First of All: HAPPY 2 WEEK BIRTHDAY MY BEAUTIFUL BABY CELESTE – LOVE YOU!
We make choices that make us beautiful on the inside and outside.
My idea of Christmas Presence involves deep diving into that infinite, though ever underutilized, Santa bag inside of our hearts. Jesus, the Christmas birthday child, had one installed in every soul without consulting us. He made sure that our bag of Christmas Presence would be ingeniously powered by the simple practice of observation. Some people are rockin’ their bag like a super hero while others are still learning that they possess a brilliant capacity to bring intense joy in others. We can easily discover what would mean the world to a total stranger or a best friend by simply being present/awake enough to listen, notice, care, and act. That’s where the magic of giving resides. I’m always blown away when a complete stranger lays his/her on the spot Christmas Presence skills on me. The smallest thing could have the biggest effect. Case in point – Rick and I have been trying to be extra disciplined with money (can you relate?). We were sitting in a fast food diner after church eating our breakfast special coupons and I was hungrier than what the coupon had to offer. I know! But I skip early breakfasts on Sundays so by then I want to eat everything in sight. I asked an employee (not a server) who was bringing food out if she knew how much an English muffin would cost. She didn’t know. Five minutes later she was back with a muffin. Since I hadn’t ordered one, I was surprised. I asked her what I owed her and she smiled and said, Not a thing, I got it, and she shook my pinky. Whaaa?! She blessed me on so many levels without even realizing how many. She disappeared, but I had to find her and thank her before we left the place to show my gratitude. Her smile told me that she felt very appreciated. The affection of the smallest gifts that come from the greatest place cannot be measured. They last forever.
Christmas Presence takes us to a place where we know that the of elation sparked by giving our love to others is so much sweeter than drooling over a new electronic toy or fashionable bling from some wish list that’s been building up in my head. In fact, last month my sister (who lives across the country) called me from an artisan fair. She asked if she could text me a photo of a purse that was machine washable for people with certain allergies – like me. Her intention was to buy it for me if I deemed it worthy. Forget about the purse, I felt so loved! I was overjoyed for the rest of the day. Since the the chic little purse wasn’t my style, I asked her not buy it, but in my heart she gave me the perfect gift! The fact that she was thinking about me, my health, my needs, etc., it meant the world! It’s the heart not the actual gift that makes everything so special. I think of receiving in these simple-brilliant ways as training for me to give in similar and far bigger ways too. I pray to emulate the timely, perceptive, and creative giving that God has shown me and whispered into my ear. I think about the babe we received on Christmas who grew up to say, “Do this in memory of me,” i.e., follow His inexhaustible passion for giving.
I couldn’t resist wrapping this up by sharing my new fave tune by Jadon Lavik from his “Life on the Inside” album. Sorry its not a traditional Christmas song, but you’ll see why it rocks the big picture!