Christmas is such a wonderful time of year but I find the stress of finding the perfect gift often clouds the joy this season brings for people. We all want to be a great gift giver and be the one that gives the best present of all. This year I am reflecting on a wonderful gift I received this year and why it is so special.
Each year my husband and I sit together and discuss what gifts we should buy our children. We consider what they need and what they are wanting and try to find some sort of balance between the two. We even look to what the future might bring in the next few months to come that they can’t foresee themselves and try to plan ahead a bit too like buying a new school bag for the new year.
And yet…. after all this consideration and deliberation, we still manage to buy gifts that, in just a few weeks I start to regret and rethink. We wish we knew the perfect gift to give, but unfortunately, we can often get it wrong.
When I was a little girl my mum used to sing a little song to me that said “Jesus is the giver and he gives me good things”. These words have been etched in my brain and I have come to know them to be true in my life in the past.
…. but I had forgotten.
In recent months, I have been reminded in a fresh way that God is the greatest gift giver of all. It sounds obvious I know, or perhaps it sounds a little too cliché. It can be easy to forget about the great treats and gifts we get to receive when we are following Him. Unfortunately, we don’t always talk about it or even celebrate it properly when it happens! Sometimes these moments are dismissed far too easily as mere coincidences or there is an inherent fear that maybe by talking about it we might confuse the point of the story and think that the reason we follow Jesus is just so they can get the good stuff. (which might be true for Santa but there is much more to the good news of Jesus Christ)
I hope from my story today you can get excited about getting to know the greatest gift giver. Because this is something worth getting excited about!
God sees you (yes you!)
and knows exactly what you are wanting.
He knows what is on that secret wish-list that nobody else has seen.
He knows just what you need too, and
He can see ahead into our future better than we can.
He is the greatest and most generous giver of all.
My story for you today started one morning (a few months ago now) as I curled up on my quiet time chair with my tea and toast. As I sat in the still of the morning and watched the sunrise, I sat poised with pen and paper and completed an exercise we had been asked to do for my growth group. We were simply asked to spend some time “dreaming” with God about life and where we’d like it to lead.
I wrote about lots of things that morning. But mostly, my mind was drawn to thinking about my future job and career. I don’t really want to go back to teaching, I have felt for quite a while now that there is ‘something different’ that God has in store for me but what that exactly looks like I am not entirely sure yet. What did come to mind though is that I’d love to get some experience in retail and learn some new skills. I have never worked in retail before and I think it would be fun. But with no retail experience, all these negative thoughts ran through my head…
“Who would want to hire me?”
“How could I ever find hours that would suit with caring for my kids too?”
“What would I even sell!?”
The whole dream was quickly dismissed as nothing more than a crazy idea that was WAY out of my reach at the moment
Anyway, shortly after that strange morning of pondering thoughts and dreaming (that, in the end, didn’t seem to really have any clear answers), a funny thing happened…. That VERY week an advertisement for a casual job at a wooden toy shop randomly arrived in my inbox (Which I have to say pretty much NEVER happens). I wasn’t even actively looking for a job ‘yet’. I thought that my requirements and retail dreams were way too specific to EVER be able to be filled, especially at this busy stage in my life.
Normally I would delete these emails straight away. But the ad caught my eye… I had been to this shop before. I LOVE this shop! It’s full of stuff I love. “I could sell that” I thought and for the first time, that secret dream I had suddenly seemed like a possibility. A little seed of hope was planted.
After a tentative email enquiry, I discovered…. yes, the hours would work perfectly with what I thought I could manage at the moment, and there was even opportunity to use some of my previous training as a teacher to help plan kid’s activities for the new room they were in the process of building! I couldn’t believe it.
And so the adventure began.
I applied for the job, went for an interview and the more we talked the better it got, as I found that this job had everything I love to do! I just couldn’t believe it, to the point that I became teary with excitement and disbelief at the interview (how embarrassing!).
Not only do I get some retail experience, in the hours that I can manage, selling something that I love. I even get to do a whole bunch of other stuff I love too.
I was overwhelmed at how loving and gracious and generous God had been. God had orchestrated things in such a wonderful way. I could see his hand in all of this and it showed me that he knew me very well and understood my deepest desires.
……Needless to say, I got the job! (Woohoo!). I keep pinching myself still and can’t believe how easily this job literally fell in my lap!
