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Five Minute Fridays #Gift

Today its finally sunny! I'm a day late in participating in Five Minute Fridays, so here is a six minute Saturday.  Linking up with Kate Motaung at Heading Home to write about one word, Gift, for five (or six) minutes.....

Gift

I usually get the idea to give a gift somewhat on a whim. I might be driving somewhere or inside a store and something catches my eye that I just feel the urge to give to someone.  The other day as rained poured I was prompted to go buy a summer bouquet and leave them on a friends table.  Someone important, special in my life that I felt God wanted me and I wanted to know.  Again.  Even though I tell them a lot.
I've always thought that I need to have a slot in my budget for giving gifts because it is my number one favorite thing to spend money on.  It's addicting you know?  Giving things to other people in many ways is giving to yourself.  The words tucked into Acts, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35) speak of this paradox. The blessing you unfold from giving, especially the unexpected gift is bigger for the Giver than the recipient.   It's just on of those fundamental rules in God's paradigm.  Giving and you will get.  Dying and you will Live.  Last being First...

Anyways some people are very hard to buy for.  Giving gifts when they are expected is sometimes harder.  Father's Day is just around corner of days, creating a puzzle for me.  I never know exactly what to get for my dad.  It's frustrating because my dad has given to me more than any other human being ever has or will.  You want to somehow return the blessing, but all your offerings seem weak or paltry.   I always know that the only gift he wants is the gift of his girls around him, squeezing his hand, and my thoughts etched (albeit almost unrecognizable- but I do try) onto a card.  He holds the card in his hand and then traces over the words that mean the most to him and says, 'I hope thats true.  I try for this to be true."  Those are the gifts to give him.  Things you buy just seem to fall flat; moreover, they are really just the avenue to give him the card with the words that he wants.  You know..."Here's this, but we know you really just want our thoughts."

A decade ago I had the pleasure of giving my most unexpected gift.  I was a junior in college, full time student, and an employee at a local fast food restaurant.  Not rolling in money for sure.  I was in the middle of saving money up and had tucked quite a bit away, but as September leaves waxed golden and fire red I felt my heart twist and tug to buy an unexpected gift for my now husband, then boyfriend.  A canoe.  Now, there's some humor here because I know nothing about buying canoes.
Honestly I do not care about fishing.  At all.  I like to be outside and roam all over the shoreline, wade in the water, but I find fishing way to slow and frustrating as I pry and tug my line out from the crannies of rocks and finally give up and surrender to just exploring the riverbed, listening to the water soundtracking over rocks, and taking in all of those woodsy, damp smells.
So as a young illiterate fisherwoman I had to do my research.  I remember asking some of my husband's friends for advice and then consulting the man at Dick's Sporting Goods extensively.
At first I wrestled with the idea of purchasing something so big for my then boyfriend because I had worked hard to save up that money on such a meager college student income.
As I handed over the cash and got that Old Town Canoe strapped to the hood of the car my face was beaming.  I was elated that I could and would actually surprise him.  I knew he had no idea and would never expect his poor college girlfriend who didn't and still doesn't care about fishing to gift him with this.
I still remember driving up in the September sunshine, wheels turning over gravel and pulling up in his driveway.  He came outside and shock played at the corners of his mouth twitching up in an unexpected curve of smile.
I loved that moment.  That flicker of surprise.  Especially since I was usually to broke to ever give to him.  Something he actually wanted.  I don't care what anyone says, you can buy a girl a shirt on sale or a bottle of perfume, but boys toys are way more pricey.  Ya'll can't deny that.

Funny thing is, he only took me on that canoe once.  It capsized and I dropped his very expensive pole in the rapids carrying it off into a watery oblivion: therefore, I've never been asked to go again.  But I'm ok with that. He does enjoy canoeing down the river and slaying his fish with other friends. Usually teenage boys with whom he is currently mentoring from church.

The thing about giving a gift, especially one that wasn't asked for and is quite unexpected is that you never know how it will be received.  Or if it will be received.  Especially if you give it to someone you barely know and walk away.  You have no idea how they will take it, if they will like it.  But you still do and sometimes you find out later...There's a bit of a thrill to it.  A risk to it.  What might they think of it and you?

I read once that we are most like God when we give generously.  I don't know if that's true, but I do know that every heart beat pumping oxygen rich life through our veins is a gift.  Every time the sun pushes heavy clouds away filling the earth with light and heat again is a gift.   Every time I can sit down and put food between my lips and pass the plates to others is a gift.  Every time I can see a smile spread across someone's face and light to reach their eyes is a gift.  God's gifts pile up all of our days. A constant overflowing stream of generosity in our lives.  We can never contain them or even recognize them all.  The current of his generous heart always pushing past us like those rapids I capsized in.  We rise to the surface of that grace and say thank you, but mostly we barely notice them. Simply because they are endless and beating out the constant theme song of His heart all of the time.    And they could not have been.  All these gifts.  They do not have to be.  Yet they are, because He does nothing but give to the world every moment of every day....grace.
I want to call attention to them more.  Even though I know He is never insecure about the gifts He gives, I do not want to let them fall into my lap without turning the face of my heart up to Him and saying, "Thank you"  because the joy comes full circle when the Giver's heart is recognized by the recipient.
back in those college days

Now he has some girls who appreciate fishing.  Glad I could help with willing offspring (lol, maybe they will be actual fishermen)  



What gift gave you the most joy to give?  What has been the most special gift you have received?  What would be one gift your hearts wants to give?  ( I still wish I could give my dad the gift of a cross country road trip and walk side by side with my sister in the dusty villages of Nicaragua again, and compile by best friends' crazy good recipes into her very own cook book lol.  Dream big right?)  Don't you know that God's heart still smiles when He gives to us?

Comments

  1. It's so true, I love giving gifts, but sometimes the best ones you never know the outcome. Is that in some way to give like God? (I know He always knows the outcome though).
    Sorry about your husband's fishing pole though. ;)
    I'm a fisherwoman and LOVE going with my dad. It's harder for him now as he has advanced Parkinson's, but we're going to a lake for Father's Day and I need to make sure I get a chance to fish with him, leave the kids with my husband and mom. :)

    ReplyDelete

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