Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Giving Gifts

I love giving gifts. Getting them is good too, but I think I enjoy giving them more. (That's probably not nearly as self-sacrificing or whatever as it might sound.) I don't necessarily enjoy shopping. Rather, I enjoy seeing someone else's pleasure in something I've given or something I've done for them.

This is particularly relevant in that I am in birthday mode at the moment. Kolya turned 14 a few days ago. Though I don't typically like just giving money, for a 14-year-old, it is often the right color and size! (And Kolya is already saving for a car when he turns 16. His mom shared with me that he has already save $500! How amazing is that?)

Julie has a birthday March 6th. I'm set to see her tomorrow but then won't see her again for two weeks. So, I decided to do the birthday thing tomorrow. She's getting a homemade treat. I've taken stuff to her office before. However, I've never made this particular item. So, it is scary that I somehow managed to only copy half the recipe off the Internet and ended up winging the rest of it since I didn't have time to get on line and hunt it down again. We'll just say that there are ample amounts of chocolate and sugar and other sweet things involved. She's getting 2 of the same thing. One is to share with her office. (They love treats!) One is to take home to share with her family.

Jill was a little trickier. (I really do typically rely on the stumble method for her, but Christmas and her birthday are too close together for that to be reliable.) She has a ton more fashion sense than I do, so my picking out clothes for her isn't always the best option! (How does one look so put together just wearing jeans and a top? I really don't get it!)

In an earlier post, I shared about my foray to the mall. The wander aimlessly and hope that something jumps out and bites you technique really didn't work -- at all. I resorted to calling her husband and asking for an idea but that really didn't help. So, I took to cruising other stores -- Jeffrey Alan's, Hobby Lobby, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Meijer, Walmart, . . . . It caused me to see the advantage of the mall in that all the stores are inside. With the temp hovering below freezing going back to the mall had a certain appeal.

In the end, I came up with the idea for Jill's present right before falling asleep one night. But I had to go back to Meijer and Walmart to look for it. They both had it, but I wanted to see which had the better price.

What did I get Jill? A pedometer. Okay, it doesn't sound like a particularly exciting gift. But Jill is really into her walking and it just seemed to fit. The other pieces of the gift were lunch out on Saturday and a heart felt card. Jill seemed pleased with both and in turn, that really pleased me!

Jill made the comment that I am "thoughtful." That has stuck with me the last few days and kind of nested in my soul. Thoughtful. What a nice thing to say. I like that characterization. And I think it reflects back to my efforts to find "the gift." When I give gifts, I like them to say, "I thought about you. This had you written on it."

I've done a little reflecting on the gifts God gives. In Matthew 7:9-11, it says, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If 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!" I don't want to take this totally out of context or anything. But I think it points to God's heart.

If I enjoy giving gifts, how much more does God enjoy giving gifts to us? He knows us intimately and always has our best in mind. We are never far from His thoughts and every day is a gift He has prepared for us. Every moment is a gift He planned.

So, when you look at the sunset or the starry sky or the face of your sleeping child, stop and think. "Look how thoughtful He is! He thought of me and gave me . . . ."

I haven't teased it all out just yet, but I think it is safe to say, a hopeful heart and a grateful heart often go hand in hand. I think, perhaps, they compliment each other.



4 comments:

Laura said...

Oh, you are a good gift giver. I have a child who is like that and she loves to give gifts!

My talk is encouraging families to stay connected in this fast paced world. With ideas - it is killing me! I feel like I could go in 95 different directions but I also have to be careful because I will be in a public school.

Melissa said...

Amy,

I want to thank you for visiting my blog and for your sweet comments. How good it made me feel to know I greeted you well! I am usually a greeter at She Speaks...I love talking to people!

I love your blog!!!! You put your thoughts well into words. I love your thought process on giving gifts to the different people in your life. You do see very thoughtful just like your friend said.:)

Nice to "meet" you again!
Melissa

Heather@Mommymonk said...

I love to put lots of thought into gifts too. I want my gifts to be meaningful and if we are that way with each other, how much more is our Father! Every good and perfect gift is from above - and, He carefully chooses each one.

Lelia Chealey said...

Very good! You always make me think girl!