By Cindy Morrone
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4: 11 & 12) Paul’s words for sure, Cindy is still working on this!
My husband has given me some of my best Christmas presents ever! He has surprised me with a rocking chair, a meaningful print, and a beautiful coat just to name a few. He has smuggled (not from the authorities mind you, but me) a gift from Virginia to surprise me!
We have gone to great lengths to lavish on one another with our gifts. One time I went to a drive through and purchased an item over $200 because it was so much easier than trying to carry two car seats with two wee ones and then the appliance! That was so fun! (I called ahead of time and had the cash on hand.) He stopped in a quaint Christmas like village, after a successful hunting season with his trophy on top his vehicle, just to pick up a present for me! Poor other shoppers!
Over the years however, our gifts to each other have dwindled in generosity. With our resources being divided elsewhere, the large, more effortful gifts are not typically seen under the tree addressed to hubbie and me.
Initially, this was very difficult for me. I somehow saw the size of the gift, and the attempt as a measure of his love. That the bigger and the better quantified my value.
Now I realize that this very sacrifice is a real testament of his love.
This is not a heart issue. It is not that we don’t want to give each other a significant gift, all wrapped in sparkly paper, wowing each other with the amazing surprise inside. There truly is only so much money and so much time.
He, like, me has had to give much up. With our decision to use our limited resources in other ways, there is a peace and fulfillment that now comes on Christmas day to us. There is a sense of security in each other and in our relationship that comes with growing in our love for one another.
So the treasures now remain thoughtful, be it a pair of slippers or a great book or a gift card for drive through coffee, albeit smaller.
Dear Heavenly and Gracious Father,
Thank You so much for the gift of Your Son. Truly words cannot express our gratitude. That You Lord, God would send Your only Son as the ultimate sacrifice for us. Giving us opportunity for eternal life and life abundantly if we believe. Lord as we get ready to celebrate this wondrous, awe-filled time, prepare our hearts first and foremost. Help us to be content right where You have us. Help us to not want more and help us to not want less. For You Father, know right where we need to be. Help us to breathe You in for all time and when we sit on Christmas Eve or Christmas morn, help us to see the true gifts that cannot be priced, or returned but just opened and received. The gifts that are ever lasting. We pray these things in Your Son’s holy and precious name. Amen.