The Joy of Gifts Given and Received

I’ve been thinking a lot about gifts this morning. There are many kinds of gifts. The most important are the gifts we receive from God. Those gifts are gifts that should be shared for building the Kingdom. I have struggled for years with whether I’m using my gifts to honor and bring glory to God or whether I’m using them selfishly. I suppose I have cultured a belief through the years that I am inadequate and can never be enough. Looking back I can see the times when my soul was injured and I have continued to hold on to and believe the lies. But the Bible tells me I am who God says I am. He never tells me I’m not good enough. He does challenge me, gives me new grace every day, and lets me know I can do all things through Christ. Breaking the stronghold the lies have in my mind is done through affirming God’s truth through His Word.

But on to other gifts. My daughter gave me a mug for my birthday which shows a back view of me sitting with my three cats and our names are included. After losing Charlotte, this mug became even more dear to me. My daughter gave it with love knowing how I would love it. This morning, my fingers failed me and I dropped a glass into the sink which hit the handle of the mug and broke it off. The glass also broke. Since the pieces were large, it was easy to clean the debris from the sink, but it made me so sad that this favored mug was now imperfect. I had to remember that nothing had changed except my view. The joy from the gift still remained. It is not perfect but neither am I. I, too, have been damaged through the years, but God still sees me through eyes of love. I still see the mug through eyes of love. And the joy of knowing my daughter received joy in the gifting as I received joy in the receiving remains a beautiful memory indeliably etched on my heart.

I look around my home and see it filled with gifts given and received with love. And I know I am truly blessed. My life isn’t perfect, but I choose to look at the positive in daily happenings. My mug might be broken, but it didn’t shatter and my hands weren’t cut. The gift continues to give.

Though last week was busier than usual with appointments, I still managed to find joy in coloring. Here are the results of my efforts:

Another mandala from the Creative Haven Rose Windows book. Illustrated by Joel S. Avren
Book: Colouring Heaven Burlesque Special Issue 69.
Illustrator: Neil Kendall
Book: Fairies
Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson Colored with pastel pencils
Also from book: Fairies
Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson Also done with pastel pencils
Book: Enchanted Forest
Illustrated by: Johanna Basford