The important gift

View from Hickory Heights

In our lifetime we receive many gifts, but none as important as the gift of life. Our mothers gave us the ultimate gift. Whether we were conceived in love or otherwise, our mothers went through nine months of preparation for our birth.

When you are pregnant you do not really think about the gift that is developing. It becomes the most important part of you. It is something precious.

Each morning as I awake, I am reminded of the gift of the day promised by God. I open my day with prayer and close it the same way. Hopefully the happenings of the day are good memories.

When I think about gifts, they are something that is good. Some gifts are more memorable than others. I often received gifts of jewelry from my husband. I know that he lovingly picked out every one of them. He told me that one time another man was looking at sapphire-stoned jewelry while he was looking at it. He almost bought one set, but decided on the set with a heart necklace – because that showed his love for me. It is a beautiful set with earrings to match – with sentiment that I cherish.

For Christmas we give and receive gifts. In my more than 75 years I have received many memorable gifts. One Christmas I received a cedar chest. Although I had gone to help pick it out, I did not know that my future husband purchased it. It was sitting in his parents’ living room on Christmas Day.

I remember the Christmas we gave the children their bicycles. Dick brought the children home from the barn then went back to get the bicycles.

It did not matter to the children that the bicycles were second hand. They were just pleased to get them so they could ride them to the barn. They would ride the bicycles to the barn then put them into the truck for the ride home.

There is a very large hill between the house and the barn.

I have been just as happy giving things I thought others would like as I was receiving things that I liked. Gifts are supposed to make people happy.

One Christmas we shopped in Buffalo. I had saved money through a Christmas Club so I could buy my family gifts. I found a pin for Grandma, but it was more expensive that I could afford. If I bought it, I would have to scrimp on someone else’s gift. Oh, but I loved that pin with the iridescent stones! In the end I bought the pin. My Grandmother wore it pinned to the collar of her winter coat. She received numerous compliments on it. Today I have the pin and wear it on my coat as well.

There are also natural gifts such as the gift of rain, sunshine, and even snow. The tides, the glow of the moon, the birds that wake me up each morning, and the animals that populate the earth. The Lord knows that we need them all.

Then, there is kindness. It is a gift we give to others. It does not cost a thing, but it is worth more than gold. Who can forget the person who is always kind?

Kindness is one of the “Fruits of the Spirit.” We do well if we heed these gifts and the other gifts of the spirit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

When I took my test about spiritual gifts it turned out that I was a servant. I guess that is probably true. I also was a teacher – my profession was just meant to be. It turned out that I was also a nurturer. Mothers are like that.

I was fortunate to be born into a loving family. My mother always had my best interests at heart. My grandfather took the place of the father who left before I turned 2.

I will not say that I did not miss his influence in my life, but that was a choice he made. He chose to turn his back on me. I forgive him.

In my reading I found something to share. I am paraphrasing here so it is not a quote. It said – Love is a gift – it is a choice we make. Remember when you say I love you that you are giving the gift of love.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.


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