YOU GET an unexpected gift.
** What do you do? What do you say?
** Do you value it? Do you think little of it because it cost YOU nothing?
**What if you like it? What if you don’t like it?
**What if you don’t want it? What if you treasure it?
**What if you aren’t ready for it? What if you are ready for it and you know it is something others have been praying for?
**Does the gift, any gift, make you feel loved (it is your love language)? What if gifts don’t mean much to you?
But, nonetheless, YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A GIFT. How do you react, and what do you say and do?
YOU GIVE an expected or unexpected gift.
**You stretch out your hands and place your gift in the receiver’s hands and they don’t even say, “Thank you.”
** You give a gift and the person thanks you and tell you how much they appreciate it!
**You give someone a gift and the person walks away from it as if it is nothing.
**You give someone a gift and you see it is not cared for. It is misused, broken, or never used or appreciated.
**You give a gift and the light in the person’s eyes makes your sacrifice of time, money, and resources worth it and more!
**You give a gift and learn it is given away to someone else.
But, nonetheless, YOU HAVE GIVEN A GIFT. Do you give a gift with expectations, or do you give expecting nothing, not even expecting a “Thank you” in return?
I have been told I am a great giver. I don’t know about great, but that is what I have been told. All I do is reflect on the person or family and think about what is important to them– hopes, dreams, challenges, needs, what they have said, and what has made their eyes sparkle. I can’t say I give the correct gift 100% of the time because it is a process of learning the gift recipient and I am sure someone could rise and say I got it wrong. But, the feedback is that I get it right, many times.
Through it all, I’ve also learned NOT to give a gift ( a tangible, wrapped gift).
Once, it was on my heart to extend a token of appreciation to a group. It was a big group! And, I was broke! People didn’t know my financial state and I didn’t care to explain it or use it as excuse not to extend something to them. I was determined to find something to let them know I was thinking about them.
I do believe gifts should cost us something, but I do not believe it is necessary or wise to go into deep debt every time we give a gift. My situation at the time was that I was stretched to the limit! Beyond limit! So I searched for options and found something that was cute and useful– a little box that could hold trinkets or personal items for one’s desk or home! Perfect!
I was delighted as I passed out the little boxes and said, “It is just a little something….” For some of us, giving a gift feels like dishing out love! And this proved the perfect balance for me—take care of my personal obligations (bills and food) and express appreciation for others! Perfect balance! Perfect gift!
Or, so I thought, until…
I overheard someone belittle what I had given. And the boastful and proud pronouncement of their distaste with my selection and effort caught me off guard. My feelings hurt briefly until I realized I had given my best. And then I thought…
WHO DOES THAT?
WHO HAS THAT KIND OF HEART?
WHO WOULD DARE SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT A GIFT—AN EXTENSION OF SOMEONE’S TIME, MONEY, RESOURCES, AND THOUGHTS FOR ANOTHER?
The answer came to me.
We all do.
God gives us gifts each day. And we forget to say, “Thank you!”
We give gifts to each other and sometimes they aren’t seen as gifts, or seen as gifts and are not appreciated or liked or wanted.
The truth is: A gift is someone stopping for a moment or moments in the course of their life to extend something to YOU! No matter whether you like it or not! Think of kindness; it is a most beautiful gift! Don’t we all hope for more of that?!
How we receive gifts, and how we give gifts tells people about us– our thoughtfulness, thankfulness, expectations, and more! And how we give gifts and receive gifts affects our RELATIONSHIPS!
How did you feel about the relationship with someone when they did not say thank you for a gift you sacrificed your time, money, or resources to give them? There are many more examples of how gifts affect relationships. I’m sure you can name a few!
BUT LET US FOCUS ON WHAT WE CAN DO?
IF YOU WANT TO GIVE A GOOD GIFT: Take note of what people say in everyday conversation, or ASK your loved ones and friends what they want and what makes them feel loved and appreciated. That is how you give a good gift to them.
IF YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T FIGURED OUT WHAT A GOOD GIFT IS TO YOU: When they ask what you want, or when there is a convenient time, TELL the people in your life what you want and what makes you feel love and appreciated. That helps them give a good gift to you. (We have to remember finances when we communicate wants!)
Let’s cease the hope of good mind readers in our life and simply communicate with spoken words!
Gifts are NOT guaranteed. It is wise to be thankful for them! We HOPE our gifts are received with thankful hearts, but ask God about that. Soon many will celebrate the greatest gift to mankind, and many still reject him—the Savior of the world, born as a child, Jesus Christ.
With the year winding down, I have written this as a gift from me to you!
The gift I want and hope for you is a little more, of a little “big” thing, called love! ~Nisti K