The gift

I have a friend who mentioned in her blog once her inability to give gifts (http://www.whileyouwerenapping.com/2011/12/some-things-ive-been-thinking-about.html). It's a quite funny and enlightening to someone like me, a gift-giver and someone who speaks that love language. Example? I drew my sister-in-law's name for our gift exchange this year, and she wanted a sweater. The sweater I gave her was almost identical to the one she was wearing that day (the gift receipt was included, just in case). Spot on. She was impressed.

[This being said, I am not the most gracious gift receiver. Partially because I'm a narcissist, and partially because it does actually hurt me. I feel like you didn't even want to try, don't care, and just did it out of obligation. It's like a slap in the face. That's part of having gifts as your love language, people, and I've talked to other gift-people who are the same way. I'm trying to get better about being gracious about the whole thing. ANYWAY...]

While we were in California, there was a night where we had a family party, and our nephew, Abram, was so overtired. Mom had to take Jane (who is Mommy-clingy) and Dad was cooking dinner, and I wound up with an overwhelmed, tired, 3 1/2 year-old in my lap. In the room full of strangers, after swimming in a cold pool, he curled into me and crashed. This is no small 3 1/2 year old, friends, which meant I was stuck with him until he was out enough that we could move him, and I was isolated so that no one could wake him up.

That 45 minutes was the best gift. Abram is not my son. I cannot even imagine how it must feel when they are your own. As I held him and we kept each other warm, I watched a normally energetic little boy find rest and peace in my arms. In many ways, Abram was my gift before he was born. It was his upcoming birth that tipped the scales in the direction of leaving California and moving back to Indy to be with my sister and her husband as they started a family. In moving back, I have watched our family grow, made new friends, met my spouse, and encountered a new, beautiful life. That little life has changed my life in so many big ways. That, in itself, has been a gift.

And as I sat there, watching him sleep, I realized how big the greatest gift was to us. No amount of disappointment over what someone gives me for Christmas even really matters. My love for Abram pales in comparison to God's love for us. God's love rescues us. That's what I want to remember, to feel this year. That's a gift that if I truly opened my heart to, I would worry less, love more, and have more joy.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

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