Thursday, December 07, 2006

LEARNING TO RECEIVE

Last night someone set the most beautiful kid-wrapped package in front of me. When I opened it, there was a church to replace the one I had broken from my Christmas village! I was so surprised and pleased, but then I started to think...."gosh, she shouldn't have spent the money on this...their family has needs..." On the thoughts came. I even told the giver that I had super-glued the old one and asked her if she still had the receipt. I caught myself. How wonderful was it that this person had gone out of her way for me? My broken church was a fleeting mention in a recent blog, yet this person had picked up on that and here was this awesome little church that will look so perfect with my village. (I had my daughter take a picture so you could all see it!) So, I received this beautiful church and the gift of friendship that it was wrapped in.

I struggle with receiving. A couple nights ago, I was arguing with my daughter over how much money she could spend on me for Christmas. She pointed her finger in my face and laughingly said, "YOU can't tell ME how much of MY OWN money I can spend on YOU!" Then I caught myself. As I looked at her face and the sparkle in her eyes, she was absolutely radiant with joy at being able to give me gifts for Christmas that she knows I have been wanting. I thought "How is it that this kid loves me so darn much?" And I recieved the real gift she was giving, the love and devotion she has for her mom, that will be wrapped up in the presents I open on Christmas morning.

I have done this with God. Early on, I had a hard time receiving from Him because I knew I wasn't good enough, or smart enough, or a hundred other enoughs that I came up with. I guess I also thought of Him as this distant powerful being who wanted to rule over me and maybe even squash me, little bug that I was in His shadow. But I came to discover that, for some reason I can't quite figure out, God desires ME! I love this--"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." (Zeph 3:17)

I have come to know that the same God who created my friend with the giving heart, who lit the sparkle in my daughter's eyes....laughs with joy over me, surrounds me with the loudest love songs. When I come into His presence I imagine the "A-ha! My Kathy is here!" look on His face. His displays of love make me speechless and breathless and I stand in awe at the wonder of it all.

So, for today...I recieve it all. I want it all. Friendship, a daughter's love, and the passion of an Almighty God that surpasses my ability to earn or fully understand. And I am humbled and grateful.


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, KayMac, we are in the same boat! I have done this way too many times. One of them was:
Someone wonderful came to my Baptism and gave me a card that had money in it. It was a lot of money.
I thought:
1) I'm not doing anything that deserves or requires money
2)the faily of this person is having somewhat of a hard time right now, they can't afford this
3)she just thought she was supposed to give money, and didn't know that it wasn't required of her.
So I did the equivilant of asking for the receipt: I very kindly (so I thought) told her that though her church gave gifts for christened babies, so such gift is usually given at a baptism of this type, and it was enough just for her to come. Would she please take the money back, and know that I was very happy that she had attended. The responce was not what I expected. Hurt.
What I know now:
1)She knows all about bapstisms. What I did not know was the thing that was messing everything up.
2)She wanted to give me the gift because she wanted me to have it. She had talked with her husband and they dicided thats what they wanted to do with it - she didn't feel obligated.
My friend loves me, and she did what she wanted to do. I should appreciate it, and not feel guilty.
Also,
Every year I try to impose a money limit between Joe and I for our exchanging of Christmas gifts. I never have enough money to buy him anything I want to, so when I have seven thousand gifts to open and he has two, I feel very stupid and can not concentrate on loving my gifts. So I lay down the money rule. He agrees. (He is LYING!) Then, on Christmas, I have the standard seve thousand, he has the tandard two, if he is lucky. IM MAD! I have to ~sigh~ not be. I have to let it go. I have to except. I have to thank. I will work on it.

Sara said...

this was awesomely perfect my friend.

Deb said...

A great post! That verse in Zephaniah is one of my absolute favorites! If we could grasp 1/10 of the love the Lord has for us --we'd explode!

Sara Maria said...

I never give people present limits for me. I tell them, buy me 85 things I dont care.

I dont buy Christmas presents myself, unless I have money. (which being jobless, doesnt happen too much)

I do find a certain joy in buying a secret gift and giving it to somebody and then asking them later about it and seeing the joy and surprise in their face and secretly giggling about it because I did it, but they dont know.

Other than that, I never tell anybody not to get me presents. Heck I love presents. Every day. In fact, if a random stranger came over right now and brought me a present Id open it and take a picture of it with my camera and be thrilled. No guilt here.

Anyways: Last week I was supposed to be doing a research paper, and a profile is that thing on your blog that talks about you. 64 new people looked at mine overnight. I wanna come visit you guys soon! :) I also enjoy reading your blog. It is in my favorites/bookmarks. (on Microsoft, all the pages I have saved, you are on it!)

Jada's Gigi said...

receiving can be so hard..I think its really a pride thing..you know that "I don't NEED any" mentality...It is more blessed to give...but the receiving..now that's a blessing too. and after all we don't want to rob others of the joy you know... Your new church is beautiful!

dawnaj1958 said...

You reminded me how unworthy the world makes us feel of the gifts God designates His people to give. Thank you for a beautiful, from the heart post. I'm glad I came here today....

Tom Harry said...

St. Therese's meditation also reminds us we are worthy:

"That today you find peace inside you,
that you can confide in your highest power because you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

"But do not forget the infinite possibilities that are born from the faith,
that you may use the gifts that you have received and transfer the love that has been given to you to make you feel satisfied that you are a child of God.

"Allow his presence in your bones, and give your soul the liberty to sing, dance and be warmed by the sun,
that is there for everyone and each one of us."

Birmingham Girl said...

I loved this. I think some of us (me included) think it doesn't show humility to receive gifts. As I wrote in a previous post, my mother gave me a bottle of dish detergent as a gift. The joy came in the act of giving. To respectfully decline a gift makes joy come to a halt. What lessons we learn every day...huh? Thanks for a wonderful gift, that gift was the sharing of your personal feelings...beautiful!

Richard said...

Hmmm ... I guess I only thought about commenting, but never actually left a comment.

Being a good reciever is important. It is hard for me - I am not really a good reciever (though I am working on it).

Being a reciever just means you recieve graciously (say thank you). However, resist the temptation to return the compliment / gift / favour.