The Content or the Care?


You know the old line parents use with kids so often when occasions arise for gift receiving?  You know, when Aunt Martha* gives you thermal underwear or Uncle Mike* wool socks?  Parents say, “It’s the thought that counts”!  To which kids reply silently in their heads with an eye roll, “Yeah, right”!

We tell our children these type things because one, our parents used the same line with us and two, we don’t want the gift giver to be embarrassed.  Aunt Martha and Uncle Mike did care enough they wanted to give something and and most likely a lot of love comes with the not-so-great gift.

Sometimes it’s not that the gift isn’t what our children, or us, want, it’s just a failure to understand the complete cost and caring that went into a gift.  This morning I spent four hours outside in 90° heat cleaning and painting furniture for part of our daughter’s birthday present.  She asked for a bedroom makeover and our family is coming together to make it happen in one day on Saturday.  For that to happen then some things must be done ahead, like the furniture.

It hurts me to know, that despite our best efforts our daughter will not recognize the true value and cost of this gift.  She won’t see these four hours I have just spent or the next two I need to finish.  She’ll miss the effort our family makes to make this happen for her, the customized loft bed, the pink walls with red swirls and hearts handpainted on, washing the walls before painting, taping off, the trip to the home improvement store and the antique store.  Why?  Because she will be turning 12 & she sees with the eyes of a child still. 

As painful as it is to recognize the work we as her parents still have to do to turn her view toward God more and others, I am halted in my pity party by the knowledge I do the very same thing with God.  Do you?

God takes the time, makes the effort, invests His energy into creating our world and do I notice?  How many sunrises do I take for granted or moan about because I am not a morning person?  God blesses me with a place to live, to call our own, where we can paint pink walls if we want.  Have I thanked Him for this today?  Although it drained me physically to do the work I did to prepare and paint our daughter’s furniture I have grumbled to myself that she won’t appreciate the investment I made in sweat, work and pain; have I thanked God He got me through it?  How painful is it to God that I fail to see the true value of His gifts to me?

Is it the content of the gift or the caring that went into the giving we need to daily remember in our walk with Christ?  Ouch!!  I have been blogging about wanting to be less so Christ can be greater and is this not one way I can?  By seriously thinking about the day-to-day authorship of my life by the I Am then the praise, honor and glory go to Him, not me.  When He shines through me, and you, He is greater, we are less.

Considering the caring,

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