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Last week, as I went through Chick-fil-A’s drive-through on my way to work, I saw the following license plate on the car in front of me:

It was something that made me smile.

I was reminded that I need to be praying at all times…in all circumstances…for all things.

What a great motto for life, eh?

What’s in a Gift

I’ve been struggling with something for the last week or two.

Well, I’ve really been struggling with something for a number of years now.

It just seems as though my struggle rears its ugly head this time of the year.

It has to do with gifts.

Shortly after Thanksgiving, Chicky and I were talking on the phone when she mentioned that she had gotten a card from my mom.  Inside was $25.  Chicky wondered if it was her Christmas present.  I wasn’t sure.

The next day, there were two envelopes in the mail:  one for Rooster and one addressed to the Mr. and me.  Both were from my mom.

I opened mine and found a $25 gift card for Cracker Barrel.

Odd, I thought, because we don’t have a Cracker Barrel in town.

When Rooster got home from work, he opened his envelope and found $25 cash in it.

My heart began hurting.

You might wonder why.

So did I.  Confusion filled me as I tried to sort through my feelings.

Was it me being greedy?

No, that wasn’t it.

I think I can say that, with the exception of books that my friend, Barbara, orders for the Reading department, I’m not a greedy person.

What I was feeling was disappointment that my own mom doesn’t know that the closest Cracker Barrel is an hour away from me.  What good was the gift if I had to drive so far to use it?  Why did my children receive cash?

Please forgive my questions, but I am honest here on this blog…you know that.

I was hurt and angry.

All of my life, I have felt like I come in last with regard to my mom…now even after my own children.

Still, I wrestled with my thoughts.

Then, yesterday morning when we sang Little Drummer Boy at church, I had an epiphany.

My hurt stems from so much more than what, exactly, was given this year.

The gift is indicative of a person who does not know the people she is buying for.

She has no clue who I, her daughter, am.

I find it interesting that Barb, who has given me two bracelets, tried them on first to ensure that they were small enough to fit on my tiny wrists.  That’s a very small detail but one that reveals so much about how close we are…how observant Barb is.

When the rest of us buy gifts for each other, we think of each person’s interests or specific needs.  We have developed relationships with one another that put us in tune with each other…to the point where we don’t need to purchase generic items just to check those people off of our lists.

A gift is so much more than a wrapped package.  In my opinion, it is a symbol of what one person means to another…no matter how small or large, expensive or inexpensive the gift.

If I don’t have a relationship with a person, I’d rather not receive a gift…not even a token gift at that.

What’s in a gift is a little bit of the giver’s heart, given to one who is loved and cared for.

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