Ever have a "moment"? I know you have. I had one this morning. And no, I didn't say movement. I know you've had one of those. Shut up.
I had a few minutes in the car with Oatmeal Head yesterday afternoon and he was in a mood, a good one. I love it when he is, since then he talks and talks. So he says to me, "God gives us Christmas gifts."
Okaaaay. Where was he going with this?
Me: Does this mean dad and I don't have to give you a Christmas gift? (pleasepleasepleaseplease) What the heck do you mean?
OH: Well, I was waiting to see if you and dad would give me what I really wanted for Christmas ...
Me: You mean you wanted us to read your mind and give you what you wanted?
OH: No. I wanted you to dig around and figure out what I wanted. But God knew what I wanted and gave it to me.
Me: 'Splain, son.
OH: Well, I wanted swords for Christmas ...
Me: You KNOW we weren't getting you weapons for Christmas ...
OH: And God knew and gave me swords. (See? He did. And He didn't consult me first.)
OH: I also wanted big band swing music, and God let Rachel's dad play it for me. (He was at a friend's for a group gathering and her dad has a huge record collection and was playing swing for Oatmeal Head. We have a CD collection of the stuff, but he never thought to ask. It's finding its way into his stocking.)
Me: Oh I see. So what you're saying is that we don't have to give you anything for Christmas.
Oh: Nooooooo ...
So I'm remembering the conversation this morning, smiling while I scrub pots and pans - what? you don't smile while you do dishes? - and it hits me. God gives us Christmas. I know, I know - we've all heard the story of God sending Jesus to us the first Christmas, and the magi bringing him the first Christmas gifts. Yes, I do mean that God gives us the gift of His Son, because I believe that He does. But it's more.
God gave me Christmas when Oatmeal Head told me his story yesterday. I saw that the things Hunny and I have been teaching him for 15 years are crystallizing, and that God's bringing it home in a tangible way.
God gave me Christmas when He motivated me to help a friend clean her house this week - seeing her face when we were done, the look of relief, was a huge gift to me - more than she'll ever know. I thrive on seeing people smile.
God gave me Christmas when He had Connie send me the Praying from the Heart book. Tears cleanse my soul, and her story made me cry. I don't cry often.
Thank you, son, for reminding me that God gives us gifts because He loves us, not because we deserve them. That the little, seemingly inconsequential things, are His gifts to let us know He loves us, is thinking of us all the time.
It's two weeks early, but Merry Christmas, everyone. Keep your eyes open for God's gifts to you, will ya?
Until I write again ...