An ADD Woman with Lacy Estelle

A Christmas Story (Season 2, Ep. 16)

November 27, 2023 Lacy Estelle Season 2 Episode 16
An ADD Woman with Lacy Estelle
A Christmas Story (Season 2, Ep. 16)
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In this heartfelt episode of An ADD Woman podcast, host Lacy Estelle shares a personal Christmas story that impacted her life and raises the question: "In the midst of financial uncertainty and difficult circumstances, how can we see hope and healing through the selfless gift of someone who has faith in us?" 

Through her inspiring story, Lacy shows us that even in our darkest times, God is always with us, guiding us towards a brighter future. Join Lacy as she shares the start of her journey to finding self-worth and the important reminder that we will gain all of the strength we hold within and see the miracles that can occur when we open our hearts to God and to others.

Links & Resources Mentioned:

Dear Broke, Single Mom (blog post)

Pay It Forward Christmas Fund, click here!  
A one-time donation you are contributing to an exclusive fund for An ADD Woman with Lacy Estelle to gift someone else a 'Christmas' each year. This is not tax deductible and is a gift. Thank You For Your Help!
 
Reach out to Lacy at:

Email: podcast@anADDwoman.com
Facebook group: @anADDwoman
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Website: www.anADDwoman.com
Lacy’s Facebook group:
Mothering the Storm Accountability and Support Group

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[0:00] Hi guys, welcome to An ADD Woman Podcast with Lacy Estelle.
This is a podcast where we talk all about being a Christian woman living with ADHD.
So if you are listening to this and you're in the States, then you know that today is Cyber Monday.  It's the Monday for all of the crazy shopping before Christmas.
I'm not sure if this is a phenomenon that is experienced all around the world or if it's just over here, but it makes for crazy shopping experiences online.
And every year around this time, I'm always reminded of how far and how amazing God has been throughout my life.
And not just because it's Christmas, I mean Christmas is awesome.

[1:00] But because of so many different experiences I've had over the years.
So, the story I want to tell you about is a personal story of mine, a story I've actually shared I think a few times before, but I don't think I've ever shared it on this podcast, so it's important to me to share it because it's fairly significant.
It had a pretty big impact on me. And I want to preface it with this.
This season, this Christmas season specifically, as we get into it, I think there are many of us who are sitting somewhere today that just a few years ago we didn't think we would be dealing with either again or.

[1:45] You know, and I'm talking, I'm talking primarily about, you know, the financial state of, I would say the world as a whole right now.
And I don't want to get into all of that stuff because it, first of all, it can be very overwhelming and it just kind of leaves you feeling pretty helpless.

[2:03] But it's also, you know, I talk a lot on this podcast about ADHD and behaviors and trying to change your behaviors and change your habits and change, you know, change your perception of things.
And that's really, it's, that's so much easier said than done.
Especially when, as an ADHD person, I feel like we live in a constant cycle of questioning whether or not what we're experiencing is of our own fault, or if it is from, you know, things that we cannot control.
And I just want to tell you that in this state, in this economy, in this, you know, tumultuous time of, you know, financial uncertainty, it's not, it's not your fault.
Now, maybe you have a role to play in it, but ultimately I think that I, think it's important for you to know that the reason why all of a sudden so many of us who felt like we were going to get on the other side of our struggles have had setback after setback is because it's not it's not up to us right now, unfortunately.

[3:23] You can't cut enough, you know, $8 lattes out of your budget to make up the gap that is happening currently.
And I don't say that because I want to take a stand in regards to anything.
I mean, I have my viewpoints on most things, but that's not what this is about.
So, saying that, I'm going to tell you a story.
I was in my young 20s. I was a young single mom and I wasn't working full-time.
I was just working odds and ends jobs while I tried to juggle school and being a parent and also being out on my own for the first time.
I had two children by the time that I was 21.
This was over 10 years ago. It was Christmas time and I had no money and I could not possibly fathom where I was going to come up with money for Christmas.

