I wrote the below post for our church blog & thought I'd share it here as well. Hope everyone has their shopping done and is able to revel in this season of advent. xo
When I was in 6th grade giving gifts to all your friends was a big deal. You couldn’t just give candy canes, the gifts had to be perfectly picked and perfectly wrapped. Any earned money I had from extra work around the house or saved from birthdays was spent that year. I bought cd’s, mittens, Hanson posters (anyone remember Hanson? They were my generation’s Jonas Brothers/Justin Bieber), and more making sure my friends got the perfect gift. Yet, it wasn’t about their happiness or how much they might like their gift. As a 6th grader it was about looking cool, being a good gift giver, and hopefully receiving the same quality gift in return. As school came to an end for the semester I remember feeling pretty good about the gifts I gave and what I had received in return. I’ll never forget when it came time to buy a gift for my dad that year. I had no money left! I begged and begged my mom to lend me money so I could pick out a nice gift for my dad. I had a little over $3 left. She wouldn’t lend me the money but drove me to the drug store where I picked out a combination lock for my dad’s gym locker. I was embarrassed and ashamed and I remember thinking how that lock would not be nearly enough to show my Dad how much I loved him. I remember sneaking a note under his pillow to tell him I was sorry and then trying to hide when he unwrapped my gift. I knew he knew how much more thought, time, and money I put into my school friends’ gifts. I honestly felt the weight of what I thought was a ruined Christmas.
When my dad opened my gift that year he didn’t scoff or furrow his brow. He smiled and let me know how much he was in need of such a lock. In his reception of the gift I felt his love for me, his understanding, and his forgiveness. The weight I had felt was lifted. I learned big lessons that year in giving and receiving, but perhaps the most important thing I learned was the depth of my father’s love for me.
How much more does our heavenly father love us! He receives our gifts and all our attempts to love and honor him well and removes the weight of our inadequacies. What a Savior! Emmanuel!