Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gifts from the Heart

Several years ago I was in a dilemma. I needed a special Christmas gift AND Birthday gift for my Dad, but I just couldn't come up with any ideas. Money was tight and everything my Dad liked required some cold hard cash. I started praying. I prayed harder because I really wanted this gift to be special, and God answered my prayer. The Lord told me to give my Dad a gift from the heart. I sat down that night and I started writing down memories of my childhood that included him. After less than an hour, I had composed a beautiful writing that I titled "A Daughter's Memories". I went to an art store and bought special paper and a special pen, and I wrote it out on that paper so that I could have it framed for him. Let me tell you, if I had spent a thousand dollars on a gift for him it wouldn't have been near as special to him as that gift from my heart. It cost me precious little, but it meant so very much to him. I wrote another one about my memories of his job and gave that to him on the day he retired. At his funeral last year, we had each one of those "pictures" displayed on an easel because they meant so much to him.

Don't get so caught up with the perfect gift that requires a lot of money. Ask the Lord to give you ideas, and wait and see just what He does for you. My motto for gift giving is to make it gifts from the heart if at all possible. This year I bought my mother a nice sweater and shirt. She will like it, but it wasn't anything from my heart. It was just a gift. I was in Cracker Barrel looking for something specific, and I found my gift from my heart to my Mom. When I was a child, my mom loved Googoo clusters. She would buy them for herself and threaten any of us with our life if we ate any of the clusters from her box! A few months ago, I mentioned her googoo cluster selfishness and we had a great laugh. She thought that the company had quit making googoo clusters, but my talking about them made her crave one. I found several boxes of Googoo clusters at Cracker Barrel. I bought them, put them in a basket with a little note about being a selfish googoo cluster eater. This one gift will mean a lot to her because it deals with my memories from childhood.

Christmas Day was also my dad's birthday. He told stories of not liking his birthday on Christmas when he was a child because all of his gifts got combined together in one. After this I purposed to always do something special for his birthday. He also told me a story from Paul Harvey about a little girl who gave her Daddy a beautiful wrapped present. When he opened it, the box was empty. The Daddy told the girl that she shouldn't give empty boxes as gifts. She replied that the box wasn't empty it was full of her hugs and kisses. My dad shared this story with me when I was around 19 yrs. old. After that for his birthday, I would find the most beautiful box and fill it with candy Kisses and Hugs. I wrapped it as beautiful as I could, and I would give it to him on his birthday. My dad's last Christmas/Birthday was in 2004. We knew he had just a few months to live, and that Christmas and birthday would be his last. I once again gave him his box with candy kisses and hugs, and it truly was a gift from my heart.

grace and peace,

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