As another holiday season is quickly drawing to a close, as well as another year, I find myself especially nostalgic, thinking back over the events of past holiday seasons and the past 365 days. This season was quite unique; for the first time in many, many years, we were actually close enough to my family to be with them a few times for Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities AND it was our first holiday season out of Alaska since we moved in July.
It was Judah’s second Christmas and this year he was way more into all the fun of the holidays, which was amazing to witness. Few things can make this Mommy happier than seeing my baby filled with joy! Ironically, this Christmas season was also the most difficult for me since my dad passed away, and I’m not sure why, except that we’ve come to realize that oftentimes the most joyous times are coupled with the deepest feelings of sadness when someone special is no longer here.
I could say a lot about a number of things that have been on my mind lately, but I want to focus on just one; the blessing of generosity. I’m not talking about who scored and got every material thing they wanted on their wish list. I’m talking about generosity rooted in the heart that can’t help but overflow.
Our family did bless us with wonderful presents that we appreciate and are already enjoying greatly, but a lot more than that, they bless us with their giving hearts which go much deeper than all the stuff Nathan had to pack up in the car to bring home this last weekend.
Generosity comes in many ways, but the best I think are time and love. I am so thankful for the people in my life, both past and present, who have taught me so much about giving. Generous people don’t give a little then stop because they’re afraid they may run out. They give and give and give…and give and give and give because they know that the more they give, the more they have to give some more!
I think that those kind of givers understand a concept we would all do well to grasp: EVERYTHING we have is a gift from God, so none of it ever runs out. If we think what we do have is ours alone, of course we’re going to be stingy with those things, obsessing about how hard we worked for it all and adding up how much it will cost us to give it all away.
As I watched Judah become excited about each new gift he opened, I wished for a moment that he had a zillion more to open, just so I could see his enthusiasm soar over and over again!
Don’t you think God feels that way every time we, his children, get excited about the best gift he’s ever given? Jesus is our prime example of a generous giver; he gave his life for us, not just in his death, but from the moment of his birth that we celebrate every December!
As this year comes to an end, my prayer for us all is that the revelation of his generous love would transform our hearts from the inside out and that 2012 will be a year unlike any other before because of it. He alone has the power to change our stingy, self-seeking selves to generous ones out to mirror the heart of the Father!