Sunday, December 6, 2009

Giving the Gift of Joy

Am I the Grinch?

I look around and notice that I am standing on the edge of a cliff grinning at the possibility of pushing off this sleigh full of gifts to be dashed on the rocks below...

Then I hear singing.

Little Girl is still happily making each family member eight thousand cards (each), singing about giving and how happy she is and how thrilled the recipient of her two minute masterpiece will be.

I need an ally before I do this gruesome deed.

Surely Husband will agree with me about not joining the typical American consumer mindset about Christmas. But before I can even present the idea of strapping antlers on the dogs and..."hey babe," he says "what do you think about this gift for your mom?..."

So, I am alone in this feeling. This frustration that I don't know how to work out. Husband has the same glow that Little Girl does. I am the one who is grumpy inside. And I'm grumpy because I'm grumpy. And that makes me grumpier because I want to have the right perspective! Hmmmm...

It's so much easier to have a dramatic reaction then to think this whole gift-giving thing through. Sigh. Sit down.

Okay Lord, I've got some very excited people that I love very much wanting me to share in their plans for Christmas. I want Christmas to be about YOU and I do not want gifts to get in the way of that...

It is more blessed to give than to receive.(Acts 20:35)

Right! Exactly Lord, so I don't want to discourage their giving, and I love to give gifts. I really don't have a problem with giving gifts, but I am having a hard time with the receiving part...

Somebody has to be on the receiving end

Shouldn't it only be those who are really in need? We don't NEED anything, we are so blessed...

...let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Gal 6:10)

I feel like I don't know anything, Lord. I don't know how to honor You in this area.

Remember what you know

I know that life, and breath, and everything else I have is from You.(Acts 17:25) I know that You are the most extravagant gift I have ever received, and will ever receive. (Col 2:3, John 17:3) I know You are keenly aware of those who are in need. I know giving is in Your nature, and You love to give to me, and to my family all year round. And I know You give us, though we are extremely wealthy, physical gifts, not just spiritual ones.

Receive love, give joy.

Little Girl brings me the third card she has made in the last ten minutes "see mom! I put your favorite color on here, and these little papers, and this is sparkly..."

Her never-ending animated description makes me smile. "I love it!"

Grinning from ear to ear she beams with joy "yeah, I knew you would! Uhm, and you know what? You're precious, and you're beautiful, and I love you, and I'm gonna make you some more cards for you, ok? Ok..." off she runs.

She gives because she loves. There is pure joy in my receiving it. It doesn't matter if the gift is "practical" or "beautiful" or "useful" because it is simply an expression of love. When I receive that love, I give back joy. And that is appropriate and honoring to You. I will try to remember to not only focus on all in the world that I can not change, but to reflect Your character by gratefully receiving the love that is packaged especially for me... and in doing so give the gift of joy to the loving giver.

Even in receiving we can give.

Receive love, give joy.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

hey, that was a really great post! i've been thinking a lot about gift-giving, partially over things you've said and also things you've been talking about. But it is TOTALLY my love language to give, and to give that perfect gift that will make the person so happy is just thrilling for me! but we are in a time when no one here even knows what they want because they don't need anything! so it's such a struggle. but I really appreciated your perspective here. and i know the little girl does too :o)

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