Amy Baena is a key leader in Middle School. She has served faithfully for over 5 years in many many roles: ReFuel Leader, Schedule Coordinator, Curriculum writer (oh yeah – amazing!), Special Events guru and goodies fairy, Large Group leader, and more that I am sure I am forgetting. In real life, she is a Senior Business Analyst with the Department of Defense, married to Steve and mom to two amazing boys Mikey and Brett. If you haven’t had a chance to get to know Amy, you really should!
Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year.
The traditions, family time, and good will towards men have always held a certain magic for me. Some of my most treasured Christmas memories include helping my grandmother bake Christmas cookies in her warm, old fashioned kitchen, or listening to my Dad’s strong, deep voice read the Biblical account of Christ’s birth before we were even allowed to open one present on Christmas morning.
Of course as a little girl, most of the excitement came from receiving gifts. I would spend weeks picking out my items for my wish list, and have even been known to snoop in my Mom’s closet to see what she bought me. As I’ve grown older, Christmas gifts still hold magic for me, but for a different reason.
Now, I love to GIVE the gifts instead of receive.
One of my languages of love, or the way I express my love for others, is by giving gifts. With each gift giving opportunity, I rack my brain to think of just the perfect gift for each person on my list. Of course each present that I give can’t be THE PERFECT GIFT, but on those occasions that inspiration hits and I think of exactly the right gift, I get just as excited as I ever did as a kid. I can spend months planning the right gift, no amount of effort or sacrifice is too great once I decide what I am going to give. I relish with great anticipation how they will react when they unwrap the fruits of my labor. And most times, the perfect gift is not one that they have asked for.
Usually the perfect gift, as least to me, is one that shows that I know what they need or treasure most because I know them so well.
This year’s “perfect gift” is going to my Dad and he has no idea!! I’m talking he will probably shed a couple of tears, this gift is so awesome! (SHHHHH, it’s a surprise…so if you find yourself in small town WV before Christmas and run into him, please don’t tell!!)
So this week as I was reading my list and checking it twice, I found myself anticipating how my Dad will react when he gets my present. And I began to wonder if God felt the same way that very first Christmas Eve so many years ago.
I wonder if he looked down at the people that he loved so dearly and eagerly anticipated the arrival of His perfect gift to us.
The gift that we never asked for, because we didn’t even know we needed it….the only gift that so perfectly showcased His absolute love and adoration for us, his people. In the hustle and bustle of the season, I hope you take a minute to reflect on the sacrifice that God made to present us with the MOST PERFECT GIFT EVER!