My Frugal Life: A Winter Miracle

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I wanted to share with you all what our "stay at home married ladies" group at church did several years ago at Christmas. We were a Wednesday night group of about 15 women who met weekly for Bible Study and grew rather close. Our ages ranged from 20 to 92. It was a nice group and before and after our Bible study, we would discuss child raising tips, sewing tips, recipes and such.

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During one meeting in late August, an 80 year old widow in our group confided that she needed prayers for finances. She was running even with her finances, but with winter coming on she was worried about not having money for heat, and was going to be short about $40 a month, unless she gave up some of her medications or food.

Most of us had been in her home, she had taken care of several of our children while we had a night out with our spouses, made sure she sent us all birthday cards, had made us cookies and such, and we felt we needed to help her. But, money was tight for us too, as our common thread was that we were stay at home moms - on a single income.

So, we made a list of what we knew she used and needed and divided it up. Each of us also got her a $5 Walgreen card (as we knew that was where she got her prescriptions and she had a $5 copay on each one). We also each got her canned goods, baking supplies, and such. Basically each woman only had to spend around $15, and we had several months to do it, so it was not a strain on any of our budgets. We planned to give our gifts to her after the first cold snap.

When the temp dropped we were ready. While one lady in our group took her to a doctors appointment then as a treat took her out to eat, the rest of us attacked her apartment. First, we deep cleaned the places she couldn't due to her age - such as high in the corners, behind furniture, and such.

Then, we filled up her kitchen cabinets with canned goods, her bathroom cabinet with shampoo, soap, deoderant, TP, and toothpaste. We put laundry soap and dryer sheets in her laundry room, and a package of new vacuum cleaner bags with her sweeper. We also left a package of trash bags, a few cleaning products, a box of greeting cards, and a book of stamps. Since she always made new church members knitted potholders, we also left some new skeins of yarn in her knitting basket.

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We left her the $5 Walgreen cards with her medications. Then we disappeared and never said another word about it.

At our next meeting she was praising God, and very confused as to where it all came from. She was so excited that since her cabinets were full she could spend her money on her winter utilities. She was in tears. She talked about that "winter miracle" until she died almost a year later. She had no children of her own, and had outlived her own family. Possibly she knew we were at the bottom of it, but she never let on that she knew. It still warms my heart every time I think of her or that quick 90 minutes that 14 of us spent on Thursday morning in her apartment that day. A little from each of us, meant the world to her. Isn't that what Christmas (and everyday) should really be about?

By mom-from-missouri from NW MO

Do you have a frugal story to share with the ThriftyFun community? Submit your essay here: http://www.thriftyfun.com/post_myfrugallife.ldml

December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you for sharing your story with us! You're good people. I think anyone would be lucky to have you as a friend. :-)

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for sharing your heart warming story. To make a positive difference in any ones life is rewarding. So many of our elders in this country are having to cut back or sometimes go without things we take for granted. I agree with you that "giving", should be an everyday gesture. What a wonderful world it would be. God Bless your ladies group.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

What a fabulous story! Your group truly knows the meaning of Christmas and Christian charity.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

That was a very nice thing for all of you to do.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Faith in action is beautiful; the best gift you gave her was the safe place to express her fear.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

I love this story! It really warmed my heart to know there are good people out there! thanks for sharing it with us!

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

This is wonderful and good to know there are still others in the world who care! Thanks for sharing this with us!

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

What a heartwarming message. I especially liked the age range in your group we can all learn a lot from one another. God Bless and Merry Christmas.

Cricket / OH

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Your lovely story brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful thing to do for a friend in need. You made her day! God Bless you all!

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

This story tells me that there are a few nice people left in the world. It warmed my heart to read of the kindness and happiness you brought to your friend and church sister.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

This is a great Christmas Story for the bulletin board at the church we attend. Very touching and so filled with tlc. Thank you for sharing.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

I absolutely love this story! What a generous and loving thing you all did! This is what it is all about! Thank you for sharing your heart-warming story.

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you for sharing such a touching warm fuzzy! I love how something that was a manageable gesture on each person's part, made such a huge impact on this ladies life. Reminds us all that the little things we can do really do make a big difference.

