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December 2, 2009

“Sheesh, does she ever talk about anything other than animals?”

You thought I couldn’t hear you, huh?

Why, yes.  Yes, I do talk about lots of things other than animals.  I just haven’t over the past five days.  And though I’m dying to tell you how Gary the Cat is doing, I won’t do that just now.  Nor will I mention that we are pondering a name change.

‘Tis the season. My mailbox is gradually filling with Christmas catalogs from various companies, all hawking their seasonal goods.  I like Land”s End.  I like L.L. Bean.  I just told Williams Sonoma to send me theirs, because I love drooling over all the kitchen toys I know I’m not going to buy.  I do not know why Fingerhut sent me one, and I find that name totally disgusting.  What is a Fingerhut, anyway?  Don’t answer.  Ew.  My daughter enjoys Pottery Barn’s Teen catalog, though I’m not sure why she gets a teen catalog and I don’t even get an adult one.  Not that I’m going to order out of either.  Way cool stuff, but pricey.

I remember being a kid and getting those fat Christmas catalogs from Sears and JC Penney’s.  I would go through them and through them and through them, especially the toy section.  I also liked the section where they sold petit fours, because I’d never had one but I thought they looked really tasty.  I would sometimes look at the clothing and the bedspreads.  But it was mostly the toys.  I had a little game I liked to play with myself that I called “one thing”.  I would look at each page and ask: “if you could only have one thing on this page, what would it be?”

True confessions?  I still play that game with catalogs sometimes. And I still try to bargain with myself: “well, if I didn’t choose anything at all on this page, could I choose two things on that page?”

I’m sure you all do that sort of thing too.  Right?  RIGHT?

It’s fun to look at that stuff, but I don’t care so much about actually acquiring most of it.  Gifts mean the most to me when they are really personal.  I don’t mean like a box of tampons or something like that.  Heaven forbid.  I mean when the gift shows that the giver knows my heart and wants to bless it.  I love gifts that say “I know you”. 

Last year my daughters all gave me such gifts.  One talked Mr Sparky into helping her buy a red Kitchenaid stand mixer for me.  Do you have ANY idea how long I’ve wanted one of those?  Decades.  I was taken aback…it was a huge gift, even split between them, and I was a rather shocked by the extravagance.  It was dubbed “the kitchen Ferrari” and I have used it lots.  Another gave me a beautiful dichroic glass pendant in reds and oranges…colors she knew I loved, all shiny and sparkly (which I love).  And another gave me a Willow Tree Angel.  I have a few of those, and every last one of them has been a gift– which makes them all the more special to me.  The one she chose for me was “Free Spirit”.  She knew I’d love it just from the name.  I did, and I still do.  I didn’t need any of those gifts to prove to me that my daughters love me.  I know they do.  But each one of them managed to give me a gift that told me that I am seen and I am known.  And THAT is priceless.

I think about how every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights (James 1:17).  It amazes me how many times I don’t recognize a good and perfect gift when it lands right in front of me.  In fact, sometimes I fuss and make a racket about how horrible that thing is, surely it’s a curse, and could someone please call the Orkin man and get rid of it?  But unlike my daughters, who are learning to see me as I am, God sees me in my full potential.  He knows me better than I know myself and He sees what is yet to be.  In keeping with that He sometimes gives me gifts I have yet to grow into, and ones that aren’t in fashion quite yet.  Since I live in the now and not the not yet, I am prone to judge those gifts unfairly as being too big and too ugly.  I am clueless that in a year they will be perfectly suited to me.  And heaven help me if it’s one of those gifts that will take 15 years to fit me properly.  That’s a lot of years of pitching clueless fits.

But He is never deterred.  He keeps giving.  He doesn’t get discouraged when He gives me treasure and I hold my nose and yell “UGH!  SMELLS LIKE DEAD FISH!”  He is so patient, dropping bread crumbs along the path until I figure it out and realize that I have a backlog of gratitude to offer for the perfection that has been handed to me in unconventional packages.

It is good to be known. :)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Joann E. permalink
    December 3, 2009 8:32 am

    This was a wake up this morning, I really needed to read this! Thank you!

  2. Hope permalink
    December 3, 2009 3:52 pm

    mmm I dig

  3. December 6, 2009 5:53 pm

    I loved circling the toys I wanted in the JC Penney catalog!

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