Tuesday, December 25, 2012

good gifts

this picture reminds me of something...actually, the thought has been rolling through my mind all day.  Christmas is really about one great and amazing present.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16....He so loved that He GAVE....and He keeps on giving...He delights in giving good gifts to His children...to me.

gifts...both giving and receiving is one of my major love languages...big gifts, small gifts...they speak to me.  and i can get pretty bummed out when the "gift" doesn't meet my expectations.

yes, this pic is kate...yes, she is quite distraught.  this is post-opening of the traditional Christmas Eve present...it is always some form of pajamas...preferably matching pajamas.  apparently kate is not old enough to fully recognize the pattern. she remembered that she would get a Christmas Eve present...she was SO excited about it as we headed home from dinner.  and then she opened it.  and she cried...and she sobbed.  i think her exact words were something along the lines of "This wasn't what I was expecting!"...in between sobs and sniffles and gulps...then, "I really wanted a pony castle...I was expecting a pony castle". 
 she was distraught.

and i see myself in this picture. distraught and sobbing because some moment in life is not at all what i expected...or maybe it is not a moment...maybe it is a week or a month or a year...a whole string of "not what i expected" gifts...

in this instance, though, i had a different perspective.  you see, i knew that upstairs, tucked away under my bed...all wrapped up in pretty paper...was that very pony castle my sweet girl was longing for a sobbing about.  no, the pjs were not what she expected, but what she hoped for WAS right around the corner...if only she could just enjoy the moment...enjoy the gift in the present moment, the one sitting right there in her lap...that her daddy and i had so eagerly given.

i wanted so badly to wrap my arms around her...to whisper in her ear...to tell her not to worry, that tomorrow what she "expected" would be reality.  but i didn't....because i was not about to ruin the joyful delight that would be hers when she did receive that eagerly anticipated pony castle...that "good gift" she was so envisioning.

she did calm down...she did once again smile....she did enjoy the rest of the evening, but in this moment...it was not so pretty.

friends...that is me...most likely that it ALL of us.  oh that we could simply learn to accept with open, eager and joyful hearts the gift that our Father gives in each moment...even if it is not exactly what we were expecting.  oh that we would eagerly embrace the gift He has given....His Son.

...and oh my...look how the picture changed just 12 hours later when the very last package of the morning for Kate was opened and revealed the much longed for and anticipated pony castle.  and how my heart swelled with joy to be able to give her that gift...

and i was again, reminded of our Father...who delights to give good gifts.  friends, i soooo eagerly longed for this morning...yes, for the reality of the gift of Jesus, but also because i delight in seeing the joy on my childrens' faces as they open the presents we have so carefully and lovingly selected and purchased and wrapped.  to think, this desire in my heart is only a shadow...a very dim shadow....of the delight of the Father in giving good gifts to His children.  oh that i would trust Him and receive with joy...


Go Long! Go Green! said...

wow, great blog post Amanda! how true, how true! I think of Ann Voskamp's book 1000 Gifts when I read your blog ... it is those small gifts we don't want to count as "blessings" and we have no clue the bigger gifts around the corner! well-written, great teaching point! merry christmas!

Rebecca said...

you have a beautiful way with words

Anonymous said...

Amanda, this is such a beautifully written story, so sweet and such a great reminder for all of us. You are a wonderful Mother and your children are adorable. Sharon (Courtney's Mom)