Saturday, December 11, 2010

Give a Priceless Gift

Hi, friends,
The best gifts don’t have to cost a cent. It's true!

Want to give someone you love a priceless gift this Christmas? I've received lots of them over the years, but here is the story one of the best.

I was housebound with bronchitis over Christmas not that many years ago, unable to join the family in anything fun. We had a huge snowfall one night, blanketing our yard in at least a foot of perfect new snow. While I rested on the couch, my husband Steve built a fire in the woodstove, lighted the tree and went outside to gather more wood. Suddenly, I heard him knocking on the family room window, beckoning me to look outside, where he’d made me a beautiful angel in the snow. I saw him smiling though the falling snow, and cried with gratefulness for this surprise love gift.

Here's a picture of it. I hope you can see it. That gorgeous angel (It really was!) remained in the snow all through Christmas week reminding our whole family that real love is all about giving yourself to others in little ways and big ways. A snow angel doesn't cost a cent, but it does cost love and thoughtfulness, and a fun spirit of creativity.

Small gestures of thoughtfulness and love, especially the gifts of time and listening, remain as forever gifts in our memory. You are probably thinking of some you can give right now!

I’ve got an idea! Let’s conspire by the fire to give more of those priceless gifts this year – the kind that are pure gold to give and receive.

Enjoy your Christmas! May it be filled with the selfless love of Christ!

John 3:16

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Christmas Shopping for the "Tough One" on Your List

Are there one or two people on your list that are really hard to buy for? They either have everything, or never like what we give them,

That used to be my mother. For many years, my mother was a single parent who did everything in her power to protect my brother and me from some of the problems she suffered. She did her best, but never knew when to stop once we were adults. What resulted was emotional distance, resentments that built over time, and the sacrifice of a true, loving relationship with each other.

Until God intervened. And thankfully, He did. I was reading my Bible one morning and found Prov. 3: vs. 3. “Let Love and faithfulness never leave you. Bind them on the tablet of your heart.”

Was I loving and faithful toward my mother? The answer was NO! I realized that my resentful feelings toward her were against God’s will.

And so I prayed, “Lord, I’m willing, but you’ve got to help me love her.” It wasn’t easy, let me tell you, but He did it in miraculous ways. She’s 97 today and has Alzheimer’s disease, and I’m excited about bringing her a Christmas gift soon. Because God helped me learn to love her, we’ve enjoyed a great relationship for almost 40 years.

This Christmas, is there someone like that on your list? It’s amazing how God who so loved the world that He His only son for us, can also give us the love we need for others.