It’s like God heard the prayer I was going to pray before I even got around to being brave enough to pray for it.
And do you want to know the fancy decorative twist God added to this over-the top gift?
I even had the privilege to help in the design process for the brand-new kids play space they were building for the new shop opening! Now, maybe this doesn’t sound exciting to you, but it does to me.
Over the last few years I have had an absolute ball designing my daughter’s bedroom and my son’s bedroom. An even bigger dream of mine would be to do that kind of thing for a living one day! (Shh, don’t tell anyone! It’s a REALLY crazy dream) and yet, there I was, being paid to do exactly that!
I just couldn’t believe it. I never imagined that there would be a job out there that would embrace everything that I love and want to do so perfectly and completely.
But God knew and this time, in this instance, he was so abundantly gracious and loving that he didn’t even want me to wait and he paved a way to make it happen pretty much instantly.
He gave me a gift so ridiculously over the top. Yet so perfect.
Lavishly he poured his love over me as he granted me the desires of my heart.
It was so undeserved… So surprising!
Now let me pause here for a moment and just say. I KNOW it doesn’t often happen like this. More often than not, many of us are left in the tension of waiting and praying and hoping that there would be a gift for us, even if it was just something small (a bit like Christmas morning perhaps looking at all the gifts piled up under the tree, each with someone’s name on it). But the point I am trying to make today is that there is hope, God is a wonderful gift giver and he wants to bless YOU!
Keep watch and look out for the generous loving gifts he is sending your way.
Sometimes they come in large, fancy, professionally wrapped gifts. But often, the most treasured gifts can come in the small, unassuming packages that we hardly notice.
I knew it already in my head, but this experience TOTALLY solidified the concept for me. God knows me so, so well, he knows exactly what I love to do. And God loves me so, so much that he wants to bless me in abundant (and often surprising) ways.
……. and here’s the kicker. He feels the same way about you too!
It wasn’t until a few weeks after I had started this job that I discovered that this job (this gift) wasn’t only exactly what I wanted but, as it turned out, it was exactly what I needed too!
It is no secret that I have found life with three young kids quite exhausting and overwhelming at times. I even wrote about it here on the blog recently.
I love my kids to bits, don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a very special and treasured season I am in at the moment too and it has definitely been a long journey to get here. But, the truth is, I had been going a little bit insane being just the stay-at-home mum day in, day out. I needed a balance, I needed a break, I needed some variety. I needed an outlet where I can be someone different from just ‘mum’ and do what I love to do. Having this casual job to go to just a few hours a week has helped me be a better mum I think.
God could see the future I couldn’t and he paved a way and made provisions to make a difficult journey I was about to enter lighter.
As the weeks went by, a series of circumstances led us to taking a closer look at our budget and realising that the figures weren’t lining up like quite as well as we had thought they were. God has been SO good in all this though. I can’t tell you enough what a relief and blessing it has been that I had this job already lined up before all this finance drama unfolded. He knew I needed a job before I did!
What a wonderful gift giver!
He knows what we want,
he knows what we need AND
he knows what is coming up in our future that we can’t see yet.
Jesus is the giver and he gives us good things!
My precious friends, I want you to be reminded today six very important things:
- God loves you so so much!
- He intricately knows the desires of your heart. Those secret, crazy desires that are too embarrassing to speak out loud.
- He longs to pour out his love and blessings on you, (often in small, unassuming and surprising ways…. But sometimes they come in big fancy over-the-top packages too).
- He knows (even more than you do) what you are needing to get through this day.
- He can see what bumps and challenges lie in the path ahead that you can’t yet see.
- He is generous and his timing is impeccable!
- DON’T FORGET TO OPEN HIS PRESENT AND SAY THANK YOU!
What are the desires of your heart?
What have you been dreaming about but too scared to ask God for?
How has God abundantly poured out his love on you lately?
Why not spend some time now, sitting by the Christmas tree and placing those dreams and crazy thoughts you have had in God’s hands? Ask him to show you the gifts he has given you this year (big or small) that demonstrate his generous love for you.
PS. If You’d like some more Festive posts you can check out my Musings about Mary and Motherhood, a Christmas tradition you could start AFTER Christmas this year, or how to build a Toddler friendly Christmas tree! (I needed to read this post again this year! lol)