So it’s that time of week to write a Sunday Snippet and I have to say I have had this one on my mind for a little while. Just recently we went through the whole Christmas Event. We spent weeks preparing for a great Christmas. Secret gifts, making and baking old favorites. Myself I love to spot the perfect gift for someone and surprise a friend with something “just right.”
It is also a time of year when most of us spend a great deal of effort on teaching our kids all about giving and sharing and donating their extra goodies. We follow up by teaching our children to be “gracious receivers” of gifts. Saying thank-you immediately and writing thank-you letters later. It is all part of the whole etiquette thing!!!
But there is something else afoot post-Christmas, and everyone is in a whirlwind of New Year inspiration, as we all try and get our home back into its pre-Christmas equilibrium. How many of us think “How do I cope with the post Christmas pile-up?” as our kids treasure every little scrap of gift wrap!!! Now I am all for decluttering, you know that! Not to mention re-gifting, especially as we start a fresh New Year and are getting everything back on track. It is very fashionable to say “If you don’t love it then lose it,” and seriously some gifts are a little less beautiful than others!!!
I want to just stop and think for a moment often we wish for things… and we aim so low: Just recently I was wondering what we would be wearing to church this year… Suddenly everyone out grew and outshot all their clothing, all at once!!! As I was thinking hmmm, I wonder where we can plunder some hand-me-downs… A friend of a friend, who my kids met once for a moment, was visiting in Australia and chose brand fresh lovely clothes for all our kids. She didn’t have to, I didn’t ask for them, and she was just inspired…. I was struck by the verses: Matthew 7:1-11
Matthew 7:7-11 (New International Version)
7″Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9″Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
How typically we aim low with our desires but not only that, if she had asked me first I would have said: “No, thank-you we are fine…” All the while patting myself on the back for my great contentment. All in the name of getting by!!! Methinks there are times when “great contentment” can actually be called pride!!! Needless to say, and this is the point of my post: I would have taken away her delight in giving and her joy in serving others.
Often in our quest to cope with and to keep control over what comes into our home we forget that we are not showing gratitude for the gifts we have been given, which are very often more than we could have hoped for. I know for myself I need to say yes more often when I am offered a helping hand and I need to say thank-you and accept offers of gifts for our kids, instead of saying no thank-you automatically (since I think our kids have so much). I need to let visitors, who offer, bring something when we invite them for a meal rather than saying: “Just come as you are…”
It is all very well to teach our kids that giving is better than receiving, but it is quite another thing not to let our friends and family enjoy “the gift of giving to us.” Who am to take away someone else’s joy and delight at gifting, when I get so much delight from gifting and surprising friends myself. I think sometimes in the name of being perfect and getting things done we forget to be perfectly fallible… and we are taking away opportunities for others to serve…
P.S. Just an up-date on our Sunday Snippet from two weeks ago… Read The Bible in 90 Days – A Challenge… we are doing it!!! Quite amazing, we are listening to it (audible) after lunch each day and loving it… So far we have made it through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers!!! My kids are learning so much and getting so much out of it, it is very exciting, but early days!!! We still have a long way to go!!!
That’s it, just something I have been thinking about! Have a good week!!!