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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Valentine

Tuesday was both the worst day in recent memory--and the best.

My employer informed me that in spite of the doctor's recommendation, if I did not return to work at least a few hours a day starting on December 16th, I might lose my job. Even worse, I had to make a decision that day. I panicked, screamed, cried. As a writer, a part of me felt like let them fire me. Then I can write full time like I want to. I was in that place where I couldn't see any options, and no one could say anything to improvoe my mood.

Then the social worker from the home health care agency came for her appointment, bearing three bags of food. She was one the few people who realized the impact of three months without income on my wallet, and made multiple suggestions for resources for help.

Mom and I sat down for supper--we ate the canned Spam she provided. I haven't had it for years, and I enjoyed every bite. We made up a shopping list, since Mom had the opportunity to get to the store on Wednesday.

We had just finished eating when the doorbell rang.

A lady who had joined our church the same week we did held a box full of food in her arms. She brought it in and dropped it on top of the freezer. "Don't lock the door," she warned. "There's more."

Three boxes later, Mom and I held each other and cried. Pat had seen the state of our refrigerator on Sunday (when she brought a Thanksgiving meal). She had developed a sense of what foods we enjoyed ... and went shopping on our behalf. She had purchased all but three items on our list, and so much more.

Even down to box of popcorn. The box started Mom crying again. "Jolene was the only one who ate popcorn." With her voice breaking, she continued. "I always made sure I had popcorn in the house."

Words cannot express our gratitude for this gift of love and God's grace. Mom kept saying, "What did we do to deserve this?"

I reminded her, "We don't deserve it. That's what grace means."

The food didn't provide a solution to my problems with work. But God used two different people to send us a gigantic "I love you!" note. My spirits lifted, and suddenly the problems with work didn't seem as significant.

Two days later, it looks like I will indeed be working three hours a day starting on the 16th. I'm at peace about it, although I know it will be difficult. I'll tell you all about my return to work later. My immediate need is to build up endurance; and to either return to driving (which means no more pain medication) or find a ride five days a week.

I am featured on two different blogs today, so stop by and say hello! I wrote an Advent devotional for (click on the "advent calendar link.) Also, I was interviewed about Snowbound Colorado Christmas at

Merry Christmas! God is with us!


Life in the Philippines said...

Your piece is written so interestingly and it touched my heart deeply. thank you for sharing this experience of how God blessed you in His usual surprising way:)

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Darlene. I've been running for a few days and it will continue. I'm sorry I haven't stopped by. I love your blog.
I'll be praying things go well with work. They will...not that it will be easy...but with God it's all possible.

Momstheword said...

Why do we so often forget how God uses those who are willing? What a blessing for you and the ones who brought food. Some people are afraid to do that because they don't want to insult or hurt the person's pride. Well, if God tells you to do it, do it! The pride thing is between God and that person. Bless you for your sweet and grateful attitude.

euthymic said...

Hi Darlene, thanks for visiting my blog. I have another blog with some of the pieces I have written. I have actually been a writer in my country for some 30 years, just go to mona sabalones gonzalez and you'll see it.

Hugs:) (Paranaque Philippines)