I love giving gifts, and I like receiving gifts. Nothing extravagant, but as one of my best friends recently put it, just little things that show thoughtfulness. I am sure we can all agree that it's nice to be thought of.
This week for me was full of gifts, but not the kind of gifts you normally think of, as they did not come in material form. These gifts came in the form of people and events, but they are truly gifts nonetheless. I'd like to share a few with you...
My week began with a train ride back to Luoyang. When I arrived back at Maria's, as I walked down to the 4th floor kitchen, the first faces I saw were those of Caroline and Lulu. This was a needed gift.
I had the chance to talk with several friends from home, uninterrupted by technological glitches that come with talking to someone half way across the world. A lifting and encouraging gift.
Got news of some possible matches for some of our kids. A very hopeful gift.
One of the phone calls this week was from a dear friend who is expecting, but not in the way that I "expected"...they are adopting! A very exciting gift.
A trip to the flower market to replace Mikey's dead cactus...how do you kill a cactus? A giving gift.
Another phone call was from a friend telling me that she is coming to visit in February with another friend. I had (jokingly, of course) told her not to call me until she had a ticket to China...well, she has a ticket to China! An unexpected gift.
Got to kiss sweet Max. A memorable gift.
A video from my friends coming in December. A much anticipated gift.
As I sat in my room on Saturday morning and wrote these gifts down in my journal, I was truly overwhelmed by the goodness of my Father. Not only has be abundantly provided the things that I need, but He has graciously continued to give gift after gift. Not because He has to, but because He desires to. This is something that I have really struggled accepting, that He desires to bless His children. Actually, I struggle accepting that He desires to bless me. I know He does bless me, but sometimes I forget that it's because He desires to. By bless I don't mean that health and wealth stuff, because I know following Him often means pain and suffering; it's not always happiness and comfort. But I do mean that no matter "where" we find ourselves, our heavenly Father knows and He loves us enough to give us the things that are best for us. The gifts that are best for us.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17