Thanksgiving Shoes

13 Nov

We’ve all heard the song/story of the Christmas Shoes. Well, I have a story for you.

You’ve all read stories of my crazy kids. Raising the three of them on my own has been trying, painful, and joyful all in one breath. Each day brings new adventures, new trials, and new stories. Several years ago we were heading into the Summer months and it was time to get sandals for the kids. I was breaking a sweat just thinking of the dollars signs attached to each pair.

So we’re off to Wal-mart. The kids were excited and bouncing to the roof of the mini-van as we pulled into the parking lot. Through the sliding doors we go and they’re off to find the best pair…the coolest pair of sandals known to elementary school kids across the nation. (No doubt the most expensive pair known to single moms everywhere.)

We had to have spent the better part of an hour roaming up and down every…single….aisle of the Wal-mart shoe department.  I’m secretly hiding in the women’s section counting my dollars and digging to the bottom of my Mary Poppin’s purse searching for every last dime I can conjure up..not to mention offering a few prayers to find a quarter on the ground somewhere.

“All right, we’re ready.” The announcement came in unison as my three little ones lined up with the biggest and most precious grins I’ve ever seen on them. Not that devilish grin they usually bare that means there’s a blood stain in the carpet somewhere. But a sweet..sweet smile of satisfaction.  With great pride, they each held out their sandals. Much to my surprise, there were no flashing lights, no sounds and no holograms.  Just plain, ordinary velcro sandals with the lowest price tag any each of them could find.

I cried all the way to the check out line. I didn’t have to give them the speech on “we don’t have a lot of money”…they understood that I’m doing the best I can with what I have and everything that glitters is not gold. They saved me enough money that we even stopped by McDonald’s to scour their dollar menu and tour  the play-land for a bit.

It is one of most memorable times with my children. It was the moment I realized they had values and were selfless when it most counted. I’ve since seen those very values displayed among the holidays as my children have pooled their allowances together to give to someone less fortunate (since my children have somehow failed to catch on that we are among the ‘poor’.) 

This year they have made the commitment to carry out such compassion and charity throughout an entire year to a ministry known as the Shiloh Lighthouse Ministry and their Project 2000. I hope you’ll take the time to check it out and see how this charity can fit into your holiday giving. Teaching our children the concept of giving is one of the most valuable lessons we can give them.  The one concept my children and I live by is Matthew 25:45.   Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you do for the least of my people, you do also unto me.”


Posted by on November 13, 2008 in encouragement


9 responses to “Thanksgiving Shoes

  1. Elizabeth Roberts

    November 13, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I LOVED this story! Being a single parent of two boys I can relate in so many ways. To preface, I have always raised my boys to know that Jesus is “Santa Claus”. One year when I was BROKE at Christmas a blessing came through and my boys were able to have a fabulous Christmas. My little guy said, “I know there is a Santa Claus because Momma doesn’t have any money.” Awe!

  2. Katrina Wampler

    November 13, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    My kids say that all the time. Lord knows I’m broke… and He always comes through.

    Thanks for your comment and sharing a bit of your own struggles.

  3. paizefiddler

    November 13, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Wow – Katrina you wrote this up even better than I remember you telling it to me. What a blessing to have such awesome kids and what a testament to how well you are raising them. I have this story linked to my blog post today. I want EVERYONE to read this and learn to count their blessings. God bless you and your family!

    Oh, and thanks sooooo much for the plug for Project 2000. Means a lot to me and to a lot of people in need.

    Marvin blogs at Free Spirit:
    Eye Twitter 2 –

  4. Paul McDermott

    November 13, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    There is always that [i]je ne sais quoi[/i] about children, which ALWAYS manages to surprise us…….
    I see the same instinctive wish to give to others in my teenage daughter which I recognise from my own childhood, and I acknowledge that I no longer do the same charitable things as often as I used to….

  5. joyceanthony

    November 13, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Wonderful event to remember always, Katrina!! It warms my heart to see kids who truly understand. Having been a single parent since my son was a baby, I understand completely–Thank you for sharing this!

  6. Lillie Ammann

    November 13, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I followed the link in Marvin’s post, and I’m so glad I did. Your beautiful story brought tears to my eyes.

  7. Kids Shoes

    November 13, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    The worst is yet to come in the recovery, which will really be counted in months and years rather than days and months. Kids Shoes

  8. Terre

    November 14, 2008 at 4:00 am

    I am a single mom of two and I too can relate in so many ways. Especially counting the money and praying to find a coin on the ground. I always tell my angels thank you when I find a penny. Sometimes that leads me to finding dimes. One big difference though. My kids don’t care very much about clothes or shoes. They run to the video games It isn’t often that they ask me to buy them one and I feel bad when I have to tell them that I just can’t afford it right now. Now Christmas is coming and it will be a trying time as there will be no Mom and Dad or to the kids, Grandma or Grandpa to share the holiday with. Sorry, I’m rambling, but this is a wonderful story and kids do understand tough times and sometimes they surprise us with their hearts.

  9. unwriter1

    November 14, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    You did a wondrous job tying the animals to the love and beliefs we should all possess. This was a heartwarming story. Let us pray that God is forever in your life as well as your children, human and furred.


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