Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Greatest Gift - A True Story

There is so much going on right now, city sidewalks, busy sidewalks and all that. . . .
The children, the decorating, the shopping and planning, never mind the cleaning, cooking,
working, schooling, bill paying . . . . .

It's so important that we   *S* L*O*W*  down - even if it doesn't seem possible - to take it
all in and to remember what is important - to think about the year past, things accomplished,
things we want to improve. We need to look to the future, to make plans, set goals. We need to
BE  In The Moment with our families. . . . .  so much to do, so many important things to check
off our list-  it's easy to forget. 

I had a fresh reminder recently. 

One of the things I have "in the works" is contributing to a new site that has recently
launched- DIVA Girls   - It's different for me, as I am always surrounded by boys - and used to
writing to Moms. This is a site for girls ages tween to young adult. In brainstorming as to what I
want to write about - I've been amazed to see where the reflection has taken me.

One of the most important moments of my life was brought back from the recesses of my mind-

Once upon a time, when I was a girl.-a long long time ago- :) I was fourteen years old - to be exact. I had a close friend named Jeffrey. He was my neighbor. Jeffrey was cool. He had a lot of friends, and everyone loved being around him.

I was, not so "cool". I went to Christian school, and I dressed differently and believed differently than
most of the other kids who ran around our neighborhood. But, Jeffrey didn't seem to care about that.
He thought I was pretty cool.

I became a Christian at an early age. I got fired up- excited about the truth in my life - and commenced
to telling anyone and everyone who would listen about what Jesus could do for them. I NEVER
hesitated, or worried about what they would think of me. It wasn't about me, it was about making
sure that they knew about the love of Christ. I'd never considered whether or not it was "cool".

Until Jeffrey. 

For the first time in my life, I was concerned about what someone would think. I didn't want to tell 
Jeffrey about my Jesus. I wanted him to know, I just didn't want to be the one to tell him. He thought
I was "cool" - and I was enjoying that idea for the first time.

God had other plans. He began to pull at my heart. I stomped my foot in disgust and frustration.
Really? Can't I just enjoy this for what it is without having to drag "Jesus" into it?

For the first time in my life, I did not want to share Christ.

The Lord continued to knock, knock, knock at the door of my heart. He continued until I threw my
hands up. I literally looked up and said, "FINE!" (stomp stomp) "YOU bring up the subject, and I'll
obey and tell Jeffrey about you!!!" (insert more stomping)

The next day. Yes. Out of NO-Where, Jeffrey mentioned God and asked me what I thought. Seriously?
Again, I looked up. "Thanks a lot God", and I began to share His love with my "cool" friend.

I told him that we are all sinners. I told him that Jesus died to pay the price for those sins. I told him
about grace, and what it means to accept God's love and forgiveness, That it's a free gift -
like with any gift, you don't earn it - you just accept it -from the heart.  I told him what it is to walk
with the Lord.

We cried together. Jeffrey got down on his knees and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.We
prayed together.  We spent days and days talking about his "new life" in Christ - brothers and sisters- children of the King.

It was "cool". 

Flash forward six short months - I moved away with my family. After the first year of being gone- I
returned for Spring break to visit my friends in Florida. One of the first places I went, was to see
Jeffrey. I ran to the door and was so excited to see him.

His mother answered - and her face fell. She started to cry and told me that they had tried and
tried to find me but hadn't been able to.

Jeffrey had been struck by lightening. My friend Jeffrey was dead. 

The FIRST thing that went through my mind - and the thing that STILL today makes me stop in
my tracks- I almost didn't tell him! 

I was able to tell his mother about my experience with Jeffrey. I told her Jeffrey was with Jesus. 
 She wasn't a Christian, but, she was relieved to hear that her only son had spent time on his knees
giving his heart to the Lord, accepting God's forgiveness. She wasn't ready to pray with me, but she
held on tightly to the knowledge that I believe WHOLE heartedly that I will see my friend again! I pray
God was able to use it to reach her.

Though I ALMOST didn't tell Jeffrey about Christ- Thank God for His faithfulness - He kept
after me until I obeyed Him.  You see, He knew Jeffrey's time was close, and

 so did the enemy.

You getting the picture? We must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must 
listen carefully to His urging.

 We cannot do that if we are all caught up in too much "busy".

At Christmas and throughout the year - we need to spend time on our knees - and we need to pay
attention to the urging from the Lord - People need the love of Christ - God needs us to show them! 

