I’m so proud of my kids’ gifts to one another this past Christmas. It shows what they value most as they thoughtfully picked out treasures that will last a lifetime. The kind of gifts that are hard to find and take an effort to give. The gifts of time together. Our daughter gave her husband a date-night a month for the year. Our son delighted his wife with tickets to a show she didn’t even know was coming to town. The guys took the older kids to see the monster truck show and the girls did pedicures together. Both families are busy parents; both had babies born last year. Time is a precious commodity in their lives. I’m grateful they enjoy spending it together, making memories.
I believe we make time for what’s important to us. Creating memories with those we love has value beyond the moment of opening a new trinket. Not that trinkets aren’t fun. I can walk throughout my house and enjoy special things, remembering the giver and the occasion. I appreciate those, too; some from childhood or our wedding! And I certainly enjoy a new watch for my collection! It’s a different gift of time – which in truth doesn’t serve my memory bank as well as those priceless moments when I’ve taken a family trip or given a listening ear to a friend.
What we spend our time on is what we value most. There have been days filled with so many ‘to-do’ lists that giving a helping hand or slowing down enough to let someone else go first in that waiting line seems impossible. I get that. The seasons where we are pouring into a career or education or raising a family leave a rare moment to ourselves, much less energy to give to another.
Time, however, can’t be gotten back or collected. Relationships can’t be microwaved. One lifetime. What is it that will outlive us? As a grandparent, I love to give the ‘aha moment’ gifts! I also treasure the hours together that let friends and family know I value them. But giving time to help someone who can give nothing in return gives me a pretty good reading on my heart. And it tends to draw me to the heart of God, who has freely given us all things including His only Son. A precious gift that shows the depth of His love and value for me and all of humanity. One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is time with that God who created us, knows us and loves us.
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