[4:28] And what's funny to me now is I look back and I remember because my children were on, you know, we were getting all sorts of resources and state aid and different things along those lines at the time, and a flyer had been given to me to sign up for the old newsboys, Toys for Tots, different things like that.
And just a few years before when I was in high school, I was volunteering for, you know, the Salvation Army program.
And I was playing a part in, you know, helping children who are less fortunate, you know, pick out their toys for Christmas, or their parents pick out toys for them for Christmas, and now I was in the position to where I needed to utilize those same resources as a young teen mom.

[5:19] I had a good family friend at the time.
They were just somebody that I had known and they ended up being my primary caretaker for my oldest child when he was still an infant.
And then they also watched my younger son for me when he was still small.
And these are both, of course, my older boys now, not my younger children now.
But they were always helpful to me And on this day, I needed to go to the old newsboys and I needed to fill out this form and give them the information and tell them how many children I had and where I live and what my needs were for Christmas and if I had food.
I had to do all these things, right? And this is before I knew I had ADHD.

[6:09] And I of course arrived to this charity organization. I arrive late, later than when it started.
And where I live, where a lot of these organizations are located, they're in a more of in a downtown city urban area.
So there's a lot of people that end up needing this sort of help.
And so the line was super long.
And I got there and at the time, my older son was, he was either at school, I think he was at school. He was at like the GSRP program, the Great Start Readiness Program.
He was there all day and I didn't have to worry about that. But I had my younger son and I had him with me and I didn't have anybody to watch him and it was cold. It was so cold.
It was like a November day because obviously they have to have time to get all these things organized, right?
So they ask you to come like in November.
And I live in the Midwest. To say that our winters are cold is like an understatement.
So it was really cold.

[7:19] And unprepared, unplanned me, you know, has, I have this little baby bundled up, but I'm thinking to myself, and I think he might have been about six months old at the time.
I'm thinking to myself, like, I don't want to have to stand outside with him this whole time.
It's not fair to him. He's little. So I called my family friend who had watched my children for me, and I called her, and this woman, she just took me in, you know, at that time.
Like she just, when I was having my first son, and I needed somebody to take care of him, she just stepped right up.
It's like, you know those people that just like, their hearts are just like an open door. Like all the time.
She was that type of person and so was her husband.

[8:11] And I called her. And I said, hey, I'm in line at the Newsboys and I'm trying to get the boys signed up to have Christmas and I just need to know if there's any chance I could run Callahan, son, which is my younger, older son's name, if I could bring him to you so that you could just watch him for me so I can stand in line.
Because it looked to me like I was going to be there all day.
It was going to be my day, was standing in line to have Christmas.
And she thought about it for a second and then she said, yeah, yeah, of course, you know, bring him over.
And I said, okay, thank you. Like, thank you so much.
So I, I left.
I knew that I could come back, because like I said, that thing was taking place all day long.
And I left and I drove over to take him to her.

[9:03] And when I got there, she said, Hey, you know, why don't you go ahead and put the car seat in the van?
So I took his car seat out of my car and put it in her van.
And she said, and if you don't mind, we're just, you know, go ahead and put him in the van and we're going to load up and I'm gonna I we're gonna go somewhere really fast and I was like, okay. Well, where are we?
Where are we going? I got it. I had to get back to this charity organization and get I You know sign up and she said, you know, just no just get in the van I'm gonna we're gonna go do something else and I was like, okay, and all I was thinking to myself was like, What are we going to go do because like I need to make sure my kids have Christmas.

[9:48] I got in the van and she took me to Walmart and she said, okay, listen, we're going to, we've already decided, so you can't tell us no, is what she said, but we're going to, um, we're going to buy you Christmas. And I was like, what?
What do you mean you're going to buy it? She goes, we're going to, we're going to go in Walmart.

[10:08] And you can pick out some things for the boys, things that you need, things that you want for them and we're gonna buy them for you and you're gonna you're going to wrap them and take them home and we're gonna buy you Christmas.
And all we ask is that you know someday when you're able that you pay this forward.
I still I still get a little emotional when I think about this because from her perspective from where she was sitting.


A Mother's Struggle with Eight Children


[10:38] This woman has lots of kids, just to tell you that she has, I think I counted, I think at some point she has, I think she has eight children.
Now four of those children are biologically hers and her husband's, either from previous marriages or, you know, together.
And then she has four adopted children.
So when it comes to having seen parents who are struggling to find their footing, you know, to get their groove, to do right by their children, she's seen a lot of them.
And some of those parents, unfortunately, were never granted their children again, and others, she had to relinquish these children whose hearts who she accepted into her heart and then she had to give them back.

