As Christians, we are taught from an early age that it’s better to give than to receive.  I get that one…and I’ve tried to live it always.  This year, however, my Christmas lesson was to learn to be a gracious receiver of gifts.

Our business is growing, and we are so confident that we are doing what God means for us to do.  Every day we are reminded that our work is important to the families that we serve, and it is without hesitation that we put all of our time and money into growing this business.  Recently Murt and I decided that we needed to update our child care center to make room for babies.  We have several special babies that will be arriving in 2011…Lisa’s daughter will arrive in January.  My first grandson is due in March.  One of our childcare families recently had another baby that will be coming to us soon.  Another has a new son on the way this spring.  Most of our childcare inquiries are for children under the age of 2…so it makes sense to grow in this direction.  But new cribs, rocking chairs, strollers, plumbing for sinks, and additional furniture to carve out their space equal lots of extra dollars.  Where would we find the funds?

Prayerfully we proceeded.  We started selling Avon products to raise some funds.  When people heard what we were trying to accomplish, many stepped forward.  Some families wrote checks and said to use the money for the baby room.  We moved forward with our plans.  Then the holidays happened.  Both Murt and I received gifts from our siblings and parents that were checks intended for Gentog.

I received notes that made me cry tears of joy.  “This is a gift in honor of our grandparents and for all of the wonderful things that happen at Gentog.”  “In memory and honor of our grandparents and of our family that has loved and supported us in good and difficult times.”  “We are donating this in honor of Grandma Helen. We are so thankful that you are all there for her and that Marcie and Murt have created such a special place for her to be at during the week.  Hopefully this will help you keep that dream going. We are all there by your side in spirit.”

My heart is filled with gratitude this holiday season.  I’m grateful for the many families we are privilidged to serve at Gentog.  I’m grateful for the friendships that we’ve been blessed with.  Gentog is filled with loving Christian people that truly enjoy caring for the children and the seniors, and that really make a difference every day. We have the best staff in the world!   I’m grateful for my dear friend Murt.  I’m grateful for my husband that supports this dream by being here to help every day.  I’m so appreciative of the gifts given this Christmas.  The money will help…the thoughts and prayers and support behind the gifts will be treasured forever.

As we put 2010 to rest and look forward to 2011 and our 3rd anniversary, I thank God for all of the blessings we’ve received, and I pray that He will continue to provide what we need to serve Him by serving our Gentog family.  Happy New Year!