Tuesday, November 14, 2006

IOW---Gifts

"No gift unrecognized as coming from God is at its own best... when in all gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things."
~ George MacDonald~


I love giving gifts. I love finding the *perfect* gift for someone especially when it is serendipity since shopping is not my thing. I love stitching a pattern for someone that I know they will love. I love wrapping it with care and lots of ribbons and I love, love, love the joy I get when someone opens up the gift. I love gift giving. Some of my friends say that I am, well gifted, at gift giving.

But it hasn't always been that way. There was a time when I faced with dread any occassion that required a gift. So, what changed? I did. My reason for giving gifts changed. I stopped looking at giving gifts as an obligation and began to see it as a privilege. I began to see that giving gifts was sharing a part of what God gave me with others. I began to realize that giving a material gift from my heart was giving a part of myself and my God to another person. And in that change joy of sharing took over.

The gifts may have been the same. But the attitude they were given with changed. And therefore the giver of the gift was changed. And I've come to realize that it is me, the giver of the gift, who must first recognize that it comes from God for it to be at its best.

The receiver may not even know God yet and therefore cannot begin to fathom to the true breadth of the gift. I think of a family member who gets angry when we give him a gift--each year saying don't give me anything else. Not yet a Christian, he only sees the obligation and not the gift. My husband and I discuss, should we stop? But we feel that gift giving is one of the few ways we can share our heart with this person. So *we* keep giving, praying with each gift he'll see the heart behind the gift not the gift itself. The receiver may not want to see God. I think of a dear friend for whom I stitched a one-of-a-kind creation. When she cut me out of her life because of the reflection of Christ that she no longer wanted to see, she tossed it in the garbage. She totally understood that a gift was a from God and could not have it in her life. I pray for her that she will come to understand you can throw away the gift, but you can't throw away the God who gives the gift.

So, I keep giving gifts. Because God has shown me that giving gifts is an extension of giving Him. I pray as I affix those pretty bows to gifts that the presentation will bring beauty into their life. I pray that the gift inside will encourage the receiver. But most of all, I pray that they will see my God, the giver of all good things, in the person who gave them the gift. And then I sit back and allow God to give me the joy that comes from sharing.


Go here to see what other Christian Women are saying regarding this quote on their blogs.

10 comments:

Christine said...

"You can throw away the gift but you can't throw away the God that gives the gift"

Wonderfully said!

Sissy B. said...

Oh, this was so beautiful!!! Gift giving, especially around the holiday season, has always stressed me out...finding that "perfect" gift....May I put this post on my side bar under Fence Post Wisdom????

Margaret said...

All things come of thee, O Lord;
and of thine own have we given thee.

Your post reminds me of what we sang every Sunday at the Offertory in the church where I grew up. Gift giving is a circle of love that necessarily begins with God. Thank you.

Tina said...

Beautiful! I too have felt at sometimes that gift giving was tedious and obligatory but have tried to change my perspective. Wonderfully well put. (((hugs)))

Amydeanne said...

ooooooooooooo you hit a good spot with this one! Thank-you!

The Imperfect Christian said...

The attitude in which you give a gift can make all the difference, even if the recipient is unaware! Beautiful post!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome post this was! Thanks for sharing.
Carolyn

eph2810 said...

Oh - this is a wonderful attitude toward giving gifts. Thank you for sharing it. Sad to hear though that your former friend tossed the gift you gave her. May her heart be touched by God...

Ame said...

i absolutely love this - every bit of it :)

"And then I sit back and allow God to give me the joy that comes from sharing." ~ and i especially love this - it shows great maturity and intimacy with your God :)

Grafted Branch said...

A good thought for me to ponder. There are people in my life I dread giving gifts, and it's because I approach it as a n obligation. You've inspired a new prayer in me. Thanks, Miriam!