The Gift

8 01 2014

Christmas Eve was difficult. For the first time in eight years, I was ill and unable to join our worship team for the Candle-lighting Ceremony. I popped in long enough to hear my granddaughter sing in the flash mob, and then came home.

As I drove along, I began to talk to the Lord about Christmas and my desire to give Him a gift. The way I saw it, the only thing I could give Him that He had not first given me was my heart. The chorus to the song  “You Are Good” ran through my head:

“How can I thank You? What can I bring?

“What can these poor hands lay at the feet of the King?

“I’ll sing You a love song – it’s all that I have

“To tell You I’m grateful for holding my life in Your hands

“You are holding my life in Your hands.”

As I looked at my heart, though, I realized that it was filled with dirt and grime…envy, jealousy, unforgiveness, and a host of other ills. It broke my heart to offer such a piece of rubbish to the King of kings – but I had nothing else to offer Him that was truly mine to give. With tears streaming down my face, I lifted my hands as if my heart were there and offered it up to Him, and apologized for its miserable condition.

 The next day, my daughter and her family stopped by. With a look of joyous expectation, she handed me a small, wrapped package.

“This is for you. I believe you are meant to have it.”

Wondering what the package contained, I opened it. Within was a small jewelry box.

I was filled with horror when I opened it and found my mother’s wedding ring nestled inside.

“I don’t want this. It means nothing to me,” I said sharply as I plopped the box on the dining room table.

Tears welled up in her eyes. “Mom, I really believe you are supposed to have the ring,” she said.

I left the box where I’d set it and changed the subject.

Now, this surely seems like a bizarre reaction to a lovely gift. At any other time, it would be. There is history behind my rude behavior, though.

When my mom moved to heaven, my dad basically disinherited me. He’d had very little love for my mom – mostly used her to support himself. Her wedding rings were given away to others, leaving me without a “daughter’s” honor in this and every other way. It’s hard to describe, and I don’t wish to go into details to help you understand!

For the last eight years I’ve been passed over, put down, and pushed out, so when God began to speak the word, “Chosen” to me, it stirred my heart and brought healing.

This single word has been swirling around me like a gentle breeze, softly lighting in my heart.

On Christmas Day, it finally hit home. 

God said, “This is not a wedding ring you’ve been given. It’s a daughter’s ring, for you are Mine. No one can ever take that from you. This ring is a gift from Me, not just from your daughter. I want you to know how much I love you.”

Whooee! When the Lord wants us to understand something, He certainly has a way of getting through…if we have the ears to hear His voice.

Are you listening to Him? He has such wonderful words of love for you as well. Pay close attention, for He is drawing His own to Himself as never before!

Oh, how our Father loves you and me!

PS – it’s not about the “bling” God chose to give me, either. That was just His way of cementing the truths He’d been speaking to me all month. He has many, many ways of showing us how much He loves us. Often, it’s in the form of heart-shaped rocks, hummingbirds, or a beautiful sunset. Don’t miss the little things. Mmm. The word “chosen” spoke volumes more than the little ring I now wear on my finger.

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37 responses

28 01 2014
sagescenery

I love this post…welcome back!! Been crazy, good busy here, too!! Haven’t crossed enough stuff off my to-do list to blog much either! Funny you should mention heart-shaped rocks…I remember collecting them wherever I walked, right before I had my son, 23 years ago…I also felt God was trying to tell me something important!! What a gift of love He sent me from above!!

28 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

He is so good to us, isn’t He? 🙂

\o/

29 01 2014
sagescenery

Amen!!

Planning a drama team trip to St. Petersburg at the end of March, to attend, and minister with, two dramas at a “Dive In” Worship & Fine Arts Conference! The worship pastor leading it, Rick Giannico, was the one leading worship at our minister’s conference in Bradenton, 2 weeks ago!! We’re so excited to worship the Lord, and see what He’s going to do!!!

