One Thousand Gifts-Week 41

holy experience


We remembered Nicholas the Bishop of Myra this weekend. A man who so loved and found joy in secretly giving to the poor that after he died those who followed his example and gave in secret claimed it was he who was the giver. How appropriate then that this year the day to remember him falls during the love week of advent. Inspired by Beck's account of keeping this feast day from years past we did it as well this year in the way that works for us.  Our adopted daughter Hannah was able to come for the night and she studied while the kids and I baked molasses cookies and made apple cider. We wrapped the gifts the children purchased to give to Jesus for his birthday this year the night before and I told them about St. Nicholas, the real story.

I put a little something in their shoes the next day, only to ruin it entirely for the Girl because I couldn't pretend it was anyone other than I who had filled the shoe she left on the outside step. "But mommy." she asked as we were carting all of the gifts off to church to give to Bridge of Hope to distribute too refugee kids this year, "why did you fill them? Why didn't you wait to see if someone else would do it?" Then my heart cracked open a little to glimpse how much of a capacity my girl has in her for wonder.

"I must remember about wonder" I thought to myself. "I must find it again."

This list is part of that journey.

  • The Girl choosing the gift she most loved and wanted for herself to give away to another little girl
  • Hannah telling me that I'm the only one who has given her a gift that she really likes in as long as she can remember.
  • Aaron making dinner an event as only he can.
  • Everyone gathered together at the table, all my kids under one roof.
  • Little's long skinny legs sticking out from beneath her dress, clad in too short red and white striped tights.
  • Voices blending and harmonizing as we practice singing together.
  • Beema watching the kids on Saturday.
  • Sunlight making a flower on the table as it reflects off of a plant holder.
  • The Boy and Girl imagining together what would happen if they used his bird song book to call other birds.
  • So many people we like over to share a meal and some time together.
  • Little with her gauze wrapped, cracked open chin bouncing on the trampoline in her jammies the morning after her fall off the bench.
  • A gift to the Charis children's home from a donor and friend that blew me over with it's generosity.
  • A reader contacted me to donate 500! of these children's books he wrote to give to the kids at Bridge of Hope this Christmas and shipped them for free!
  • Long lazy Sunday afternoon naps snuggled next to Little
  • Advent hymns.
  • The Boy's slight lisp with his front teeth gone.
  • The exquisite beauty of her small face.
  • "For God so loved the world that he gave..."

The gratitude community is here @ a holy experience.

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