Author: Lori Carter
I was raised pretty poor, although I didn’t know until someone told me. We didn’t have a lot as kids because there was barely enough money to keep a roof over our heads and food in our belly. I never understood what all the fuss was about when it came time for Christmas shopping. Why were people so eager to put themselves in debt for a celebration that was supposed to be about a man that was born to save the world?
Gift giving is supposed to be from the heart, not the wallet. My most cherished Christmas memory was the first one with my mom and older sister when we came home to them from six years in foster homes. Mom was well, but she still didn’t have a lot of money. She worked hard to take care of us and she saw that we were raised to appreciate the simple and basic things in life. That first Christmas home meant so much to me over the years and I still fondly look back on it. It was the Christmas where we all made our own gifts, made our own decorations and cut down our own tree.
I left some very special boys in April of 2007 because god told me to get out of his way so he could work on the parents. I was there at the birth of three of those boys and was active in their lives each and every day, taking them church, having sleep overs, hugging them at night and trying to give them someone positive to come to in times of trouble.
In 2008, after being laid off from my job and not having much income I made them each a little blanket. Each blanket was part material and part crocheting. Each blanket was made with love and the hope that they would value it more because it was made just for them.
In conversation with my one grandson, I found out he used it as a prayer blanket. He would lay it out in the middle of his bed every night, sit in the middle of it and say his prayers. I had no idea that it would mean that much to any of them. This one grandson and I were closer, for the simple reason that, due to circumstances, we spent more time together. I can just imagine him praying that Grandma would come back for he would constantly tell me how much he missed me. They lost the blankets when they moved from one state to another.
There are times in our lives when God moves us away from where we are. It may be to another state, another city, another community, maybe even another country, or just another job, but he always has a purpose for what he tells us to do. Sometimes I have felt that I abandoned these children, and then he gently reminds me that he told me to go. He also reminds me that the raising of them was the job of their parents and him and even though I was trying to be a positive influence in their lives, I was in the way of him exacting his will for them.
This year I did finally manage to make all four “new” prayer blankets. They take a bit of work, but I persevered and I must say they look better than the ones I made years ago. I can only hope and pray that these children see the value in receiving a gift that was hand-made, just for them, with many hours of prayers and a huge heart full of love. I know one that will.