The week has been a roller coaster of emotions for me with celebrations and heart breaking loss. Saturday was full with a baby shower and a wedding shower. Celebrations of life! What joy to see these young women whom I have loved move into new seasons. I had such fun gathering and wrapping their presents. Then that evening there was the delight of watching my husband conduct 80 kids in a fabulous production of Mary Poppins. I put together a little bag of his favorite candy and left it on the conductor’s stand before the show with a little “lovey” note. Such fun!
On Sunday I attended a barn birthday party for a little 3 year old, the granddaughter of a dear friend. There was a petting zoo and pony rides for the children. Laughter and presents and young parents tending their young, just starting out in life. I had wrapped up a little storybook Bible with CD’s for her in roses and beautiful ribbons. All girls little and big love pretty packages!
As I left, I pulled my friend aside. We needed a moment to catch up. I sat in the drizzling rain with my friend and listened and wept as she shared more bad news about her cancer and the increased pain she was experiencing. I had put together a little “soul care” package for her in a pretty folder and wanted to give it to her before I left. It was a simple gift really, Scriptures on healing to meditate on and a copy of my last blog “Mercies in Disguise”. We talked about the power of prayer and the importance of making herself a little healing sanctuary where she can go and be surrounded by the Word, God’s presence, and soak in His peace. A place to pull away and be still and know that He is God and He is good. Sometimes it’s hard to give ourselves permission to take that time for ourselves when grand children and children are ever present and you don’t want to miss a moment with them, or the responsibilities of work and needs of others seem to press in. But, it’s important, vital, in the seasons of struggle and seasons of joy.
There, in the stillness, we find our strength, our hope.
Monday was my mom’s 87th birthday. Another day of celebration! I spent the day cooking her a special dinner and wrapping presents for her. I love to make pretty packages. The week before I had taken her shopping with me and I noticed it took us about thirty minutes to get down the gift wrapping aisle as she picked up each beautiful bag and admired the ribbons and wrapping. I realized as I watched her, so childlike in her alzheimer disease, that I had gotten that joy of gift giving from her. I remember she kept a gift closet when I was growing up and even now has a gift drawer in her assisted living apartment - just in case she wants to give someone a present! She gathered several little gifts for her drawer to purchase as she maneuvered down the aisle in her walker. I smiled as we checked out. I had picked up a few little “love” gifts for my own closet.
As I think back on my week, I realize that I am often putting together a little basket or bag or folder for people to show them that I love them or that they are in my thoughts and prayers even when it is not a special occasion.
I think the Lord has uniquely made us with ways that we express our love for one another. It’s important to make the time to express that love.
This morning I baked pumpkin bread and put together a little “care” basket for a friend whose husband went home to be with Jesus a few days ago. His sudden death, so young, was such a shock to us all. His rich bass voice graced our choir for as long as I can remember. I knew that friends would bless the family with many meals in the coming weeks. There are those of you who do that act of love and service so graciously. As I put together the basket, I I thanked God for my family and friends. I attached a single rose and a spring of rosemary from my garden (rosemary is the herb of remembrance). I pray that somehow the little basket of goodies will make this precious family feel loved and comforted as they face the difficult days ahead.
Last week, I felt the Lord impressing on me to bring a little “spa” bag to a friend who was stressed and overwhelmed. Sometimes, we need to encourage one another to make that time to rest, heal and “soak” in His presence.
I share these examples not to put any pressure on you to do the same,
but simply to encourage you to find your own way to express your love
to those who need it.
I’ve been told that we each have our own love language.
One of mine is giving. It is not an effort for me. It gives me great pleasure.
It’s one of the ways I express my love.
What are some of the ways you enjoy showing love to others?
It might be a hug, an encouraging word or a hand written note,
an act of service or the gift of time.
For your family and friends,
it’s important to ask them what makes them feel loved.
It may be a thoughtful “lovey” gift or they may feel more loved by words of blessing or spending time together.
Take some time to think about how the Lord might have you express love or care or concern to someone in need this week. How can you bring a blessing or encourage a weary soul?
You could be His messenger of hope!
I’ve received many “care” gifts myself. You probably have too. Think about the ones that blessed you the most. They come in all shapes and sizes.
An anonymous gift left at the door. A word of blessing.
An encouraging phone call, text, or facebook private message.
A handwritten note - so rare and thoughtful in our day.
A hug...... A smile....... A little bouquet of flowers.......
A beautifully wrapped package that says, “You’re important,
Or perhaps the Lord might impress on you to show a “random act of kindness” to a stranger.
And like so many things in life,
it’s the giver who always gets the greatest blessing.
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