Wow what a week this has been…fun from beginning to end. I got the blessed privilege of getting to come home for Christmas for a few days as the plans were a bit delayed with the container with furnishings not coming in until after the first of the year. It gave me the opportunity to be able to schedule a quick trip and come home and surprise some folks I love a bunch.
Got to show up for one of my dearest friends birthday supper on Thursday night and surprise she and her precious daughters that I love a whole great big bunch. Got to sleep under the Christmas tree with the sister of my heart and her two sweet daughters…haven’t had a slumber party on the floor in a LONG time (and by the way I don’t seem to handle them as well now as I used to, things ache 😦 ). Got to spend an evening hanging out with Momma Grose with a good book and a fireplace and spend some time there at that house that I love. Then got to come home and surprise my SWEET nephews and my little sister whose smile will linger in my heart for a long time as I remember the way they looked when they saw me. Grabbed them and took them to surprise my mom at our house and they walked in and said “grandma we brought you an early Christmas present” and she said, “well what is it?” and Braydon with a big ole smile on his face pointed at me and she cried and that was a whole bunch of fun too. It’s just been a good week of getting to be with people I cherish. Which brings me to an interesting point.
Now let me preface this by saying, I’m not necessarily suggesting we alter all of our Christmas traditions that’s not the point…but I truly feel like this is the first year I have gotten (maybe the proper word is taken) the opportunity to enjoy a different facet of what all of this is really about. My mom had shipped my gifts on the container that’s coming soon because none of us knew I was going to be able to come home for Christmas, so I didn’t open presents yesterday and I didn’t give any either. My gift this year both to me and from me was coming home to spend time with people I loved. The focus this year was able to be on things that mattered and not in all the hype of what to get for who and the race against the clock to do it all and all of that. I can not begin to tell you how incredibly nice that has been and continues to be. Did I miss the presents? Not really if I’m honest. I loved the gift of getting to be with people I love and I think I appreciate that far differently than I was able to a while ago. Being far away does that I guess.
Sat yesterday morning with some of my hearts nearest and dearest during worship and we heard Ron share a lesson on the wise men and the gifts they brought to Jesus. Afterward he made some really interesting points about how all of this applies to life and I’ll be honest most of it I’d heard before in a Christmas lesson somewhere at some point but a couple things stuck out to me in BIG ways. I’ll share one of them today and perhaps one of them later. He was talking about the gifts we bring and how some of them are given out of obligation, some of them are given expecting a favor, etc. Then he used this phrase and it will stick for life I think…he said you know the ones I appreciate the most are “GRACE GIFTS.” The ones that are given expecting nothing in return, the ones given that are unexpected didn’t deserve them, togetherness and time sort of blessings. These are the ones that really hit your heart. I sat there near some of the best “grace gift-ers” I know and it was a neat thought to think about the things we offer to one another and the things that mean the most.
I think he helped me come up with my New Years resolution this year (although I’m not always big on those either) but I sat there offering a prayer that I would learn how to give gifts to the people I love that are true unselfish “grace gifts.” Gifts that money can’t buy and nothing can take. Gifts that offer people time and heart and come with no strings attached. Gifts that don’t seem like the absence of something in the lack of material presents but the addition of something terrific in the offering more of yourself.
I think those are the gifts that make Christ look down and smile and say ok now you’re getting it!! And I really want to “get it”…to get Him…to get His heart!!
Give away… other people are waiting for the “you”, you have to offer! Be blessed as you are a blessing!