Twinkling lights, apple spices, Christ-child carols, and a spirit of giving fill the atmosphere with anticipation in a way that makes December a month like no other. I was reflecting the other day on some of my favorite Christmas gifts – my first tea set, a cordless curling iron, the trampoline from our parents, the music box from Brian – and my heart was warmed by the thoughtful and sacrificial love shown with each of those special gifts. These carefully selected goods weren’t purchased to overshadow the ultimate Gift, but they were in celebration of our ultimate example of giving.
I believe God smiles upon gift-giving. After all, He was the first one to bestow gifts in a tangible way. He wrapped His most precious gift in tinsel of skin and ribbons of swaddling clothes to breathe love on a lost world. That baby boy King gave all Creation hope and a future, and the grown man Savior ultimately gave His life for our eternity. He is the gift that keeps giving through the hands and feet of His children. Our gifts of love to the least of these, our hearts of service to those in need, our talents and treasures in worship can overflow from under our Christmas trees this year. I think they’ll fit perfectly with the pretty packages.
So often I get caught up in the “big gifts” in life, but I don’t want to miss out on the daily gifts that are special-wrapped just for me by the One who knows exactly what I need. That’s why the list-crazy lady that I am is so excited about what is transpiring as I daily make note of heavenly gifts being delivered more timely than any UPS shipment could. As I mentioned in previous posts, I’ve joined up with an online community who is intentionally making lists of all the gifts around us everyday. Of course, the goal is to post on Mondays with the group, and here it is Wednesday, but that’s okay. Now I have another item to add to my list -- the gift of grace on me even in the little things! What’s amazing about celebrating God’s daily gifts is that I’m seeing how uniquely God has made me and knows just what to surprise me with. He’s not re-gifting someone else’s unwanted present, but He has the perfect size, color, and price-point for what this woman needs. By searching for the gift in daily experiences (even the tough ones), it is making my relationship with the Giver more alive than ever.
I encourage you, friend, to not only be a giver during this season, but be open to receiving too – God has so many gifts wrapped just for you!
One Thousand Gifts
is the online community of gratitude, and here my list continues. . .
25. A loud van horn that did its job to keep our family from a near parking-lot accident
26. New friendship formed while sweating and sharing hearts over cardio machines at the gym
27. Anticipation of an entire 24 hours alone with the man who holds my heart
28. Tough questions asked by our adoption social worker
29. An overdue afternoon of eating, sharing, and shopping with my momma
30. Paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork that make me feel just a little closer to our new family member
31. A white envelope filled with a sacrificial gift that will take a chunk out of our home study costs
32. Middle of the night searches under sheets and pillows for a stuffed-puppy named “Sammy”
33. Text messages from a fast growing girl that make this pre-teen trip oh so sweet
34. Feeling the steam rise from mugs of hot cocoa and watching them warm little bodies
35. Counting down to the birthday of our Savior with songs, lights, and smells to celebrate the greatest Gift of all
P.S. If you’re looking for a meaningful way to give, check out my friend, Christie Cotney’s blog: Compass In My Heart. She just moved to Uganda and really needs help with child sponsorships for about 100 more children. Each sponsorship provides a child with the opportunity to attend school, receive medical treatment, have a daily meal, and get access to other basic necessities. I LOVE these kind of gifts!!