You may be wondering, "What does it mean to be RACK'd"
Well, I'd like to share that meaning with you.
And, in the process, I hope to inspire you to do a little RACK-ing yourself this Christmas...
Before I share any photos, I want to tell you a story.
It's personal and involves my sweet little family.
It all started last winter...
Hang onto your hats folks, we're going back in time!
(See that time machine right there...
We're hoppin' in!)
In December of 2012, my family was having a difficult time financially.
My husband was working a job that kept cutting his hours...
On a "good week," we were still struggling, but the unexpected decrease in hours was hard to deal with.
As a one income family already, this was hard.
We didn't share our struggles with many people.
Instead, we strove to make the best of our situation, despite our circumstance.
We were sitting in a grocery store parking lot on Christmas Eve.
I looked down at my boots and noticed they had a few small holes.
I kind of wanted to go to Goodwill to look for new boots, but was hesitant to spend the money.
My husband, being the sweet guy that he is, said,
"We're going to look at boots, you're going to get some, and you aren't going to worry about it."
(He balances me so well)
And so, we were off to Goodwill.
Mr. Happy Trails took the boys to the toy section while I scanned the boots.
I found 2 pair that I liked, so I swiped them off of the shelf and headed to the toys.
I wanted Mr. Happy Trails' opinion.
(We're funny like that)
As I neared the toys, I saw a young boy hand a card to Mr Happy Trails.
As we opened the card, money fell out.
We looked up and the boy was gone.
We raced to the front of the store, hoping to find the sweet family that blessed us with such kindness.
We were thankful to catch them before the left the store.
Inside the card, we found this message:
"Part of our families tradition is to give this gift to someone we don't know.
We hope you can use this cash for something you need.
Most important, our message is to remember the Ultimate gift of Jesus- our Savior!
Please thank God for his gift of Jesus this Christmas.
This family did not know us personally,
but reached out to us with an act of kindness that really mattered in a moment that mattered.
An act of kindness that made us cry tears of happiness.
An act of kindness that made us feel so loved.
An act of kindness that inspired us. Changed us. Blessed us.
I only hoped that our family would be able to start a tradition of our own someday;
a tradition where we would be able to bless others with kindness
and share the good news of Christmas at the same time.
Our family saw God's faithfulness again, a few short months later when
Mr. Happy Trails was blessed with a new job.
This new job eliminated some of our financial stress.
And so, this Christmas, we joyfully embraced engaging in our own
"Random Act of Christmas Kindness"
in a few ways.
Anonymous notes with change in soda machines.
Donations to special causes.
And one adventure that was so near and dear to my heart...
I wanna take you on that adventure!
Yep, we kinda sorta need the time machine again,
but we're not too far back in time,
so the ride shouldn't be quite as bumpy this time around.
It all started with this house:
Or, should I say, the man who lives in this house.
Absolutely the kindest man you will ever meet.
He cares for the neighborhood strays.
He always greets us with a cheerful "hello!"
He's great company for a summer evening chat.
He tells great stories about the history of our neighborhood.
He even shares his coupons with me.
Our neighborhood absolutely would not be the same without him.
He's in his seventies.
He doesn't drive.
He rides his bike everywhere.
Last year, someone stole his bike.
Upon learning this, we gave him Jed's bike.
After a few months, Jed's bike broke.
We offered him my bike.
He spent the rest of the year riding mine.
It was too small, and a difficult bike to pedal.
More than anything, I wanted to bless him with a new bike.
We encountered a few financial obstacles throughout the past year
(something I've learned we definitely aren't immune to)
I was feeling a little discouraged, unsure whether or not we'd be able to purchase a bike.
We were chatting with my parents one night and my dad graciously said,
"He can have my bike!"
"Really?!" I asked, feeling like I needed to pinch myself.
My dad's bike is basically brand new...
God works in such great ways!
My parents delivered the bike the other day.
Before they arrived, I stopped by the grocery store to fill a stocking with food.
(and cat toys)
We prayed together as a family, asking God to bless our sweet neighbor.
It's our hope he will see God's love through our kindness.
When my parents arrived, we hung the stocking on the handle bar,
attached a bike lock and
"Operation RACK" was ON!
(like Donkey Kong!)
And... 3, 2, 1....
Excuse the blurry photos.
I thought my flash would give the "anonymity" away.
And it was dark.
And Mr. Happy Trails was moving fast.
Like a lightning bolt, really.
Sneaking the bike over.
Getting ready to knock!
Running, er, excuse me, zipping back to our house.
Waiting.... waiting, waiting!
We did a lot of waiting.
Mr. Happy Trails had to go back for a second round of knocking.
He then attempted to hide in the bushes.
His shoes got really muddy.
We waited at our house... peeking from behind our curtains.
I sorta wished I had a walkie talkie.
I felt like a spy.
And, for once, I was actually thankful we did not have any snow.
(Footprints would've been a sure giveaway!)
He went back to knock again, and this time hid behind a tree.
(Excitement, I tell ya!)
And then the moment came!
Our neighbor opened his door and found Christmas waiting at his doorstep.
It isn't even possible to capture the happiness I felt inside at that moment.
I remember thinking,
"This gift giving is better than any gift I could receive right now."
I felt that with every bit of my heart.
Dear Blog Readers,
I hope that this encourages you.
I hope you are able to reach out to someone in need this Christmas.
Bless them with kindness.
Share the love of that sweet baby that was born in a manger so long ago.
As one kind family once said to us,
"Our message is to remember the ultimate gift of Jesus, our Savior."
Let's remember that gift this Christmas, and let's share that gift with others!.