the gratitude tree
‘Tis the season for giving. In preparation for all the Black Friday Sales, I peppered my husband with a million questions, trying to get him to give me an idea of anything special that he would like for Christmas. Either he doesn’t want it, already has it, or would rather get it for himself. I even surveyed my friends to see what they were getting their husbands! I thought I had a real winner, but, alas, he has already purchased it! Back to square one…sigh. My daughter, Charlotte, on the other hand, wants everything she sees. Especially, if it has to do with Anna or Elsa. After dealing with the crowds and traffic, I got to thinking about gift-giving and all the thought and energy I was expending, and the importance I was placing on making sure everyone was going to have the perfect Christmas. It lead me to reflect on past Christmas gifts that I have received. I had a hard time even remembering specific gifts I received just last year! Very telling!!
There is one gift that truly stands out to me: one that I received in my mid-twenties. I was single, and at a crossroads in my life trying to uncover my identity in God and my path. I met a lovely, godly, older women who began mentoring me. That year on Christmas she called me to say that her gift to me was that she was going to commit to pray for me every day for the entire year. Wow…. I cannot begin to stress how much that impacted me in that moment…and now, looking back, I believe her prayers impacted my life tremendously! She truly gave me the best gift of all that Christmas, a spiritual gift that ushered me closer to Jesus. There are so many lessons and ways that God has revealed himself through the birth of our Savior Jesus. While, opening presents is really fun, the gifts fade into shadows of memories. But the experience of celebrating Christ lasts a lifetime. Instead of fixating on getting more, this year I am going to make a gratitude tree with my family by celebrating Jesus for what he has already given us!
Chandy Kelley, Faith and Family Coordinator