The Gift You Can Give Every Day

Mary Cassatt Maternal Kiss

The excitement of last minute shopping is underway! I always mean to have everything done ahead of time, but day leads on to day and minutes run out and....! Maybe excitement is not the right word for that adrenaline rush you get in the mall parking lot or seeing the "Sale" sign over something you wanted to give a special person. And it is so funny for me to watch my sweet husband. He loves surprising the kids and makes a grand effort after I think we have all in order.

This is the season of sacrifice ~ giving up time and money to give gifts. Christmas for me is not so much a materialistic issue as it is wanting to consider the delights of my precious ones and seeking to bless them with something they will cherish. We have cultivated such a precious family time because of a legacy of traditions over the years, that we indeed celebrate in the love we share and the love He shared and shares with our family. We learned the delighting in those we love by looking at God who enjoys delighting in His children. It is what we see in God's creation--the color, the beauty, the tastes, the sounds, and touch, the sacrifice--all gifts He gave us to satisfy, because He is a God who is near and personal.

Gifts are a way of telling someone we care about them, we are considering their own unique personality and dreams and desires. We try to give the best possible gift, knowing their likes/dislikes and the current needs in their life. The gift of Christ over 2,000 years ago shows God's delight in us. The God of relationships and kindness,  knew exactly what we needed. He gave us His most precious Gift and it cost Him everything!

As wives and mothers, we give gifts of our true selves to our families each day--or at least we should. When the milk is spilled, do we give the gift of acceptance and patience? When our husband comes home tired after an extremely long day, do we give the gift of listening and looking into his eyes,  so he knows we truly care? Do we give our children the gift of a quick hug as they walk by? Or a butterfly kiss? Or a backrub? Sometimes these are the same gifts we would like to receive!

We will never be in control of our lives, as the busy moments seems to suck our energy and bodies dry at times, but we know the One who is. He promises to provide for us, even when circumstances push us to our limit. He promises to be with us no matter what! But opening our eyes and our hearts to praise and worship Him as He gives to us His patience, love and attention each day, gives us a pattern for celebrating life. Here is a section from The Mom Walk:

"There will always be giants in our land. There will always be things that could potentially threaten to overwhelm us. We have to make a choice to believe in God's ability to provide and so free us to celebrate. We must trust Him to take us into His generous provision or we will allow life to demoralize us and we will give our children instead a model and attitude of complaining and grumbling.

This story (Numbers 13-14) was personally convicting to me, as I do have a real dark side which can become easily focused on the difficulties. However, I have learned an important principle: It is natural to whine and complain or to be selfish and unloving -- but it is supernatural to praise and be thankful and to choose to express love and faith -- even when my feelings don't agree.

When we choose to practice praise, joy, and love, when we cultivate celebration even as God did, we then find that we experience the love of God to a greater degree in our own lives. He is there, walking in the garden of our own lives, looking for us to see Him and to respond and walk with Him in His providing love. But in order to see Him, we must turn our eyes and hearts to Him seeking to listen to Him in our souls and thus validating for our children and ourselves the reality of His joy.

A mother who gives her children a heart to celebrate God's life and beauty gives a gift that will help her children draw joy from their lives and memories that will bring them strength and pleasure all their days.

So today, look for joy. Seek out beauty and model to your children what it means to live in celebration of God's marvelous life."   ~ The Mom Walk  pp. 48-49

Psalm 19:8 says, "The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes."

When you are struggling with your attitude, where can you turn? What passages of Scripture bring joy to your heart?

How can you live in celebration of God's marvelous life today?

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you!