At our house the carols have been sung, candles lighted, cookies eaten, snuggling done by the fireplace. The tree has been given multiple compliments so that it feels secure in its loveliness, and bags of festive crumpled wrapping paper and shiny bows carted out to the trash.
Yes, the gifts have been opened and oohed and aahed over, but there are a few more…A couple I didn’t get delivered to friends and tennis coaches, and Christmas cards still to mail. Maggie’s fiance, Austin arrives today and his gifts are still waiting under the Christmas tree.
All this gifting focus has prompted me to think about several other gifts that are there every day, but may sit around un-given or unopened in the new year.
There are many delightful God-gifts I leave un-acknowledged each day. The sun sparkling off fresh snow. The guy who let me merge into a crowded lane. A warm home and the text message from a friend. The stranger who found my phone and turned it in.
What are the sacred reminders that I breeze by when God is shouting “I’m here! I’m involved! I’ve created good gifts for you to enjoy!”?
In addition to gifts I neglect to unwrap, there are gifts I neglect to give. Like the gift of words, for example. Not just careless words tossed out like you might re-gift something to someone as an afterthought, but specific words of affirmation and gratitude.
Notes written with a real pen and paper even. I’m thinking writing at least a note a week is a spiritual discipline that can build up the body of Christ and train our eyes to “see” better.
But there are other types of words too – the words I may be afraid to say that are a gift nevertheless. Hard, but gentle words of truth-telling. The last 10% of a difficult conversation. Or words of forgiveness…olive branches of reconciliation. Gifts all.
And on a much less serious note, there’s One More Gift I’ve written about in guest post over at 1st Corinthians 13 Parenting today. Even if you don’t have little kids (or kids at all) it’s an idea you might want to adapt. As a teaser, here’s a picture of what it involved for us this Christmas.
Wishing you a joy-filled Christmas week filled with the good gifts that God offers!