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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good Gifts

Today I signed Ian up for a craft day through our homeschool group. He'll get to make about5 or so crafts that are supposed to be suitable for giving as gifts. I'm really excited. This is the first year that Ian has decided that crafts are fun. This is good news for me because I love crafts!
Thinking of Ian making gifts for Christmas reminded me of when I was a little girl.
When I was in grade school I was in Brownies and then Girl Scouts. We would meet after school and honestly I only have a few memories from that time, but this one is very clear. I must have been in 3rd or 4th grade and we were making gifts to give to our family. We made two things, a recipe card holder and a braided rope wreath. The recipe card holder was very simple to make, it took a block of wood, some fabric, a clothespin and some glue. The wreath was trickier, you had to braid three pieces of rope together. I didn't know how to braid so an older girl helped me and taught me how to braid. It was hard work for me. I finished braiding and we looped the rope (sort of in a clover shape or a pretzel with tails) and added some pretty holiday ribbon. I was very excited about my gifts. I knew just who should get which gift. One would be for my grandma and one was for my mom. I gave the recipe card holder to my grandma and the braided wreath to my mom.
Just a few years ago my mom was getting ready to throw out that little wreath, but I rescued it. We got to talking about that Christmas and my mom admitted that her feelings had been hurt that I gave the recipe card holder to my grandma and the wreath to her. I asked her why that would hurt her feelings. I guess it was because my mom likes to cook and she probably thought that I would have given her something for when she was cooking. Looking at the two gifts, I probably did pick the opposite person of who most people would have chosen to give the gift to. My grandma did use the recipe card holder, but probably not as long as my mom would have. She probably would have liked the wreath better.
I realized that my mom didn't truly know what my gift had meant. I explained to her that while both gifts were nice, I had saved the one that was difficult, the one that took true effort on my part, to give to her. I saved my good gift for her.
I think we can be like that with the gifts God gives us. We ask 'why did you give me this? I wanted something better than this.' We don't recognize the gift as being good. Honestly, sometimes the gifts are difficult to deal with, having cancer, being unemployed, losing someone we love, they aren't what we would call gifts. Later we recognize them as gifts. We see where the path of our life changed. We see the people who need our experience to get through one of their own trials.
Learn to recognize the true gifts in life, if we can see them for what they are, what a blessing.

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