Still Unwrapping Gifts

Colored pencils, a journal, my favorite pen and an array of papers somersaulted before landing on the floor as I scrambled to find my phone. “Omigosh…I just discovered that you got us VIP tickets to that concert!!!!” I texted my daughter.

“Uhhh….YEAH . <smiley face>” she quickly responded.

Christmas Eve had been a bit unorganized; our normal routine and traditions had gone by the wayside this year. One child was out of state, and one was leaving that evening. Scott and I didn’t attend a Christmas Eve service, and planned an earlier than usual dinner before taking a daughter to the airport. And we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve. Definitely not the way we typically did things. I guess I was out of sorts. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I remember opening the box, the one with the tag that said to mom and dad from the kids, absently noting the beautiful wrapping – because that is how my oldest daughter does things – and reading the sweet note she had inserted. Such a way with words, that girl. I mentally stowed something about the concert not being until March, and flipped through paper printout tickets, a check and some cash so we could “make a weekend of it.”  And I remember handing it all to my husband Scott and telling him he better keep track of it because I would likely misplace it. We all laughed and got back to watching the grandkids bounce back and forth from excitement to meltdown after a long day.   That was the last I thought of that particular Christmas gift from my children. Until this evening. I was lost in Internet abyss, searching for some information on an unrelated artist when an ad popped up.

For a show.

The artists sounded familiar.

I clicked on a nearby city and the date was also familiar. I realized it was the show we had been given tickets to.

“Get your VIP tickets for just….$$$” the link said, and then went on to detail what the VIP tickets included.

I squealed.

And that’s when I scrambled for my phone.

I had no idea all that the gift from my children included, apart from the fact that Scott and I would have a weekend away, and get to hear some of our favorite Christian artists.

After sharing my excitement with my daughter about my discovery, I bent down to pick up the pencils, papers, journal, and pen that had scattered in my exuberance.  I felt the smoothness, the heaviness, of the pen, and stared at the marbled colors that became fire-like in the light.

IMG_1009

The pen that one of my sons had gifted me with well over a year ago.

Yet I had only just removed it from the case and started to use it. I had been “saving” it. And that’s when it hit me.

Sometimes – way more often that I probably realize – I’m not very good with gifts. Sure, I receive them, even give thanks.

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this. It is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s master piece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT

Yep. I’ve given thanks countless times for this amazing gift. Just like I did with the tickets and weekend getaway.

But.

Sometimes I set gifts aside. Don’t even begin to search out the fullness of  their riches. Don’t utilize them, but leave them in their boxes. Like the pen.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

That one gift box alone – the gift of power and love and self-discipline that is mine in Christ, contains enough to keep me excited and exploring and adventuring and joyful for an eternity.  And there is so much more that I haven’t even begun to unwrap!

Each day brings new gifts.

Lord, give me awareness, and gratitude, and an expanded view of each one. Let me unwrap them, and utilize them, not just set them aside with a word of thanks.

Grateful for this wonderful life,

Marie with a 🙂

 

 

 

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Just an ordinary girl (grandma) hanging on to the extraordinary joy that is mine in Christ...

3 thoughts on “Still Unwrapping Gifts

  1. So I actually just did the same thing…. I finally opened and used the India Ink set my husband got for me *last* Christmas. In this season of sorting, I have been recognizing the need to be more intentional with what I have and how it’s to be used… not saved. This includes my witness in the here and now– not the “someday” of the mission field. Thanks for the nudge.

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