I don't believe you will ever regret time spent sharing God's love with others -
but I know first hand, that you will regret it if you miss sharing Him when you are supposed to.

Are you slowing down this busy season to listen to Him? Are you sharing Jesus with your family
and others around you?

 He really is the greatest gift of all! 

And I count my gifts - to 1000 Gifts and beyond. . . . . 

#82 Thanking Him for the memory of Jeffrey 
#83 childhood friends 
#84 important life lessons
#85 His faithfulness 
#86 opportunity to teach my children truth daily
#87 His grace and forgiveness - even though I don't deserve it
#88 smells of Christmas 
#89 doors slamming as healthy children rush out
#90 reminding me to *s*l*o*w* 
#91 the one who paid it all 
#92 the King who chose a manger for his bed - and the cross instead of a throne

This week: 
We have slowed down and are not trying to do it all - 
we are enjoying each other and still fitting in some of the wonderful 
Advent activities from - and we are LOVING reading the Scriptures together
and discussing the details of the true Christmas story- 

I am thrilled to see my boys soaking up the real "spirit of Christmas" and wanting to do for
those in need! We are learning about children and families from other countries and the boys
are giving up some of their Christmas to give to Compassion  -

What we are learning:
I made this button-  
Teach Your Children About Compassion : To share the FREE Global Curriculum from Compassion!
Teach your children to think about others and to care for those across the globe!

Gifts you can give:

chickens-105x90.jpg      Did you know you can purchase a chicken for a family in need - for just $16 ?                                      
There are other life altering gifts of Compassion for you and your family to consider giving this year -
 My children love knowing that even though they are small - they can make a difference! I love
teaching them to think outside themselves and showing them the world! Link is here if you'd like
to take a look at the gift catalog  - ($10 for seeds to grow a family garden!)

God Bless You - Every One!
-Merry Christmas-


Wednesdays in the Word Kids in the Word Wednesday   Truth in the Tinsel Week 1         Mustard Seeds

iFellowship  mobbutton Books, Pyramids, Fishing, and a Not So Great Place for Cereal     


Lisa notes... said...

Wow. That is an awesome story about Jeffrey. I'm so glad you took your clue from God to talk to him about Jesus when you had the opportunity.

Trying to slow down here too....

Renee said...

Thanks so much for sharing your testimony about Jeffrey. It will be a happy reunion when you see him again some day! Many blessings!

Allison said...

Wow, I am glad I stopped by and read this. Normally I just pass over longer posts because I am so busy, but something made me read yours! What a great testimony of how God can use us. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas and Keep counting!

Gidget said...

Wow, Kellie - just WOW! I got tingles from that story...I look forward to meeting Jeffrey when we get there :)

Rebecca said...

Sweet friend, that is one amazing story...the tears it brought...are tears of sorrow and joy! Yep, I stomp my feet a LOT, too...but, His way is always better than mine!!! LOVE YOU!

Cindy said...

Oh, my.....what a wonderful story. . . brought tears to my eyes. How blessed Jeffery was that he had a friend like you.

LuvMyCrzyLife said...

I am so glad to hear you listened to God urging you to talk to Jeffrey. Your story reminds me in some ways of a little girl my mom once taught in Sunday School. Thank you for sharing and may your family have a blessed Christmas!

Leslie said...

oh my goodness. I have goosebumps everywhere. I'm so thankful you listened and obeyed....and shared this with us. Merry Christmas.

Debbie said...

That is a good story, one that stings as I often don't want to tell people that I don't know well about Christ. I am also "very busy" taking care of me, myself and I. A tough business this yielding to God.

Thanks for the great story!

Stacie said...

Merry Christmas, Kelli!

MomLaur said...

That is an amazing story! God bless you for listening to his promptings. Thank you for the encouragement to slow down and listen, I know I've missed opportunities before b/c of being too busy! Merry Christmas!

Jennifer said...

He is indeed the greatest gift, and I'm so glad you obeyed and shared with your friend Jeffrey! I can't wait to meet him and hear his side of the story when we get to heaven!

Merry Christmas!

Steph @ MomKaboodle said...

Oh, my goodness! I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend....and I thank you for reminding us how important it is for us to share Jesus with others.
Hope you had a merry Christmas!

Jennifer @ GettingDownWithJesus.com said...

Oh ... my ... goodness.

I am just in awe of the way in which God works. And I am so grateful for your obedience. I am inspired. As I was reading, I found myself saying, "Oh, wow ... Oh, wow."

Just beautiful. God-bumps here ...

Merry Christmas to you.