Okay - this took a little while to post:
Most people like surprises – a new car, a raise, the laundry folded and put-away. Good things. This year we were able to pull-off a Christmas surprise for our kids. David and I planned and prayed for months in order to make this happen. On Christmas morning, we were able to give the kid’s their gift.
First they opened a box in which were wrapped two packages – one for Chris and one for Ashley. Inside the tissue paper they found matching shirts – grey Mickey Mouse shirts for the boys and red Mickey Mouse shirts for the girls. They were so grateful.
“Thanks mom!” Chris said. Wow. Two simple shirts and they were pleased. It made the next part even more enjoyable!
“Look under the tissue paper,” I encouraged. They had began to pick up the trash and move on. They removed the tissue paper to find two pieces of paper, one addressed to each of them. As they opened the paper the read, “Safe the Dates: February 20-27. We are going to Disney World!”
They were stunned and sat in silence. Yes, silence. “Really?” Ashley asked? “Are you serious?” Chris questioned.
What a great Christmas morning! Papa and Mike were here to celebrate the children’s surprise; bringing books from their trip to help us get organized. They spent hours looking at rides and restaurants.
This trip has give us a chance to remember that God redeems pain. The royalties from the video www.babybuilders.com, produced from my idea of an exercise video to help families of disabled children and using Ashley’s story, have enabled this trip. It was a one-time pay-out and we figured the kids had earned this - they both survived the stroke.
We know that the healing process of Ashley has seemed laborious and tedious – surgeries, therapies, wheelchairs, walkers, medications – and that it is not over yet. But God has given us a respite. A time to be together and celebrate.
When making reservations, they asked if were celebrating an event. “Yes, we are! Life!” I said. I then told her our family’s story and how doctors did not expect Ashley’s development to reach further than a toddler but God had said otherwise. Now a woman in Florida knows of God’s healing power. And get this, she wrote it all in our reservation request – more people will read this. They will know what when man said, “Sorry,” God said, “Rejoice!”
What “Christmas Surprise” has God laid in your hands this year? What does he want you to rejoice over? Do it! God wants to you to receive each day as His gift, each moment as His blessing, each breathe as His redemption, each Surprise as a picture of His hand on your life.