Spread that Jesus Cheer!
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
This has been a very special week. Ellie decided that she wanted to spread Jesus’ cheer to kids in our community! ( Her idea not ours)
We recently took Ellie to the store to buy a toy. I had lost a bucket of toys that I told her I would keep safe if she shared them with her friends at church and then I lost the entire bucket of toys. After buying her a new toy we were in the car and I was reminding her how blessed we are to have so much and how nice it must feel to get a new toy. She agreed that it was nice. I went on to tell her that many kids do not get new toys often and sometimes at Christmas they don’t even get toys. Before I could finish she said something I’ll never forget!
“Maybe I can be like Santa and give toys to ALL the kids so they can feel happy too!”
I was headed in that direction but she clearly felt it in her heart. I told her that Jesus would be so pleased to see her giving to other kids with such a happy heart because Jesus loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
That’s where stockings for kids began. We took Ellie shopping and she filled the cart with stockings and fun toys and activities to fill the stockings with.
She stuffed all the stockings with very little help.
When we were out and about if she were to see a kid she would give them a stocking and say Merry Christmas!
Then she would tell their parents her entire life story!
She never asked to keep a stocking for herself. She never hesitated to give the stockings away. She was so eager to give each one. In fact, after she gave the last one she asked “what about the other kids we see tomorrow?” She loves to give.
While the kids were so excited to receive a stocking I was also amazed at the encouraging reaction from each parent. One grandparent responded…
“I had a heart attack in July and had a triple bypass. Ellie helped me see that I should be blessing others too. Jesus brought me back for a reason.”
Let’s just say Ellie brought lots of smiles to kids and much joy to many parents and grandparents.
Jesus used Ellie to bless 20 kids in her community this week. It was so exciting to watch her eyes light up when a kid would walk by. I believe that each kid who received a stocking was chosen by God for a reason. We might not know the reason but we trust in a savior who has a perfect plan. Ellie might not have been able to give stockings to ALL the kids in our community but we know that she spread Jesus’ cheer to many kids this Christmas.
The truth is, Ellie is teaching me a different perspective in giving. Not every person needs to be given to because they are hurting financially. Some are hurting in other ways. Some are financially broken. Some are spiritually broken. Others are physically broken. Many are mentally and emotionally broken. We live in a broken and fallen world. We are all broken in some way at some point in life. We all need that person who is willing to spread Jesus’ cheer and fill our hearts with hope and joy. Ellie did just this. She spent the week, filling the community with a little bit of cheer. I was looking so hard for a charity or shelter of some sort that Ellie’s could give her stockings to. I realized I was missing individuals who we cross paths with on a daily basis. We still give to places like shelters and charities but this year Ellie also reminded us to have our eyes open to those who we come into contact with in our daily routines. There are broken people all around us and they all need some of that Jesus cheer that continually spills from Ellie’s heart.