Monday, April 15, 2013

Giving and Receiving Gifts (Part 2 of 3)

Learning to Live (Series)

Lately the Lord has been opening my eyes to my reality.  He has kindly and lovingly been showing me the areas in my life that have been void of correction and instruction of His ways, void of experiencing His love in the general activities of learning how to live.  This has included revelations that go back through my childhood up through my present relationships with my husband and children.  He is redeeming these voids a few at a time, here and there, showing me what is and has been missing and following up with what needs to be exchanged or filled in.  I have been lost and pretending to live, but thankfully the Lord has prepared me for this season of learning from Him, personally, how to live.

In Giving and Receiving Gifts – Part 1 I shared that the Lord has been showing how preparation and sacrifice are valuable character elements of giving gifts.  Here I continue with more that the Lord has been showing me.

Presentation the Final Step

Presentation is the final step in the process of preparing a gift to give.  Beautiful wrapping or packaging includes thoughtful, loving, sacrificial preparation, sometimes as much thought and preparation as the gift.  In addition to the wrapping or gift bag, the card provides an important final touch.  In many ways, it is the heart of the gift as what is written in the card can share a deep loving sentiment toward the receiver.  The words printed in the card may say just the right thing, but it’s the added personal words of affection and sentiment written by the giver that can deeply touch the heart of the receiver.

The wrapping and card use to be an afterthought for me that I often would scramble to put together at the last minute.  I remember thinking about the expense this added to the gift I was giving.  It would be just torn up and discarded, I questioned if it was necessary or appreciated.  My thought process was justification for self concern when it ought to have been on blessing the receiver.  The gift wrapping and card is that final touch that says you are valuable to me, you matter to me and you are worth every effort toward making this gift pleasing and special to you.   

One of the gift bags and cards my oldest daughter made

The Lord regularly teaches me through my children.  The Lord used my oldest daughter as an example to me, as she often makes or decoratively personalizes the gift bag and/or card for gifts she gives.  There have been times that she has taken several days beforehand creating and preparing her gift bag or card.  When the Lord was bringing understanding to me He reminded me of her and the precious time and effort she put into preparing and creating gifts and/or gift bags and cards.

Heart Felt Sentiment:

The final touch and I think the most important part of a gift is the written sentiment in a card toward the receiver.  A heart-felt sentiment is more than a birthday wish, but is a expression of what this person means to our heart and what a blessing they are and may include our hopes and prayers for them.  The card is the written expression of our love for the receiver.

Giving gifts in this way takes our eyes off of ourselves and focuses our eyes on blessing the recipient.  Giving gifts in this way is loving in a sacrificial Christ-like way and it is one of many ways that example Christ’s loves for us.  In John 15:12 Jesus tells us to “love like He loves” us.

This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. 
~John 15:12

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