On the 7th Day of Christmas…Give Away with Micca Campbell

 

Yippee! Today we have TWO giveaways. My gift for Lysa TerKeurst’s Cool Christmas Give Away and our regularly scheduled 7th day of Christmas Give Away with one of my fellow Proverbs 31 speakers! So, if you are new to this site, hop on today (and get caught up on the other days) There is still lots of time to win one of the 12 awesome prizes. And, if you are one of my regular bloggy friends, head over to my friend (and our president at P31) Lysa’s site. She is offering a cool give away linking contest this weekend.

Now for my prize for Lysa’a giveaway: since there is a lot of entertaining and company that accompanies the holidays, I will give away a signed copy of my book A Life that Says Welcome; Simple Way to Open Your Heart and Home to Others along with a box of Decaf Green Christmas Tea–Candy Cane Lane–mint flavored! Mmmmmm. You can sip something hot while you curl up with the book and a cozy blanket in front of a fire. (Cozy blanket and fire not included) :-) I will simply pick a another winner from all of the comments left this weekend. That prize will be announced Monday.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog give away………..

On this day, I’d like you to meet my friend, fellow speaker and soon-to-be published author, Micca Campbell.

Micca (pronounced Micah) is a true southern gal. In fact, when appearing with her at various conferences across the Midwest–my neck of the woods–I often tease that she needs to bring an interpreter so we can understand all of the wonderful teaching coming out in that cute southern drawl! She makes her home in Tennessee with her husband and three children and is a dynamic communicator who loves to teach from the Bible. Her first book, due out early next year is entitled An Untroubled Heart: Finding a Faith That is Stronger Than All My Fears.

In it she recounts her story of being widowed at the young age of 21 with an infant son and she gives credit to the incredible God that saw her through many times of fear and testing. Her giveaway today has to do with this topic. But before we get to that (and to today’s question) let’s meet my friend Micca….

An Untroubled Heart

·      Micca, what is happening at the Campbell home this Christmas season?

We are really excited about Christmas this year. My brother and his wife Melody, along with their two children, are coming home for Christmas! This is exciting because my brother spent 20 years of his life chemically addicted. His misfortune has been our family’s misfortune. We’ve spent many Christmas’ minus my brother. However, we serve a God who changes misfortunes and restores the years the Locus have eaten. My brother is now a faithful, passionate child of God. His life is the essence of what Christmas is all about—our need for a Savior.  Having him home for Christmas will make it extra joyful this year!

·      You were widowed at a young age and left to raise a baby alone. How did you survive that first holiday season without your husband?

It was tough. I remember sitting in church on Christmas Eve and feeling God’s presence all around me. I couldn’t help but cry. While His love was evident, I somehow felt slighted by it. I didn’t understand why He allowed my husband to die, but I was determined to trust Him anyway. I did so by focusing my attention NOT on my circumstances but on my son, family and friends. Participating in the celebration seemed to bring me unexpected joy. Over the years I’ve learned that Mary, the mother of Jesus didn’t understand her situation either, but she trusted God’s plan. In the end, joy was hers.

·      For those facing the holidays alone this isn’t always “the most wonderful time of the year”. What can we do as a family to reach out to those in that painful situation?

Invite them over to share in your festivities.  Don’t be afraid to mention the name of their dear departed. The last thing they want is for their loved one to be forgotten.  Allow them to talk about their Christmas memories when their loved one was still alive.

·      On a lighter note, what holiday food does your family most look forward to enjoying at Christmas?

My sweet potatoes! I have the best sweet potato recipe you’ve ever tasted. I got it from my old high school boyfriends’ grandmother. It tastes more like a desert than a veggie. I’m going to post the ingredients on my blog. Feel free to stop by and check it out. I promise. You’ll never make them with marshmallows again!

Thanks for dropping by today, Micca!

It was my pleasure!

Okay gals…reading Micca’s interview drives home the point that even though the holidays are supposed to be a magical, wonder-filled time, for many hurting people, they just plain stink!!! So let’s put our heads together and come up with some ways to reach out to others during this month. I’ll get us started and then you leave a comment with either something you have done in the past to cheer someone else, an idea you’d like to try this year.  Or maybe you can tell of a way someone reached out to you at the holidays to offer encouragement. Or, if you can’t think of any of those categories, name a group of people that we could try to cheer this year. 

The winner will receive a 3 cd set of Micca’s inspiring and practical teaching on facing our fears. These talks are what birthed her new book. You can enter to win it for yourself or maybe you’d like to get it for a friend who could use some support in this area. Fear is an issue that MANY women struggle with and Micca’s powerful messages make a real difference in the lives of those who hear them. 

 Micca’s new book, due out next year.

Now for the ideas! Here are some ways our family has tried to reach out to others who may be hurting or lonely at the holidays. I’m sure you can think of many more.

