The Greatest Gift

It happens every Christmas.  I am faced with the same dilemma, what gift will I give my children?  I want it to be special, perfect.  It isn’t because they expect it but because it gives me great pleasure to see the joy on their faces when I score.

 
About three weeks ago, I came up with what, at first, I thought was a lame idea.  But then I thought, maybe they wouldn’t think so.  But even if they did, one day when I’m dead and gone they will appreciate it.  This gift would require that I do two things that are on my list of my “top 10 least favorite things to do.”
 
First, have my picture taken, and second, shop.  By now you’ve guessed that I decided to have my portrait done.
 
So I looked online and found a photographer in Katy.  I called her and set up an appointment for her to come to my home.  I wanted to make this very special for my kids because my house is for sale, so this will most likely be our last Christmas in the home of 37 years where my kids grew up.
 
Sherry came and decided where we would shoot and offered suggestions about what I should wear.  We scheduled the shoot for the following Monday—one week.  No problem.  I had in mind exactly what I wanted to wear to make the best out of the subject with which she had to work.  How hard could it be to find a simple blouse with a collar and 3/4 or long sleeves and a solid deep royal blue color?  I had a whole week for heaven’s sake!
 
I prayed before each trip and often during my search.  I never lost hope that I would find the “perfect blouse.”  I was determined not to settle for less than what I was looking for. It was on the last day, Sunday, after church in about a 2 1/2 hour window after 3 days in 3 cities and 30 stores (that I can count), after driving around the Memorial City Mall for 30 minutes looking for a parking spot (did I mention that I really don’t like to shop?) and walking into the first store, that I SAW IT!  Five minutes in the store and I found it!  It was perfect, it fit great, and even though by this time I would have paid $500 for it, it was on sale!  I was so happy!  I was ready for Sherry to take my picture the next morning.
 
I picked them up last Friday, and I can’t wait to see their faces when I give them the framed portrait.
In the last week I have been pondering this story that I just related to you.  I went on my quest for the “PERFECT GIFT” with zeal, urgency, great desire, perseverance, hope, determination not to “settle”, and a willingness to pay any cost—–all for a blouse.
 
Today is Christmas.  This is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God Incarnate, “THE GREATEST GIFT” ever given.  I realized that I do not seek him with the same intensity that I sought a piece of clothing.  I spend time with him every morning, but mostly I don’t “hunger and thirst.”
 
Jesus came to redeem mankind, but He also came so that we could see His Father, God. In John 14:7-9, Jesus says, “If you really know me, you would know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”  Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”  Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?  Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
 
I have begun to seek to know Him with a renewed purpose and desire.  At all cost, with perseverance and determination, never settling for less than He has for me, I seek to become all that He created me to be and to know the fullness of joy that is found in an intimate relationship with Him.  Jesus is the gift “that keeps on giving” because He wants us to receive all the grace that He offers us.
May God bless you and your family in a very special way today.
 
In His love,
Vivian