Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's all part of the gift.

This weekend has been somewhat of a whirlwind.

Friday night we had a LOVELY time with our Sunday School class - enjoying appetizers, desserts, and coffee with visiting all around.

Woke up Saturday in a fog (at least the house was still clean!). . . knowing that the Christmas to do list was hanging over my head and that time is running out.

But a story that the speaker in church told last week kept running through my head. About a boy (in Africa, I think?) who ran for miles to get a pretty seashell off the beach to give as a gift to his teacher. When he presented her with the gift, she exclaimed, "But you ran so far!" To which he replied, "That was part of the gift."

I don't have to tell you that Christmas shopping for eight kids, my amazing Coach, parents and misc. nieces, nephews, grandparents, and friends can be a bit overwhelming.

Is it just me, or do I use the word "overwhelming" a lot?

I thought so.

Not to mention trying to find practical, useful, non-junk, economical, fun things for everyone on my list. And if at all possible, things that will be used up and not added to the STUFF in this house - or anyone else's.

But as I've worked and re-worked my list. . . scanned websites and stores. . . gone from one place to another trying to find just the right thing. . . or just the right price. . . returned things after finding a better deal somewhere else. . . and then working and re-working the list some more. . .

The thought won't leave me. . .

"It's part of the gift."

The Christmas cards? From outfit shopping to ironing to hair curling to organizing to photographers and Sam's Club Photo to address hunting and envelope printing and standing in line at the PO for stamps?

Part of the gift.

From the name drawing between kids to the whispering from one to another to the Coach's countless trips with countless kids to the sneaking gifts in the garage door to stashing in the closet to locking the bedroom door while so and so wraps so and so's present?

Part of the gift.

From the waking up in the middle of the night with the name of THAT catalog where I saw THAT darling t-shirt to the debating about what American Girl outfit to the order confirmation e-mails and the dwindling check account?

Part of the gift.

From the baking and cooking and destroying the kitchen 12 times a day (it can't possibly be just three times, can it?) to the eating more than we should to the sitting more than we should to the watching more Christmas movies than we should to the working puzzle after puzzle and playing Wii games for hours on end?

Part of the gift.

All of this is to remind us of one thing. . .

God-Man, Jesus, coming to earth as a baby - to ultimately give His life for the salvation of all mankind.

His sacrifice is not just PART of the gift.

It's THE greatest gift of all.

Happy Sunday!

(and no. . . this would NOT be the time to tell me that you are done with your Christmas shopping and have been for weeks, thankyouverymuch!)


Judy said...

I am always encouraged with your comments ~ Thank you for the reminder that the busy-ness is part of the gift. It is. I love that story. Did you know it was told is a little differently at D/D Till..'s wedding? The pastor included it while sharing the ins and outs of their courtship, the journey that brought them to their wedding day.

Corrie said...

I've barely even started my Christmas shopping so this was a great encouragement!

Thanks :)

jjbrown03 said...

Great reminders, Karen! Thank you once again for your transparency. And by the way, I keep my stamps stocked up by ordering them at The $1 shipping fee is more than worth avoiding the trip to the PO. :-)

Stephanie Harbin said...

Awesome!! I think I will remind my family...well, maybe I will keep this secret to myself!! I haven't even started shopping or crafting the gifts I am doing.....