Monday, 24 December 2012

Gifts hard to Receive: Merry Christmas!

When asked, "If ever was there a gift given or received that meant much to you" a friend e-mails back and says:

"I must have been in kindergarten when this occurred.,,,,,,my family lived way out in the country, and I went to a country school, so to speak. There was a little girl from a very poor family who had little of everything which included not having her very own doll. I remember thinking, that I wanted to give her my doll that I had and loved. I must have asked my parents and they gave me the okay, because I do remember giving it to her, and she quietly accepted it. I think, she was very surprised and did not really know how to react, but deep down in my little heart, I knew she was pleased and thankful."

Another shares this:
"I wanted a horse for as long as I could remember. My grandparents gave her to me for my 13th birthday. She was 1 1/2 years old and for the most part, we kept her and then a family friend kept her until her death at age 32. All of my children had opportunity to ride her, and even after not seeing her for many, many years, she responded to my whistle and remembered the tricks I had taught her. She was the gift that meant the most to me. Growing up, she heard all about my frustrations, relationships, etc., and I spent more time with her than with any thing or person before I met Vince. I was always devising new things to do together or to try to teach her. In addition, I learned responsibility, patience, and perseverance as I trained her, and she provided excellent exercise for me."
Still another good gift story:
"I bought my parents a used car when I first got a job and they were living in CA and working for a Christian school. I knew they needed it and at first when I mentioned it they were like, "no, we could never take that its took much. But I said this is what family is for, to care and love each other. I drove it from OH to CA and again it was deeply appreciated. It was never weird between us, they took care of me and I wanted to help them."
And sometimes good gifts are the hardest to receive aren't they?
 Good gifts, they are almost too good to be true!
Some of the best gifts I have received have been of the unexpected sort.
Extended grace from a soon-to-be Mother-in-law who did not offer condemnation but rather open arms wide with grace as she hugged and cried and prayed for me is probably one of the best gifts, if not the best gift I was ever given. Yes, unexpected it was. I knew it was unequivocally undeserved. I didn't even want to, nor thought I could receive it at the time.
A friend brings me a kitchen-aid mixer (with a handle!!!!) because I happen to mention to her that it would be in my wildest dreams to have one of those. She brings it to me and quietly mentions who I can give my "old" one to. And that girl, she cries and hugs my husband when he gives it to her. She was blessed and I was blessed. So this friend, she blessed us both! And for that week she takes the challenge and prays for me.
And prayer. What a gift!
Another friend, she adds this wisdom:
"Our culture wants us to believe that there is joy in their specific physical gift.  You don't see commercials telling you to pray for the friend considering divorce, but wouldn't that be nice!  You see buy this ________ it will make you happy and give your life meaning and joy. but the truth is it won't if it's a physical thing."  She adds this truth,  "Every good gift is from above.  Amen."
Yes, these friends, they are gifts.
Surly sent from above. 
Thank you for sharing your heart, your time and wisdom.

And on this very Eve of Christmas,
may you, yes all of you readers,
find Him,
who came certainly and unexpectedly,
and can be hard to receive
because grace of this magnitude almost always is.

Joy, Peace, Hope.
They can only be found in the one
who you will find...
  "wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Luke 2:12

Merry Christmas dear ones!


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