I don't know if I have ever told you about DJ before. He is my other cause. Several years ago, our church started a van ministry to bring children to Wednesday night services/class that would never come without this offer. I was teaching the 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders at this time and I had a class of about 10 or more on most nights. Most of them came to church hungry because no one was home to feed them before the van ran at 6:45. Actually, most of them had no one that would have fed them anyway. Unless, it was cereal or chicken nuggets they fixed themselves. Because no one was home but them. So, my class ended up eating supper I had brought while we had a lesson. At least I had their undivided attention! Our church offered lots of love, food from the pantry to take home, and have been able to minister to their families and to the children. I knew all of the kids of course from school already. Most, if not all of them, were from troubled and empty homes. They soaked up Wednesday night Bible stories. They have grown alot since the van wheels started turning. Some members wanted to stop the van because the children were trouble. Oh yes, they didn't know how to sit still and they didn't know how walk quietly. But, we kept it up and going. Probably more than half of those original "riders" are still coming. My little DJ is one of them. He is my "adopted" boy. I pick him up every Sunday morning and he helps us at the nursing home service. He goes to worship with me and sits by us. I give him money for the collection. And he eats Sunday lunch with us at Nana's. He calls me when there is something special at school and I go as his parent. He knows my cell number too. He calls me when it is storming and he is alone because he is afraid of storms. He is always alone. Sometimes he just calls me. He has written his birthday in my purse calendar so I won't forget. He loves to get mints and gum out of purse during church. Not too long ago he was baptized. Even though I thought he might be too young I couldn't let this opportunity for a pure and innocent heart to "fall through a crack in life" by telling him, "Why don't you wait until your older?" . I don't plan to let him fall through any cracks ........but he has a long road to haul down in life. As long as I can be there to help him I will.
Let me interject and say that I have an awesome family. They have all 100% supported me on making Christmas more about helping and giving than receiving this year. We all have come to realize that just life itself is such a gift. Being together and our endless love for each other. Our family has been through some tragedies in the past 6 years that have bonded us as tragedy does to families. This year we are celebrating the two precious little girls that were born into our family. They are both healthy, growing and strong. They each have precious personalities as do their cousins Rooster and Lulu. They are loved so much by their older cousins. I am so totally smitten with these four children, my grandchildren. Just as I am totally smitten and in love with their parents.
Before my children were grown I used to pray that God would give them each someone to marry and love and share life with. To share a life that would be easy but not perfect. That would be full of laughter and sorrows washed over with mercy and grace. That somehow that seed I was trying so hard to plant, despite my own faults, would take root and grow in their hearts. My prayers were answered there and more. So, today I thank God for my family. For the gift of them is more than anything that could be wrapped and under a tree.