Real gifts from the heart provide encouragement and last forever.
She could never wrap up enough things to give to express her love to me, but that wasn't the point. Her real gifts to me weren't under the tree. They were every day in loving words, a warm touch, singing with me, letting me play pretend with her "real" jewelry and dress up in her high heals. It was her encouragement that I could be whatever I wanted to be. That was the real gift, and it was given every day without the fanfare and fancy wrappings of the Christmas Season.
Last night, I spoke with our two older children about giving Jesus a gift for Christmas. The interesting thing was, I was thinking about buying a gift to give to someone in need, but that didn't even enter their minds. Instead, they each told me of a child in their classes that was a bit of an outcast. One didn't have many friends, and the other was angry and sad all of the time. They each said that they wanted to befriend these two boys and show them God's love as their birthday gift to Jesus. No wrapping paper needed, and I was reminded again of my grandmother's words. Because this holiday season, the best gift we can give to that little babe in the manger is loving someone else selflessly. And love is always a worry free gift!
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I have already started this blog 3 times this morning, but have been fighting what I know I should write about. While it would be much more convenient for me today to run around like a crazy person and appear busy than it is to be obedient to God, I know I need to stop. You see, today He's calling me to REST and LISTEN.
Sometimes it seems that my day can get derailed before my alarm clock even has the chance to ring. It's easy to try and "help" yourself by cutting corners on your health and well being when it feels like the wheels are coming off. The best thing you can do (for you and those you love) when you are stressed/exhausted is to take some time to care for yourself!
Grief doesn't stop just because a holiday rolls around. Very often, in fact, it intensifies. Here is some very practical advice on walking through the holiday season, when you're feeling less than jolly.
You know, sometimes my kids will yell, "That's not fair!" Even as adults, we can be tempted to think that way. Maybe your next door neighbor got a promotion at work, or maybe it seems your best friend is happier than you are. No matter what life throws at you, it's true- Life Is Not Fair!
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