How to feed a family of 10 at Olive Garden for $15…

Yesterday morning I was reading in Mark about Jesus feeding the 5,000 and later the 4,000. Jesus took what He had and multiplied it and provided for all the people there.

I didn’t know that there would be an indirect correlation later that night for our family.

I had called my wife in the afternoon and asked if she’d like for us to go out to eat last night. We RARELY go out and if we do it is to Mickey D’s or something cheap or to a place that offers free kids meals or something. Since starting the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace plan earlier this summer, we have only been out to eat 3 or 4 times. Well, my dad had given Kim and I a gift card to Olive Garden for Christmas. We were saving it for a date night. Yesterday though, I knew that we had a little bit of money left in the food budget and since payday was the next day, I decided that we would take the gift card and the little bit left in the food budget and take the whole family to Olive Garden. My wife agreed, so we told the kids and they were very excited! It is a rare treat for our family to go out especially to a nice sit-down restaurant like Olive Garden. 🙂 Needless to say, when I got home from the office, they were all ready to go!

Well, we went into the restaurant and we were counted several times, even before we got in the door. We are used to this, because we are certainly not an inconspicuous bunch! 🙂 We waited a while, then got our table…well it was actually 3 tables put together. As we sat there ordering and the kids coloring on their kid’s menus and waiting for our food, we had 2 different men come up to us and speak to us and the kids about how well behaved they were. We thanked them and continued with our meal. A little while later an older lady who was with one of these men noticed Kim trying to eat and hold the baby at the same time. She came over and asked if she could hold the baby for her while she finished eating. Kim let her, saying to me as the lady walked back to her table, “I think if she took off with the baby I could take her down.” 🙂

In the meantime, they accidentally  brought us an extra entree’ so we already had something to take home for lunch the next day. Anyway as we finished the server brought the check over and said, “You don’t have to pay anything, its been taken care of.” My wife and I and all of the kids just stopped and looked at her. No one knew what to say. We were taken aback. I just said “Wow, what a blessing. Thanks!”  I asked her if she had been tipped and she said no, but that I didn’t need to worry about it. I couldn’t just leave without giving her something, so I left her a $15 tip. THAT’S how you feed a family of 10 at Olive Garden for $15. 🙂 I don’t know who it was who God used to be a blessing to our family. It may have been the elderly couple who spoke to us and who held the baby or it may have been the businessman dining alone who came by and said what a fine family we had or it may have been someone else we didn’t even see.

The reality is it was God who chose to bless us, even though we don’t deserve such favor. He used someone to bless our family and in essence multiplied the gift that my dad had given us, so that Kim and I can actually still go out on that date later. It was just another reminder from the Lord that He has our back…and our stomachs!

We told the kids that they should thank God for that person or persons and ask Him to bless them in return. When we got home, my 9 year old said, after getting out of her bath, that she had already prayed for God to bless that person. She said, “I did it while I was sitting on the potty, because I was just sitting there and thought about it.” I guess that works. 🙂

3 thoughts on “How to feed a family of 10 at Olive Garden for $15…

  1. Stephanie Boyd

    Wow! Amazing! We are church planters with five kids and two elderly parents (in upper 80s) that we live with and care for. We never eat out either! But we have seen God provide in AMAZING ways! When our twins were on the way and we no longer fit in a sedan, a supporter bought us a beautiful Chevy Suburban! When you live in God’s hands, He totally provides and multiplies! I wouldn’t have it any other way! Thank you so much for sharing the story!

  2. Esther Rowden

    Thanks for your sharing. Praise God for your wonderful experience. I had several experiences that made me feel God so close. God has been answered not only my prayers but also my wishes in my heart. Recently, I was very down by my financial difficulties. I am a single mom with two little kids. I knew God will provide all our needs but I was quite disappointed that my prayer didn’t get answered for a while. Our refregiator and pantry have been almost empty for several months and unpaid bills were waiting, and didn’t know where the money will come. One day, I met a Christian who shared his hardship and faith in God with me. My heart was breaking down with so many questions to God. He identified with me and asked me if I had gas money and gave me $100, He was also going through financial difficulties with his family but chose to bless me. Even though it couldn’t cover all the expenses that I needed at the time. But I felt like God wanted me to trust him that he knows my needs and takes in control through the strainger’s gift.
    It was unexpected gift from God. God comforted me by letting me know that I am not alone who go through trials like this. It was good to know that there are trials in Christian walk by listening from other Christian’s life who experience same thing. I was wondering I was forgotten by him or not being loved which was enemy’s lie. I wanted to use the money to take my kids out to eat to cheer all of us up but I had to pay one of the urgent bill. When I shared the $100 blessing to one of my church friends. He offered us to take us for a dinner. What an another blessing. I thank God for his goodness and Christians who are willing to be blessing to others’ lives. By the way, is it okay for me to share your story with my friends? Thanks.

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