I am notorious in my family for wanting to share the contents of presents that I have bought long before the present is to be opened.  The joy I get in presents is being able to pick them out and having the person discover the “perfect” gift that I have chosen. 

My husband, however, delights in the actual opening of the present. He thrives on the surprise.  Often I will buy myself several Christmas presents, wrap them up and say they are from him.  He’s always so surprised!

For me, it isn’t the opening, but the story behind the gift. What was the person thinking when she chose this red turtleneck for me?  Why was he certain I would love that old book found in the antique store? How did they know I loved that Thomas Kincaid print? (Those are all hints for any of you who feel inclined to buy me a present)

I’m a bit odd in the gift department.  I would rather not have a gift if the person were simply going to walk around Wal Mart until they find something they can give me.  I would prefer to get a gift in the middle of May that says, “I was thinking of you when I saw this gift and I just HAD to get it for you.

My best friend, Debi, is very similar to me.  We were walking around Kohl’s the other day, looking for items we could buy for people.  She needed a new head covering to wear to a special party with her husband.  As she looked at head-coverings, I spied a little black hat with a flower on it.  I put the hat on and said to her, “So what do you think of my head-covering?” 

She looked at me and informed me that I could not leave the store without buying the hat.  She said, “Anything that cute on you has to be purchased.”  She then added, “If you won’t buy it, then I will buy it for you and give it to you for Christmas.” 

I knew that my friend had been having a not so easy time of it financially, so I agreed that she could give it to me for Christmas, but I would pay for it.  I took my purchases to the desk, paid for my hat, and thanked my friend for the wonderful gift she gave me.
 
Recently the Lord has given me several gifts.  He just allowed other people to purchase them for him.

I must digress for just a moment, but I’m sure you’ll understand when I finally do get back to the story at hand. Last year I chose a theme for my life.  The theme I chose is “love.”  Always having preconceived notions of how God is going to work in my life, I figured that He was going to show me how to love others.  I knew that I failed miserably in that area and was certain the Lord would help me learn to love others.  Instead He chose to show me how much He loves me.

I went to a speaking engagement in North Carolina.  After a couple of hours of sleep, I had to arise to prepare for my workshop.  When I looked in the mirror I thought to myself, “Oh dear!  I look dreadful!”  Then a thought came to my mind that was totally out of the ordinary for me.  I decided that it would have been nice if I had a little gold necklace around my neck.  I guess I must have figured it would take the audience’s eyes off my ragged face.  I finished getting dressed and went into the home of my hostess.  Shortly after going into her house she produced a package for me.  I knew instantly when I saw the long narrow box that it was the exact necklace that I “needed.”

I gave the pretense of not knowing what the present was.  Actually I couldn’t believe that God bought ME a present.  But He did.  He just used a dear woman who prayed about a gift for me, to give me just what He wanted to put into my heart.

Not long after that I was driving in my car fretting about my business.  I was fretting that I wouldn’t have enough money for expenses that were coming up soon.  The Lord said to me, “What are you doing?  Give it to me!”  So I did.  Because when God reminds you of your sin, the best thing to do is quickly stop sinning.