I have a girlfriend who has the "gift" of gift giving. Her gifts are not the average candle or bottle of lotion type of gift. Her presents are much more than that, they are gifts with meaning. She goes beyond the ordinary to touch the heart of the recipient. Several years ago when I was preparing to participate in a three day breast cancer walk, I returned home the day before the event to find a care package from her. It was filled with things she knew I loved. Not just Tylenol or Band-Aids...it was filled with Brown Sugar Pop Tarts (my favorite indulgence!) and Diet Coke. She'd included my favorite magazines and a beautiful note pledging her support and pride in my accomplishments.
When I began this new blogging/speaking venture she presented me with the most precious business card case and a beautiful journal to record my plans with a special pouch in the back that she was sure to tell me was to be used for my future airline ticket stubs and speaking revenue receipts. She believes in me and her gifts tell the story of that belief. I believe the secret to her gift giving is that she listens to what I ramble on about and she remembers.
My mother-in-law was like that too. She never liked Caesar Salad. In fact, I think it was her least favorite salad there was. She much preferred blue cheese and spicy peppers and onions, however, there was not a time that I went to her house for the 15 years that I knew her that she didn't have an alternative for me that she knew I would be happy with. She listened and watched what I ate and I knew I mattered to her.
With three kids of my own, it's sometimes hard to remember who likes ketchup with their chicken nuggets and who prefers ranch dressing, but I try hard to remember. I know what type of toothpaste they prefer and I work hard to have the snacks they like on hand when they come home from school. I want them to know that I notice, that they matter to me.
As you wrap up this week of holiday prep and welcome guests into your home, will you offer them your best? Will you go to the extra effort to have Mountain Dew on hand,even though you never drink it, but your friends son who is visiting does? Will you give gifts that you scrambled to find last minute at the mall, or will you slow down and really reflect on what the loved one you are giving the gift to would really like?
God gave us the greatest gift we could ever receive and yet sometimes we don't even know how much we need it. He sent His only son to die for us to ensure our eternal life with Him in Heaven. There is no greater gift than that. As you listen to your guests requests and you work hard to meet everyone's needs this week, do not miss the requests of your Heavenly Father. He wants you to notice Him and listen to His dreams for you in the coming year. Don't forget to thank Him for all that He remembered to bless you with.