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Five Minute Fridays: Give

It's been a brimming over cup of joy the past 30 hours or so.  Three gatherings, rich food, loud laughter, and plenty of hide and seek for the kids.
I'm still awake in the aftermath so I'm linking up with Kate at Heading Home for Five Minute Fridays  to write about one word 'Give' for five minutes.

I heard it last week in strained tones, "I've got no extra money for Christmas gifts this year."
I heard it today from someone else, "I'm broke."  A wry grin crossed a face and we nodded at each other.
I chuckled, "Hey we know about that." We exchanged a smile.
Different conversations with young single people in the family.

Heard the same theme with different families about a seemingly small Christmas.

We discuss that every Christmas. We really do not have the extra money and how are we going to spread whats thin, even thinner.
Sometimes we make pacts to not buy that gift and then in the last hour we just know we have to give.

Life is like that for many people.  Millions of people. The idea of giving monetarily is not remotely possible.
Here stateside it can still be tight.  Many of us really do not have the extra money to give gifts that perhaps might be expected.
And you know, that's really okay.
Truly it is.
My sister and I discuss this.  We never had extravagant Christmases.  Just a few simple things and no lists of demands.  Nice things, but not over the top. (Lists are fine and all, but it wasn't our parents' thing).
"I'm glad" she nods.  And I smile back, "Me too."
Who doesn't love to give a gift that unwraps a smile?
If you love to give gifts what do you do when the gift you can give is very simple and really just you?
It's so easy to discount.  To resign a gift to "Next year when we have more money." Or just agree, "Let's don't exchange anything."
But deep down I know the sweetest gifts I've been given never come in bedazzled wrapping paper, crowned with shiny bows.
The richest gifts of my life have always been love expressed in words and sweet conversations, in time together, in laughter shared, and beneath the weight of someone's full attention.  The gift of them.

What if I mostly considered the gift of my full attention as a gift worthy of giving? A gift that trumped any bought gift?
What if I considered the gift of God's love shed abroad in my heart a gift enough?

I read this earlier this week and I think its fitting:

It reminds me of Peter and John as they passed by the lame beggar in Acts 3.  The man carried there every day to beg for money asks these fiery men of God for a coin.  They tell him to "Look at us!" And then, 
Peter said, “I have no money, but what I have I will give you! In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!”  Peter took the man by the right hand and lifted him up. At once his feet and the bones in his legs became strong. He jumped up on his feet and walked. (vs. 7&8).

When times have been lean I've thought of this passage.  That these men did not have worldly goods to give, yet answered this man's deepest need by the one thing they did have.  The love and power of Jesus.  
Their lack did not stop them, in fact it propelled them to give the best.

So this year if you don't have the means to check off a luxury item on someone's gift list find a way to give the love God has placed in your heart.  Even if it is simply the gift of full attention wrapped in a few beautiful undivided hours spent together. And who doesn't deep need a gift like that at a time like this?

Go ahead give what you have. 


Comments

  1. Great post!! Give the Lord's love and serve other is what Cristmas really is... But sometimes we feel it like isn't enough... Thank you for share the with us. Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is incredibly beautiful in so many ways. We all know that Christmas is not supposed to be about presents, but for some that is the only thing they associate with the season. I remember well the years when money was tight and we had 4 children plus large families and it was overwhelming. Retailers and the television really know how to pull our strings. Two years ago I began a new tradition which I wish I had started long ago. Now, I give to my children cherished items that I own, instead of them fighting over something when I die. I give collected artwork, jewelry pieces, or furniture, or things that were handed down to me. They love it and I can enjoy seeing them use it. May you continue to spread God's love and blessings to others and have a Christmas filled with love.

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  3. Such a beautiful and powerful post. Christmas is about so, so much more than 'simply' giving expensive gifts......[A fellow FMF-er]

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  4. Exactly. We never encouraged our kids to make lists for 'Santa'. Some years, all of our gifts were homemade (and those are probably the best years of all), and we love to give gifts just because, all year long. Christmas is about time spent with family, remembering God's gift to us, and reflecting on how Jesus in our lives will be a living gift throughout the entire year.

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  5. I love that!! Because so many times we only think about the material things that we can give and not the ones that will be remembered more and that would be able to change someone's life. All we have to give is love, the love of Christ!

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  6. I think so many of us (me included feel this way) but you are right; what is really important? Love the quote you posted. I'm going to try and strive for that! :)

    ReplyDelete

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