After looking at some reviews of SUVs with a third row, the Honda Pilot was now a formidable contender. I went to a local dealer to test drive the Pilot, and while there was more cargo space with the third row up, the leg room on that third row still wasn’t enough for the taller athletes that I would be transporting.
Then the Salesman suggested the Odyssey. He talked about the plentiful legroom in the 3rd row and ample cargo space even with the row up.
Uh, no sir, I don’t drive mini-vans unless we are renting one while on vacation in Orlando. Even though I had been cheering on the sidelines since 2009, I didn’t want to be THAT kind of soccer mom!
During this time, we were also collecting supplies for the homeless during the Christmas holiday season. I was going around collecting donations from family and friends, and after a while I was having a hard time fitting everything in the back of the SUV.
During this time, God started challenging me – “Isn’t this what you want to do? Don’t you want to have the ability to transport items to those in need? Can’t you do that and so much more in a mini-van? What matters more, serving people or maintaining a certain image?”
So I headed to my favorite site – Google – and began to research the Honda Odyssey. And the rest is history.
Why did I share this with you?
A few weeks ago, while on my way to church (and running late), I saw 2 huge donation piles of clothes on the front of someone’s lawn. A quick thought ran through my mind to stop, but as I was late, I kept heading toward the entrance of the interstate. I immediately felt God press on my spirit to go back and pick the items up.
But I dismissed it as I was late for church, AND the items weren’t even bagged and packed up nicely. But I kept feeling the press. “Isn’t this what I blessed you with this mini-van for?”
As I was about 100 feet from turning onto the highway, I finally surrendered to God’s call and made a U-turn.
“But what if someone I know drives by and sees me putting this stuff in my car? They will probably think I’m in need and on hard times.”
The Response? “So you’re still worried about what other people think about you?”
God is TOUGH on me! But in a good way, as I would soon come to realize.
I reached out to a Sorority sister who led a clothing ministry. She invited me to join her and the rest of our chapter at the Homeless shelter where they were serving.
After church ended, we joined them, pulled out our unexpected treasure, and started folding and separating the clothes.
As people came up asking for specific sizes and items, to be able to pull them out of what I just collected was a humbling but amazing experience.
I call it a divine connection. God directed my steps to be able to meet the needs of those people. If I hadn’t been obedient and just dismissed Him at that first nudge, I would have missed the opportunity to be a blessing to someone else.
In the upcoming month as we indulge our children and other family members with gifts, let’s not forget about those that may not have even the basic necessities.
If you feel God’s nudge to do something, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, I encourage you to JUST TRUST GOD and do it! You won’t regret it.
And let’s keep that giving spirit up throughout the entire year. And you don’t even need a mini-van to do that!
Is there someone in your life that you know is in need? Do you have the ability to help them? If so, what’s stopping you?
In what ways can you give to those in need this holiday season? Do you know any organizations you could assist in giving back to your community in the upcoming weeks?
If you are in need of help, won’t you say a quick prayer to God now, asking Him to provide the help needed? And then start expecting your help to arrive!
Feel free to share your response in the comments section…