When Brandon and Megan arrived Friday afternoon, they came bearing gifts of all sizes, but the true gifts received this past weekend were discovered in the heart, rather than underneath our tree.

Gifts such as:

  • The gift of traditions. Decorating the tree, Hillshire Smokies, the judging of outdoor light displays, Christmas movies, board games, Toll House cookies, etc. — all individual “gifts” melded together with much laughter to create memories that evolve, yet never diminish, over the years. Having Brandon, Megan, Zach, and Sarah close to home this weekend was the greatest gift Brian and I could ask for.
  • The gift of impromptu ideas. On the spur of the moment, we all decided to jump in the Pathfinder and head to the mall on Saturday morning. Yes, the mall. Yes, on a Saturday morning — two weeks before Christmas. Those of you who know me know just how impromptu this idea had to be. I’m not a shopper. I make a list, check it twice, go to the store, purchase it, and head to the nearest Starbucks for a breather. Our impromptu trip, however, turned out to be one of the best ideas of the weekend.
  • The gift of self-sacrifice. I was eight years old when my parents divorced. As is the case with most divorces, there were ample reasons for bitterness, anger, jealousy, and destructive words. Throughout my life, however, both parents sacrificially gave me the gift of never having to hear one speak badly of the other, no matter how much it hurt to keep it inside. Forty years later, as a result of their gift to me, our family enjoyed an early Christmas meal around our farm table with all the kids, my dad, his wife, my mom, and her husband. Some may think it strange, but the fact that we could all gather under one roof (and enjoy it!), speaks to the depth of the gift of self-sacrifice. It is the gift that truly keeps on giving — not only to me, but to our children, and the generations to come.

As Brandon and Megan headed out Monday morning for their home in Ohio, I was reminded of one last gift, as I attempted to hold back the tears: the gift of joy in seeing Brandon, Megan, Zach, and Sarah all loving and serving the Lord within their own spheres of influence. Two are many miles away, and two are only a mile away, but all can be found close to this mother’s heart.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift
is from above, coming down
from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation
or shifting shadow.
James 1:17 NASB

Pin It on Pinterest