 

  • Build snowmen outside the windows of a nursing home, complete with carrot noses and top hats purchased from the second hand store. The elderly residents delight in watching children play in the snow and have the smiling snowmen to look at as a happy reminder.
  • Offer to help a shut-in address her Christmas cards, wrap gifts or put up her decorations.
  • Take a widow, who is facing her first Christmas alone, with you to your church’s Christmas program or pageant. Then take her back to your place for desert and hot cider or cocoa.
  • Kidnap the children of a single parent and take them out to lunch and then shopping for Christmas gifts for their mom or dad.
  • Adopt a needy family from your local social services office. Pick one whose children are similar in age to your kids. Shop for gifts and food for them. Wrap the gifts and deliver them as a family.
  • And our favorite took place last year. A dear friend’s spouse filed for divorce which left him a suddenly single dad with custody of five school-aged children. Knowing the holidays woud be painful for them, we prayed to God for some way we could brighten their month. God answered with the most far out and fun idea!!! We organized a 12 Days of Christmas surprise by enlisting the help of 11 other families. Each day, on the last 12 days leading up to Christmas, a different family showed up at their doorstep with a holiday surprise. Once it was some Christmas lights and decorations to build new memories around. Another day it was gift certificates for pizza and a movie rental along with a six pack of their favorite root beer. One family brought an array of Christmas cookies, cheeses and crackers and flavored hot cocoas. Another made a quiche for Christmas morning and gave a wrapped gift to each child. They received many gift cards for their holiday shopping needs. One family even brought an entire turkey dinner ready to freeze and then warm up for Christmas day!!! It made what would have been an awful and sad time a 12 day period of excitement and mystery!!! (Hey…and if you want to hijack this idea, there is still time. We began on the 13th of December and ended Christmas Eve.) Seriously gals, we LOVE doing things like this and this idea was absolutely, hands-down the most fun!!!!
Okay…your turn….who could stand to be blessed at the holidays? What would you do? Or what have you done in the past? Any other groups of people we could be Jesus’ hands and feet to at this time of year? Leave a short comment and you may win Micca’s cd set on facing your fears!!!
Sweet Do-unto-others Blessings,
Karen

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27 Comments

  1. I work parttime with elderly and this time of the year a lot of them are depressed or sad or confronted with their loneliness a lot have no contact anymore with their or lost their familymembers
    The x-mas activities helps to distract them……. caroling,christmas markets…dinners special services .
    Visiting them ,getting presents last year i bake a lot of x-mas cookies with them. Helping them dcorate their room or apartment.

  2. My girls and I put together shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and purchased gifts for children from our church’s Angel Tree. I’m looking for someone close to me who might need some extra love this Christmas, too…

  3. I’ve been thinking about this kind of thing a lot this year. We are very close to 2 families who have spouses that left their families for each other. This happened about a month ago and I’ve been trying to think of ways to help out and especially make the holidays more endurable and exciting for their children. I love the 12 days of Christmas idea. I am going to talk to my husband and see if we might be able to get enough people together to do something like this for them.

    To all who read this – please be praying for the hardened hearts to be softened, restoration and most of all for God’s glory in this situation.

  4. I like to adopt kids who are less fortunate and make sure they have good things to eat and some goodies at this time of year.

    It’s a good life!
    Terri E.

  5. I really like the idea of the 12 days of Christmas. I can think of so many people that I would love to bless this year. The single mom who is about to lose her rented home to foreclosure… The Sunday school teacher who is going through radiation for prostate cancer…. The dear friend who just found out she has MS, and is having a difficult time coping…. The pregnant wife whose husband is in Iraq this Christmas…. The list could go on and on…

    I’m going to pray about who God would have me bless this holiday season.

  6. We always try to remember our neighbors. There is a sweet older lady that live around the corner from us. Her husband died a couple of years ago. I wouldn’t have really thought much about that but my dad died 5 years ago and know I really know what a widow goes through from watching my own mother. Anyway, we have been trying to do special little things for her to let her know she is loved and thought about. We have supported a RAVE family in our town the last 2 years also. That stands for Relief After Violent Encounters. It is mostly moms and kids who have had to flee a violent situation at home. Breaks my heart!

  7. We participate in Operator Christmas Child and prepare shoe boxes. Our Sunday School class also gets the names of children at our local Department of Family Services and purchases gifts for the children.

  8. We have a family that the church picks from the community that is in need and we provide for them as much as God allows us.

    With all these inspirational ideas posted you can bet that I will definately be putting some of them to great use around the neighborhood.

    Thanks so much for it all!

  9. Every Christmas Eve after the service at Church, we invite people back to our home for snacks and games. Somtimes it’s single Moms whose kids are with Dad and sometimes it’s empty nesters or widows. It’s always a lot of fun!

  10. Our church goes Christmas caroling every year to our shut-in members, senior citizens and our local nursing home.

  11. About 3 Christmases ago some dear friends of ours were hurting financially. Since it can be awkward trying to help or ask if you can help someone in this situation, we decided to become their secret santas. One night we dropped off a basket full of gift cards, jewelry I had made, food items to make a spaghetti dinner, movie rental cards, etc. We never let them know that it was us. I’m not sure if they ever figured out who left them the gift basket, but I kind of like it that way. It was so much fun and our kids got a sweet lesson from the experience.