[11:38] Can I just tell you how awful I felt about myself?


The Weight of Responsibility and Self-Reflection


[11:43] When you are, when you're young, you can't quite get it together.
It's one thing for it to just be you.
But when it's you, and you have two small people relying on you, and you still can't get it together.
You feel very broken." And I felt very broken.
And prideful me wanted to tell her no.
No, it's okay, I'll figure it out. I was 150%.


The Anonymous Christmas Gift


[12:12] Okay with accepting Christmas gifts from a charity organization.
I was 150% okay with that because it felt anonymous.
It felt like nobody has to know how hard things are for you.
Nobody has to know how difficult things are, how poor you are.
Nobody really has to know except for these few people that are going to read these sheets and find out what your name is and your children's name and it will all just be anonymous and nobody will know.
And instead, I was faced with a choice of accept this amazing gift that not everybody can bestow on someone.

[12:58] And take it and be grateful, and remember.
Remember how this feels, and remember it in a way that allows for you to someday do it for somebody else.
And she did. She took me into the store, and Callahan was with me, and we walked around the store, and I don't even remember what I bought them.
I mean, I don't remember what I picked out if I'm honest.
I I think about I believe it's the Maya Angelo Quote where she says, you know people will forget what you said and they'll forget what you did But they'll never forget how you made them feel. It's so true.
It's so true that woman made me feel like Like this is temporary this part of your life This journey you're on is teaching you something, and you're going to get on the other side of it. We can see it.
Her and her husband, they could see it. I couldn't.
I couldn't see it at all, but they could, and they had faith that someday, maybe not within the next few months or even within the next few years, but someday I would wake up and I would be in a place that looked and felt very different than where I was in that time.

[14:25] And so the real gift she gave me that year was not, it wasn't just Christmas.

[14:32] Christmas was a big part of it, but the real gift was she took time to believe in me and believe that I wasn't just broken or lazy or worthless.

[14:50] And if you haven't been paying attention this whole year to what I've been trying to tell all of you who listen, And you are worth so much more than the mistakes that you think you're making.
You are worth so much more than the status you feel like you can never achieve.
You are worth so much more than the Christmas you can't buy or the shoes you can't afford, or the homework you can't finish or the grades you can't make or the job you can't keep you are worth so much more.


Paying It Forward and Spreading Christmas Joy


[15:32] I still haven't got to make good on my promise.
My promise of being able to pay it forward and buy somebody else a Christmas.
I'd really, really, really like to change that. And maybe this year will be the year.
I think that I am going to set up a donation box to go with this podcast episode specifically Then if you feel inclined to help me pay it forward and fund somebody else's Christmas, I invite you to give however much you feel led.
Do not feel obligated. I'm sure that this is something that I will probably want to do every year, forever.

[16:13] Because there's so much more to give someone when you can offer them something like this.
Even if I'm not able to do this, I know someday I will. And it won't be me.
It won't be me that finds a way to pay and buy somebody else's Christmas.
It won't be me that helps to motivate other struggling moms that they are worth something.
It's not me who is sharing this message with you right now.
And it wasn't my friend who was able to gift me Christmas that year.
For all of those things, all of that comes from God and God alone moves through people in and out, through me, through her, through every other person that I come into contact with or who hears this message.
It is not me doing this. This is all about Jesus, every last bit, because He stepped off the throne.
That's what Christmas is.
He humbled himself.
He had everything he could possibly need, and he humbled himself enough to come down and be born.

[17:31] To a teenage mother and be poor, you know, they didn't have the old newsboys.
They didn't have things like that.
And I think all the time about how stressed we can be, especially living in these times, and how scary it can feel when you're trying to decide between buying your child a new winter coat.

[17:58] Or buying bread and milk, or buying gas to get to work, or buying eggs.
I truly believe that God is stronger than any of these fears that we have and we live with.
It doesn't mean that they don't feel heavy, especially during this season of all. So, that was my story, and obviously, it's a Christmas story.

