Gift giving is, hands down, one of my favorite things to do ever.  I love picking something out that I think the recipient will love.  Sometimes, I even can’t wait for the occasion and insist they open it early (sometimes two or three months early!).  I love the look on their faces.  I love the squeals of delight when I did indeed choose just the right thing, or almost even better, when I chose something they didn’t even know they wanted.
Several years ago, my dad and stepmom began giving us some money at the end of each year.  I would be giddy in the day following as I would pray about who to bless with the blessing given to me.  It became one of the highlights of my year to think of creative ways to help those in my life and those around the world.
Author Gary Chapman lists “gifts” as one of the five love languages, which is the theory that we tend to show our love in the same way we best perceived being loved.  This theory has played out in my life over and over again.  If I could surprise someone with a gift every day of my life, I would be the happiest girl in the world.
But some things are shifting for me lately.  Though I fully realize that I fall into the top one percent of richest people on the planet because of where I live, I am not as able to give away the store as I used to feel I was.  In fact, things feel tight to me.  I feel slightly constricted.  Please know I’m not complaining.  And please know that I am doing just fine.  More than fine.  I’m just not in the same season that I was for awhile there.  I am in a new season.
And this is how I know.  I’ve said this a number of times, totally joking, regarding my church: “What does a girl need to do around here to get on the meals’ list?”  I’m joking but I’m not joking.  Now, I can afford to feed my children; that’s not what this is about.  It’s about realizing that I’m – for this season – needing to be on the receiving end for awhile.  That I may even have to, from time to time – gulp – ask for help.
So today, I went to my mailbox like every other day.  I opened a card that was addressed to me, computer generated so I couldn’t recognize the sender, along with no return address.  The card said simply, “Just wanted to brighten up your day by reminding you you’re special.”  Unsigned.  Enclosed I found a gift card to Starbucks and a gift card to Target.  I stood in my driveway and cried.  I felt so loved and seen and taken care of in that moment.  I have a good, good God who is watching and, just as he has done with me over and over again in my life to reach out to someone else, he nudged someone to reach out to me.
It does not come naturally for me to be on the receiving end, especially when I don’t know the giver.  So, I thank each one of you for walking with me in your own way — through prayer, through texts, through listening, through asking me out for lunch, through a kind word, through reading my blog and just keeping an eye on things, through whatever means.  Thank you.  I’m beyond grateful.
I guess lesson #819 through all this is to let God take care of me through other people, to learn to receive graciously and humbly.  This one may take awhile to settle in, but I’m honored and blessed to have the chance to learn it.

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