somebodylovesmeblog

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The Christmas Chair

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As I get older, I realize that true joy is found in the blessings of “moments.”  I would like to share one of those moments with you.

Twenty one years ago, my husband, our two sons, and I moved from Northeastern Ohio to the Northern VA/DC area.  It was a traumatic move that happened rather quickly.

My husband and I were in dire need of employment, and the Youngstown area did not offer much opportunity.  Through friends of friends, we were made aware of available positions for both of us, in Springfield, VA, at the same company.  We would be starting at entry level positions…with room to grow.  When I called to inquire about the positions, I was told that we would need to be there on Monday, ready for work.  Did I tell you I called on a Wednesday?  That gave us two and a half days to pull some of our belongings together, and make the drive to Virginia on Saturday.

At this time in our lives, we were pretty much broke.  It will take a very full post to share all the miracles and all the ways that things just “fell into place” regarding our move…that story will be shared soon!  The four of us drove to Virginia  in a car we borrowed from my dad, with as much “stuff” as we could shove in the trunk and around the boys in the back seat.  We had enough cash for gas, some food, and a little to carry with us.  We were moving and living on faith.  We knew the Lord would carry us through our journey.

Coni is the woman who opened the door for us by offering us both a position in the company she worked for.  Not only did she offer us jobs, she offered, and insisted that our family of four stay with their family until we got on our feet.  Coni, Kevin (her husband), and their son, opened their beautiful home to us for what turned in to two and a half months.  Although we helped as much as we could once the paychecks started coming in, they never asked us for anything at all.  Jesus was definitely working through them.

We made the initial move to Virginia on December 4th, and then needed to drive to Ohio for Christmas and to pick up more of our belongings from our home.  That Christmas was a very lean one…we were unable to buy any Christmas presents at all.

What we didn’t know, was that Coni and Kevin had snuck some wrapped gifts into the trunk for all of us.   Our thirteen and ten year old sons knew, but were told to keep it a secret.

When we pulled up into the driveway of what still was “home” to us, my heart filled up and I had to just swallow the emotions I was feeling.  I kind of turned off my feelings, because I didn’t want my sons to know how much I was missing “home.”  Since we would only be there for a few days,  there were no Christmas decorations.  The thought that it was the last time we would be sleeping in our home was hanging heavy in the air.  None of us articulated what we were feeling.

What we didn’t know, was that Michael (our youngest) snuck into the crawlspace and pulled out our twinkle lights.  He then proceeded to wrap them around and around our recliner by the front window…where our tree usually stood.  The decorated, lit up chair was in the “laid back”  position, with the gifts that Coni and Kevin had sent for us laying underneath.  It was such a sweet, joyful moment, that I have tears in my eyes as I write this.

Needless to say, after experiencing the “Christmas Chair”, we realized how important it was to enjoy our last Christmas in our home.  We all dragged some decorations from the crawlspace, hung the wreath and displayed the Nativity Set.

I thank God every day for my husband, and my sons who teach me time after time  what is truly important in life.  I also thank God for all of the special  friends He has blessed us with over the years.

And we will always have a special place in our hearts for Coni, Kevin, and Robbi…who as “casual friends” that hardly even knew us at that time, chose to open their hearts and their home to our family, to help us on our journey.

My wish for you during this beautiful Christmas Season, is that you keep your hearts open to all the simple, beautiful moments that are presented to you and your family each and every day.  These moments are the true gifts that the Lord blesses us with.

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29 thoughts on “The Christmas Chair

  1. Thank you so much for stopping by:-)

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  2. You always remind us that there is love, beauty and faith all around. Love to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mom, what wonderful memories. Thank you for writing this. I am so humbled to be able to look back and see that this was one of the many unexpected ways our family was blessed to see God working in our lives. He held your hands every step of the way and helped guide us as a family when we needed Him the most. We were able to see His love for us through the MANY people that helped us during that difficult season.

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  4. So true, Joe. Thanks for commenting…sharing your thoughts and heart! It’s funny that the hardest times are so often the most endearing that cement relationships together, and like you said, when you look back, you see where the Lord guided and carried you.

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  5. Wow, this warmed my heart. When God moves, He moves fast! The Lord had everything planned out for you and your family. Praise God for placing you and your family amongst loving people!!
    Blessings,
    Aisha

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    • Aisha, you are so right! Looking back, it is very apparent how God was working through our own hearts, and through the many people that he placed in our lives. We are all interconnected by the love and mercy of God:-)

      Have a blessed day…knowing how much you are loved!
      Bernadette

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  6. as I have tears reading your beautiful story—thank you so much for reminding us all what this season is truly about—the Love God has placed in each of our hearts—a Love to share. . .

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  7. I love this story, Bernadette. It’s beautiful! Praise God!

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  8. touched my heart and affirmed the reality that God leads those who place their trust in Him.

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    • Thanks Gracie! So true that God leads those who place their trust in Him. Sometimes we do not recognize at the time how He is working in our lives. Looking back it is so evident. I am learning to trust Him more and more:-)

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  9. The best of times do come from the worst of times with many blessing from God ~ This is a beautiful story with a blessed family in the midst ~ Amen :Y

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  10. This is such a wonderful story…it touched my heart in such a super way!! Yes we should all take notice to what is important in life…and not lose sight of it!! I wish you a very merry Christmas full of love and peace!! ❤

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  11. What a glorious “God” moment! Oh, how I love those!!! Thank you for sharing yours, Bernadette.

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  12. Yes, those “God” moments are amazing. God bless you and your family especially during this wonderful Christmas Season:-)

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  13. Pingback: The Christmas Chair | Just Ask Tina

  14. Okay, where do I start with this story and the many ways in which it blessed me? 1.) That God opened a door for your family; 2.) That you were both willing to step out on faith to “go for it”; 3.) That the other family sp warmly received you into their home and demonstrated such generosity – something that I am sure your children will never forgety; 4.) That your pride did not stop you from being welcomed into their home (that’s a HUGE one!); or, 5.) That your son chose to lead the way to a memorable Christmas for all by tapping into his creativity in his determination to enjoy the day! The picture of that chiar is going on my bulletin board as we speak!

    Thanks, B! Love you.

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    • Tina, so happy that our story blessed you. When I look back on our family’s journey, the evidence of God’s hand on and in our lives is amazing. And I believe it is the same for all of us. He is constantly working good out of the circumstances we find ourselves in…sometimes through our own sins and/or decisions, and sometimes things that were out of our control. We just need to trust and ask him to open our eyes and hearts to his presence and direction.

      So good to hear from you:-) Love and blessings to you and your beautiful family,
      Bernadette

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  15. Reblogged this on Just Ask Tina and commented:
    The fact that I am a little late reading this post takes nothing from its inspriation! Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a beautiful touching story. A perfect example of how God is still with us even in the midst of trials. Thank you for sharing! ~Many Blessings to you~

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  17. I love stories like this! God manifested himself in so many delightful ways through that difficult season of your lives. And what a creative son you have, to decorate a chair for Christmas! (That photo is priceless!) As difficult as that December must have been, I have a feeling the family looks back now and considers that Christmas one of your favorites. Praise God for his redeeming ways!

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  18. So true, Nancy, it was a wonderful, blessed Christmas. Our God is an awesome God!!! Since then, lots of doors opening, twists and turns, and always, God’s providence:-)

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