[18:28] I wish that I could tell you that, you know, since I experienced that, I've been able to gift blah blah blah this many Christmases, and the truth of the matter is that I haven't got there yet.
I know I will. I know I will.
So I guess the biggest thing I want you to take away from this is whatever the thing is in front of you right now that just feels or seems so big, so astronomical, so difficult to overcome, whatever it is, God is bigger.
I can't promise you that somebody will come along and decide to just pay your bills or offer to buy your children a Christmas. I can't promise that.
What I can promise is that God is with you in absolutely everything, in every struggle, In every difficulty, in every second guess, in every fear, He's right there.
And He will show you Himself through people you don't expect.

[19:39] Through things that you couldn't plan for.
And when He does, you have to acknowledge it, and you have to remember it, because it's amazing to me the things he teaches through the things that we avoid.
If I could have had it my way at that time, if I could have snapped my fingers and made three Christmas wishes, the first one would have been to have gifts for my children that I could afford or to have money to buy gifts for my children.
And the second one would have been for me to have a study partner, somebody in my life at that time that was there for me and wanted to be there for me and wanted to help me.

[20:28] And I think the last thing I would have wished for at that time was a way out.
I wanted a way out of the cycle of, you know, living on state aid and fighting with my ex, and I wanted a way out.
And I know that at that time, my young, 20 self envisioned that as like a knight on a white horse just coming along and rescuing me from this pit of despair, it felt like.
I see now so clearly that that knight on a white horse is Jesus and he did come and in that moment, I may not have noticed him then, but I see him so clear now.

[21:14] If I had had my way at that time, my friend would not have been able to feel the joy I'm sure she felt, and I know she felt because I witnessed it.

[21:30] In being able to do such a wonderful thing for us.
Because in her heart there were children that she spent years caring about and caring for The Sheen would never get to gift a Christmas to you ever again.
But she could do this for us. And she knew I would never forget it.
If I had had my way, she wouldn't have been able to do that.
If I had had my way, I wouldn't have needed to stand in line and be humbled by the experience of just hoping that your kids might get more than socks or might have something to open.
I wouldn't have recognized in all of my neighbors and all of the people in my community a likeness.

[22:16] I wouldn't have learned that. I wouldn't have stood there and been reminded that the circumstances I was in could have been anybody, anyone at all.
It didn't, it wasn't like some perfect storm and I was just the perfect victim.
No. I feel like we are only ever really one tragedy away from being in a position that we don't want to be in at all, whether that be financially or, you know, being able to provide or have a roof over your head or even your health.
So if I had had my way, I wouldn't have learned that.
If I had had my way and that there was a knight on a white horse that was coming to rescue me I would have never reached for Jesus because I would have put somebody else in the place where he should alone ever have.

[23:16] So why do I say all that? I say all of that because I want to remind you of his good.

[23:23] Even in the times where you can't fathom, you can't see at the end of the tunnel, you can't see what He's doing, or what you're learning, or why you can't understand why He would do this to you, why He would gift you something and then maybe take it away, or why He would grant one family a child and not you, Why he would take away the thing you love the most.

[23:56] Why he would let things collapse beneath you. We don't know. We don't get to know.
Sometimes that's the hardest part. But I have found that with time and perspective, that big fancy word, perspective, he will show us some of the things that he was doing and how wonderful they really are.
So, I hope that your turkey was wonderful if you celebrated Thanksgiving.
And if you are listening to this from somewhere across the pond, I hope that your upcoming week is amazing.
And when you are faced with, you know, greed and selfishness and all the things that we experience and we see on a day-to-day basis during this time of year, I hope that you remember that you can shine Christ into all of the dark places of not only the world, but of each other's hearts.
So, I will be talking to you guys really soon. Bye bye. Thank you so much for listening.


Request for Five-Star Reviews to Support the Show


[25:01] What would really help me more than anything if you feel inclined is please leave me a five-star review wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that's Spotify, Podbean, Apple Podcasts, all the like.
It really helps for the show to show up for other people that maybe they need to hear it.

Introduction: An ADD Woman Podcast with Laci Estelle
A Mother's Struggle with Eight Children
The Weight of Responsibility and Self-Reflection
The Anonymous Christmas Gift
Paying It Forward and Spreading Christmas Joy
Request for Five-Star Reviews to Support the Show