I've Been Known to Go A
Maybe you can't tell by this picture, but I have cut back on the gift buying this year. In the past, I've been known to go a little berserk in the gift-buying department. When it was just the four of us, I always got the girls anywhere from 15-20 presents each. But now with both girls married and three grands (so far), I can't possibly continue with that ridiculous, outlandish number of gifts, and besides, in this economy it's indulgent and excessive. So, I announced there'd be less this year--and it's been so much more enjoyable for me. Thankfully the kids agreed I'd taken this whole gift-giving thing to an extreme level, and it had to stop.
And I'm loving it. Last night I sorted gifts, making individual piles for everyone, switched on the TV to some Christmas specials, and watched and listened with a joyful, thankful heart. I had about 30 different rolls of Christmas paper, multitudes of ribbons and bows, and hundreds of pretty Christmas tags, a collection left over from previous years. I had so much fun making each and every gift unique, right down to the one-year-olds who won't care one hoot about the extreme care I took to wrap their gifts. But it won't matter because I did it out of a heart of love.
As I look at this beautiful "Christ" season, I am filled with such gratitude--gratitude that my children live nearby, that we all attend the same church and gather together most every week for Sunday dinner (how many can say that?); that my daughters married Christian men and that they're raising their children with the same values we instilled in them; that my beloved husband and I are about to celebrate our 34th anniversary (Dec. 20 to be exact); and that the things that truly count in life are the very things we enjoy--jobs, love, health, comfortable homes, plenty of food, wonderful friends, and a loving family. (I could go on and on.)
Here's the thing. Life is fleeting. In an instant, everything could change. But this one thing I know: God is ever constant and true. His love never fails.
Aren't you glad we have the assurance of an ever-present Savior, one who will never leave or forsake no matter what befalls? Count every single blessing you have while you still have it. That's what I'm doing this year.
And as I count my blessings, I count each of YOU as well. I love you all!