29 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

That sounds fun! Have a wonder-filled time. 🙂

\o/

13 01 2014
tannngl

That brought me to tears. What a wonderful sign and message from God. It’s just amazing.
You’ve lost 9 this year. I have only lost mom. My heart is still broken but I have had 2 people, maybe 3, tell me God has something special for me now. Gotta keep my eyes, ears, open!

13 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Let me add my voice to theirs. When my mom moved to heaven, it was the single most life-changing event of my life. Something about having Mom leave causes us to grow in ways we never dreamed of!

I miss my mom very much, but see that there were things in me that the Lord could not accomplish while she was here.For one thing, we learn to depend on Him more without our mom as our automatic “go-to” person!

Hang in there. It’s rough for the first year or two, but the pain does diminish in time.

Big hugs for you – and don’t forget, the Lord has not left us orphans. We’re His daughters, first and foremost. 🙂

\o/

10 01 2014
dianarasmussen

You amaze me girl. Despite all the December Drama you praise His Name. You are such a bright light Tami. May you be overcome with the joy of the Lord and find yourself laughing uncontrollably in Jesus Name! 😀 😀 😀

10 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

That would be a welcomed change, for sure!

Last year was a rough one. There were nine friends/family members who left earth – thankfully nearly all moved to heaven. There are a couple of which we are not certain.

God has promised a “new thing” for the upcoming year. I can’t wait to see what He has in store.

\o/

9 01 2014
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

Lovely. Soul. Yours.

So glad to know you are always searching out His heart.

This was just beautiful to read.
Hugs!

9 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Heather. May 2014 be a boring year for you and your hubby – from a medical/accident point of view! May it be wonder-full in every other way!

\o/

9 01 2014
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

Oh thank you dear friend!! We need boring that way. 😉
2013 was good – buying the house after the tragedies – restoration! But it was awful in other ways. I sure hope 2014 is better for all 3 of us in this house.
I hope your 2014 is superbly blessed! Thanks for all of your encouragement and great blog posts!!

9 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

9 01 2014
tinabrenee

You sure got “served”! Wow! Thanks for sharing, as I am smack dab in the center of a journey relating to my parents. This was a timely read for me.

9 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Tina, I’m so glad to be on time for you! Isn’t God good like that? May the Lord give you peace as you journey with your parents. Family issues can sure be sticky!

\o/

9 01 2014
Timothy Murray

Hey there, I’m glad to see you back up and blogging! Great message too!

9 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Tim. It’s good to be back. I’ve missed everyone!

\o/

9 01 2014
Kathleen

Isn’t it amazing the community He gives us even through blogging? I love reading everyone’s “welcome back” and “we’ve missed you!” It’s true we all look forward to what God is teaching you and how you share it with us. Today I came across this and you instantly came to mind in regards to this post of yours, thought I would pass it on:
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is In Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you… and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. Is 62:3-4,5b.
While written to Israel, I always look at it personally too- as we are God’s chosen. Blessings to you- My Delight Is In Her!

9 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Kathleen. This is indeed His message to me – to us all. You’ll have to read my next post: Misfit. You’ll discover how timely your comments are. I appreciate and love you!

\o/

9 01 2014
StephenWhoElse

Well well, looks like it is almost back to regular programming on this channel 🙂 Glad to have you back and about your Christmas – I beg to differ. It doesn’t sound that bad at all! Any Christmas where you have an encounter with God has got to be a GREAT Christmas 🙂

Bless you!

9 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Stephen. December was insane…and for once not because of being over-committed!

This one was one of the best Christmases I’ve had in a long time, actually. This particular encounter was only the first. The next one brought a huge change in direction.

The day after Christmas, He called us to leave the congregation we’ve been with for 14 years. We’re not sure where we will land, but He made it clear that we were to go. This is going to be one exciting year!

Blogging will be by fits and starts for the next week or two, but I hope to be back in the saddle again by the end of the month. It’s good to “see” everyone again. 🙂

\o/

8 01 2014
vonhonnauldt

Glad to have you back! I was a little concerned. Thanks for this post. I come from a broken home myself. God’s best to you in ’14.

