'tis the season to receive

Tomorrow is Christmas. Which means today is my mom's birthday! If ever there were a person who was more gracious about having a birthday on the busiest day of the year, it is my mom. Her gifts are usually wrapped in Christmas paper…if we remembered to grab her a birthday gift, that is. And she has spent the last 30 plus birthdays busy making her daughters' Christmases wonderful. I know you're probably busy today too, but take a second and go to her facebook page  and wish her an extra special, personalized happy birthday letting her know why she is so great! Happy birthday, Mom! 

If you're like me, you've probably already received a few presents, and you've prepared to give presents too. I think that we can learn a lot from this practice-- and not just the giving. 

What?! Heresy! I know. But it's just that I've been thinking. I really do enjoy finding thoughtful gifts for people, and receiving gifts isn't too painful either. UNLESS I receive a gift from someone whom I have not purchased a gift for. Then what do I do?

I panic. I feel like I need to rush and get them something. The whole "system" has been thrown out of whack!

But what should I do?

Receive graciously.
Receive thankfully.
Receive without worry about what they will think when they leave empty handed.

What is so hard about that? I feel like I perpetually owe the person because of their generosity. I feel like I need to keep track because I assume they are probably keeping track.

But you know what Mary and Joseph and the rest of the world did on that first Christmas night when they laid Jesus in the hay? They received. [After giving birth twice, I do realize Mary gave a bit too, but let's look at the bigger picture]. 

And then Jesus went to the temple as a young boy and others gathered around him and listened to him? They received. 

And when Jesus was walking through a crowd and the woman who had been bleeding for years reached out and touched his robe? She received. 

And when Jesus hung on the cross and gave His life for ours? He did that so we could receive. 

Some of the most generous, best gift-givers I know are excellent receivers. I am always paranoid about what to get them because they give the perfect gift, the thoughtful gift, the generous gift. But I have found that those that are generous know how to receive well. I could give them a lock of my hair and they would act like they just won the lottery. Why? Because through all of their giving they know that there is great joy in watching someone receive well. 


Let's receive well this Christmas.

Merry Christmas!
If you missed our Christmas letter in the mail, it's because 
there wasn't one: CLICK HERE to read it :) 

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