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December 23, 20100 found this helpful

That lady must have known what a great bunch of friends she had. What a wonderful thing you and your lady friends did. It would be a much better world if we had more people like you in it. God Bless and Merry Christmas.

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December 23, 20100 found this helpful

Your group was really angelic! How blessed that lasy was to know you all!

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December 24, 20100 found this helpful

Shows you don't need to spend a lot of money to make a difference.

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December 24, 20100 found this helpful

This essay moved me so much I requested a reminder so that I could log in and say thank-you for writing it, but more importantly, thank-you for doing what you did for the elderly lady.

God bless you. I hope you and your loved ones have a very happy Christmas. :)

From FrugalSunnie, now living in the UK.

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December 24, 20100 found this helpful

For once I am struggling with a loss for words! With tears streaming down my face, "God Bless you and the others for what you did for this woman and for sharing the story as a reminder to us all!" I pray you have a Blessed Christmas and wonderful New Year!

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December 24, 20100 found this helpful

What a wonderful story. Thanks for reminding me that there are wonderful people out there. :)

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December 24, 20100 found this helpful

What your group of ladies did was like giving a Christmas present to Jesus. :-) With so much sadness and greed around Christmas time, your story was like a breath of fresh air. Thanks for sharing and may you all be blessed and strengthened by our Lord in the New Year!

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December 25, 20100 found this helpful

I will repeat the comments already made, and also add that I feel so compelled to repeat your actions, in some way for another. We all know people that would greatly benefit from help of this kind! Thanks for the idea, and Merry Christmas to you and yours! You have been Blessed.

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December 25, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you for sharing this story. May you have a Merry and Blessed Christmas! :)

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December 25, 20100 found this helpful

Today is Christmas 2010 & I have no family here & no gift's to give them if they were here.. Not many Christmas's like this one. I found this site today due to needing to know how to make milk substitute using powdered creamer. Very helpful. This is the first story I read after registering & editing my profile, & it brought great joy to my heart & big smiles on my face. I'm so glad for women like you & your church group ladies. I'm sure the lady you all provided for knew how much she was loved. God Bless All of You & Merry Christmas

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December 25, 20100 found this helpful

What a lovely thing to do! I'm sure I'm not the only one who plans now to go do something similar, so not only did you make a 'winter miracle' for that one lady, you've ended up being the catalyst for many more. Thank you for sharing with us all!

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December 25, 20100 found this helpful

May you and the rest of your group be truly blessed for bringing so much happiness to your dear friend.

Your story was very touching not to mention inspiring. There is still some good in the world and the people in it. Thank you for sharing!

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December 25, 20100 found this helpful

You wrote, " A little from each of us, meant the world to her. Isn't that what Christmas (and everyday) should really be about? ", and the answer to your question is a definite "YES". This is exactly what Christmas and every day in a Christian's life should be about. I can't think of any religion that wouldn't agree with us either.

What you ladies did was so much more than just the acts of kindness or the money you spent, It was a gift that went far beyond any of that. The little 80 year old lady will never forget it or how much each of you must have cared for her and her situation, and that's something which will live long after her need for anything have passed. Doing something so nice will enrich your own lives in more ways that you'll ever see or know about. You reap what you sow. That's as true today as it was when it was first written.

Merry Christmas to all,

Pookarina

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December 26, 20100 found this helpful

In the midst of all the frantic "wanting and buying". Christmas as it should be. I'm close to tears. Marg.

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December 27, 20100 found this helpful

The beauty of this story is that it demonstrates just how little you have to give in order to bless someone else. Too often we think that we do not have the resources to do anything for someone else. However, we don't have to be rich to be a blessing to another person! Thank you for showing us the way!

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December 27, 20100 found this helpful

Absolutely wonderful....God bless you all!

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December 30, 20100 found this helpful

Everytime I look around me I always seem to be around or run into those that have such goodness within them. Blessings to all that shared their love and time and blessings to those who read this wonderful story and will learn from it themselves and teach it to someone else.

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December 31, 20100 found this helpful

Awesome winter/Christmas story! I have cold chills (good ones) (literally) from reading it. Thank you so much for sharing! Vicki

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January 2, 20110 found this helpful

This is the best Christmas story ever. It made me cry and made me so thankful for God's ability to love us through other people. Your ladies' group is what it's all about.

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January 2, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. So special and inspiring!

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