8 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

I’m nearly “back.” I’ve been cramming my head full of music theory…two years worth of info in just under two months. Praise the Lord who gave me the ability to understand all I studied. My piano teacher is astonished!

Can’t wait to see what the Lord has in mind.

Also, tomorrow will be the third funeral in the last month – total tally for the last year is 9. Man, will people quit dying for a bit? We’re getting kind of punch drunk. Three were family members, the rest dear friends.

We’ve also spent time seeking the Lord concerning the church we’ve attended for the last 14 years. He seemed to be telling us it was time to leave…but we don’t know yet where we will land. Our home group continues to meet on Monday nights, and potluck/fellowship/game night continues on Fridays – so we’re not completely out of the loop. We’re not leaving the faith, just our congregation.

That’s a bunch on one’s plate…especially when you throw in the holidays and all that takes place in December. That’s why I’ve been absent. I hope to be back on a regular schedule by next week.

Thanks for caring! 🙂

\o/

8 01 2014
Heidi Viars

singing it now 🙂 thank you for trusting us with your story … what a treasure it is to see how God is working!

8 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Isn’t that a great song? I wish I knew who sang the song…I’d post the U-Tube link. 😉

\o/

8 01 2014
Heidi Viars

Yes, it’s a great hymn! Kurt Kaiser wrote it … There is a version of Vanessa Williams performing it on You Tube …

8 01 2014
teri4sure

I love how God makes things so clear! It’s not necessarily pleasant, but it’s such a great thing when I realize He is at work in my heart – chipping away, changing and restoring a damaged heart. What a physician. The neat thing is – God is faithful. His Word is something we can ALL count on. It’s so hard to comprehend his love, but I do believe in it. Thank you for sharing.

8 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

He’s the best, most patient Teacher ever! Have a blessed day. 🙂

\o/

8 01 2014
Mel Wild

A “daughters ring” given from a daughter for a daughter. Basically, God speaks to His beloved daughter through her daughter. How wonderfully symbolic and full of God! Thanks for sharing this. God sure knows how to bring healing to deep hurts.

I personally know what it’s like to be disinherited through my parent’s divorce. Very hurtful, but it’s good that we have such a greater inheritance from our heavenly Father that will never be taken away. 🙂

Also praying for your full physical recovery. Blessings.

8 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

God’s fingerprints were all over the gift, for sure. How thankful I am that the Lord is true to His word and will not leave us as orphans.

Thanks for the prayers, too. I appreciate that. 🙂

\o/

8 01 2014
Susan Irene Fox

Sometimes it is so difficult for us to receive, especially those of us who are used to giving. Receiving gifts or compliments can be awkward and uncomfortable. We each need to understand, way down deep in our core, that God made us, molded us, sculpted us into the unique and precious vessel that stands before Him today. Whether ornate or unadorned, we are each a precious, beautiful and cherished daughter or son. It is His joy to love us, comfort us, and remind us that we are His inheritance, and He is waiting to walk with us again in the New Jerusalem.

8 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Amen! How I long for that day. 🙂

\o/

8 01 2014
Cry and Howl

I surely don’t want to intrude on your blog, I just wanted to stop by and say I admire your stand and faith in Christ.

8 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Intrude away…it’s all in the family! 🙂

\o/

8 01 2014
TeachX3

“Pay close attention, for He is drawing His own to Himself as never before!” … AMEN! Hope you are on the mend and feeling better now, sister…

8 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Doing great! We’re in a brand new season…don’t know where the Lord is leading us, but it’s going to be amazing…just like Him! 🙂

\o/

8 01 2014
Kari Anne Dorstad

So sorry you were sick on Christmas eve. Thank you for sharing your bitter sweet story and how God spoke to your heart.

8 01 2014
lessonsbyheart

Isn’t He awesome?

\o/

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