    Blessings,
    Linda

  12. We spend Christmas Eve every year caroling with extended family through our small town’s nursing home and to homes of those who can’t get out. I feel challenged by reading all the other comments, to find more opportunities to reach out. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. I try to remember my neighbors even though I don’t
    know their names and I rarely see them. Some years
    I’ve left a card and baked goodies or something like a crocheted bookmark. This year I delivered Strobel’s
    A CASE for CHRISTMAS. A church family member
    just entered heaven after a short bout with lung cancer.
    His wife and children will need our suport and care.

    a

  14. Four Christmases ago, we found ourselves at the needing end of a Christmas blessing. I was going through chemo and we had a 3-month old. We had NO IDEA how we were going to have Christmas that year. We had decorations, but we weren’t sure if we would have anything to put under the tree. There were several people from an old church who took it upon themselves to give us a freezer, stock it with ready to cook meals, pay some of our bills, and filled the floor under the tree with presents, for all three of us.

    This year we find ourselves once again scratching our heads wondering how we are going to afford Christmas. But even with our own struggles, over the weekend, we found out about a family in our church who is in a crisis right now. We are looking at how to bless them even if that means cutting our own wants down.

  15. My dear sister at age 53 lost the love of her life this summer. While we know he is with the Lord, his quick passing has left her facing incredible grief this first Christmas. I pray daily for her without ceasing. This is the first and best I can do for her. If I could be with her (We live in different states.), I would spend Christmas with her, pampering her perhaps with a manicure, haircut, movie, Christmas special, hot chocolate at a local shop. Anything that would occupy her time and yet, being sensitive to her need to talk about her dear Curtis. She faces financial issues; her grown son has turned back to drug and alcohol addictions and currently stays with her. She could lose her home. I e-mail her words of encouragement, scriptures. I continue to point her to the hope in Jesus and to keep trusting him. We are so incredibly blessed and can never say “I know your pain” unless we have been there.

  16. It’s funny that you should ask this question this year because my husband and I have been discussing and praying about who exactly we can bless and encourage this year. Quite honestly it is going to stretch us as we feel like we are the ones who need encouraging but are trusting God with the details!

  17. What great ideas! I loved seeing both of you at the Grand Rapids Hearts at Home conference. You are both very encouraging!
    We have a couple families in our life that could use encouragement this year. We will try to include them in our Christmas joy.

  18. I am challenged to consider how God would have us reach out this year.

    In past years, we have bought a nice gift for a single mom in our church. We wanted to encourage and love her in this way.

    Who has God put in our life this year?

  19. I think Christmas is a good time to meet a physical need of someone. It is helpful to gift people with food that may have lost their jobs and can’t afford staples and luxury food items.

    Also, making a point to reach out and remember those who experienced a loss this year. It could be via a miscarriage, loss of a husband, loss of a child or even loss of a marriage. Christmas can be a very hard time for those individuals and sometimes just a call or note to let them know you care and are there if they need anything.

  20. One thing we have done with the boys is the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. We have then pick out things for their friends, color a picture and then we pray over the boxes.

    We are on the lookout for who we can bring a little holiday cheer to in our local area.

    By the way… saw Micca for the 1st time at this past Hearts confernce….. that girl will bring out the tears! And oh what a heart!! I was thankful to hear her.

  21. A family member is facing life after divorce for the first time this holiday. I want to be an encouragement to her and her kids.

  22. We have a party after church on Christmas Eve and invite everyone we meet. We don’t usually have too many visitors as most people have other plans, but we try to keep a lookout for those people who might not have family in the area or who don’t already have plans. We want them to know that they’re not forgotten!

  23. A tradition that we have lost during the year, that I’d like to restart is “Jesus cookies”. When my son was 3 we asked him what we should give Jesus and he said cookies. We tried to explain that Jesus couldn’t give Jesus cookies but could share with neighbors–so for 2 years, we baked cookies one time a month and let Sam decide who we would take too. It was an adventure, sometimes he picked church friends, sometimes neighbors, and sometimes teachers. We dropped them off with a note that said how this came about and how we were just being Jesus. It was very fun! We will restart that this year!

  24. My MOPS table group did not get a mentor for this year until November. We were then introduced to Joyce and told that her heart is indeed to minister to young moms, but she had to take a little time off due to her husband’s health. He went to Jesus in September, and she was now ready to get back into spending time with the moms.

    As the details of her story sank in, I realized that we are here to bless each other this year. She wants to provide encouragement to us moms, but we have a unique opportunity to walk through this first year of her life as a widow, and reach out and bless her as a return for all the blessings she has given to so many young women before us.

    While I am good at thinking of ideas, execution is not my strong suit. Your post today has encouraged me to act on my plan before it is too late, to invite this precious lady to my home this week to share teatime and fellowship. Thanks for spurring me on to love and good deeds!

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