Grammy and Pappy came to our house late Christmas morning and spent the day with us. Pappy loves to play pinochle and often stops by our house to find three other players. Christmas day eventually found us playing a game of Pinochle.
Our youngest is an excellent pinochle player, but only plays when a fourth player cannot be found. She prefers a rousing game of Skip-bo with Grammy. I have enough needlework projects to keep me busy while the others play cards. We talk and laugh the whole time. This was the manner in which the day was going when late in the afternoon, our kids brought in a large gift wrapped box and told me to open it. This is what I found when I did . . .
Again the flood of thoughts that had submerged me earlier that morning came plunging down upon me taking my breath and preventing me from saying a word.
I had rarely seen our children so excited about Christmas as I did this year -- at least not since they were very young. This thought crossed my mind several times in the days preceding Christmas. When we talked about what they wanted for Christmas, they really didn't mention anything that they particularly wanted. I was a little puzzled as to why they were so excited. I knew they were aware that things had been tight for us lately and that this Christmas would be even more sparse than normal. So it just didn't seem to make sense to me. Looking back I now recall them saying to me from time to time, "I can't wait 'til you see what we got you" or "You're really gonna like your present."
NOW it all makes sense!! They have grasped the fact that "it is more blessed to give than to receive."
When I gently chided them for spending THEIR money on me, my son assured me that it was an investment. It would be easier for me to make treats and that would mean more treats (and it has. Although, I'm not sure that is good! LOL) MY daughters consoled me by saying that they were hoping to be able to use the mixer, too!
My children are not perfect, NOR are their parents. There are times when I'm am discouraged by our failure to live in a way that would please our heavenly Father. You know the usual things -- occassional sibling squabbles, the unthoughtful word, etc. And then, there are the times when I marvel at gestures such as this one. I find joy in an unexpected encouraging word, a helping hand, a warm hug, a sympathetic gesture, an apology given and accepted, or the laughter of the kids as they interact. Our family is a work in progress. How thankful I am for Christ Jesus' forgiveness of our sinful failures, and how grateful I am to Him for each time He picks us up and enables us to move forward!!