Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Growing up, I was very fortunate to have parents who though not wealthy by any (US) standards, always made a big deal of Birthdays and Christmas. By that I mean they would use those special days to give to us kids. I often wondered how they were able to do this.

As a child, you tend to compare your gifts to what other kids get. We did not get huge gifts like mini-bikes, cars or trips, but we were lavished upon with things that we needed, and few things we wanted.

As a parent, I have not always found the means to do likewise. That is one of the reasons I so admire a particular lady in my life. She always found a way, without great means, to bless my family on these special days.

She exceeds what we have done as parents. She gives for every special day. It is her joy in life. On Valentines Day, we are always the recipients of special candy or gifts. On Easter, my favorite M&M's always find their way to my front door. On Birthdays or Christmas, the depth from which she digs in order to give is very humbling.

Great thought goes into each. She slyly begins asking questions far in advance of the day, to find out what our children's current hobbies or interests are. She then goes to work to find things within that realm of 'likes.' She is always successful, and blesses us beyond words.

Growing up, my favorite football team was the Chicago Bears. My favorite player was Gail Sayers. He was poetry in motion. It was amazing to watch him run the ball. Somehow, a couple of years back, she found a way to get some of his memorabilia, she had him sign it, she framed it, and gave it to me. Words could not express the depth of feeling I had opening that gift! That she would remember this from our childhood, and bring it forward to bless me in the present was amazing.

When Beej was little, he always treasured time with her and her husband. He enjoyed the thoughtfulness that went into the gifts she sought out for him. I hope he learned to express that to her.

When he passed, you may remember what she did. She found a company that took pictures and made "throws" from them. We have the picture of him in which he is playing guitar and leading worship in Peru '05, woven into fabric. The same guitar he chose to give to a national musician there, who has used it to lead worship and lead scores of people to Christ.

When we choose to give, the blessing extends beyond the recipient. They in turn, are inspired to do likewise. Jesus Christ, who taught us to do this, has gifted many people to be incredible givers.

I must say that my family is surrounded by many such people. However, the giver that blesses me so frequently, and does so not to receive, but because the Lord has made her thus, is my big sister...Lisa!

Thank you, Lisa. Your giving has blessed so many for so long. I do no know how you do it, but I love and appreciate the heart from which it comes!!!



At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a last minute, hurry-up and find something giver. My gifts are usually something they want, but not much thought goes into them. You've challenged me today to be a more thoughtful giver, to give with a blessing in mind. Thank you for this message --- once again I am in awe of Him working through you!

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your words hit on what most feel when a gift is truly a "gift of the heart." It sounds like Lisa gets it. I believe what is most special about these gifts is that underlying the gift, the message "I love you, you are special and I care enough to spend the time and effort to find what is a good fit for YOU," comes ringing through.

God's gift of the sacrifice of Jesus is just such a gift. It says, "I listened. I know you can't do it on your own. But I can help you and I will."

May all receive the true gift of love that our Father has to offer.


At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humbled, teary eyed, and MOST BLESSED to have a WONDERFUL BROTHER, and a WONDERFUL FAMILY...ALL OF YOU. ;o)


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