I was moved this morning by a Facebook post from my cyber friend Jodi:
Tonight after little bro went to bed, Mary and I sat down to craft. We made these paper cones which we have no plan for. I had other things I could be doing. The point is this: in that hour and a half, with nothing to do but measure, cut and glue, she poured out all that is on her little ten-year-old heart to me. It was time that I long for on a daily basis with her in our daily rushing from here to there. The true gift of Christmas is TIME. I pray you also find time with your blessings this season!
Then Jodi’s response to comments on how touching her post was:
The older I get, the more I “get it.” It’s really not the gifts under the tree. They’re fun, but what they’ll remember is the time we spent with them.
She even thanked me for listening to her. Sweet baby girl melts my heart, I wish I could bubble wrap her and keep her safe with me every minute!
Time… arguably one of the greatest gifts.
Yet hard to give sometimes. Maybe because we don’t have much of it to give. With all the racing around, filled calendars, never-ending activities that pull us from one thing to the other – there seems precious little of it to share. In fact, we often have to “schedule” time. Which tends to make the gift feel forced, awkward. Because what do you talk about when you sit down to “talk” or “spend time together”? Especially if a child is involved. More so a tween/teen. Or a spouse that feels forgotten or like a welcome mat. Or a friend feeling invisible. A family member – unattended to, alone.
The gift of time. Always good. Best when spontaneous. Only able to be given from a life that has margin.
My friend Brad shared on Facebook a post from his friend Scott’s blog. I don’t know Scott. But his words are still sticking to my thoughts. Interesting that his account comes from an overheard conversation that occurred when two friends were sharing the gift together. Scott caught them in line at Starbucks, contemplating life – as one of them struggles fighting cancer for hers:
“All the fears a gal carries, all the advice folks give, all the plans a gal makes that don’t fit her life no more. It’s all noise,” confessed Miss Kitty. “It’s all noise a gal can’t block out no matter how hard she tries.”
The Buckeye took a sip of what smelled to be a pumpkin-flavored coffee, then wrapped her plump, rosy-red-clad arm around her pal. “Trust a fat lady and a friend when she tells ya, honey,” she whispered, “no matter what commotion life brings—and God knows it will—love is louder. Love is always louder.”
Love is the absolutely the greatest gift. Time, real time, seasoned with love, full of listening, peppered with laughter, occasioned with tears, just might be the second.
The question for me, as I’m gathering and wrapping presents, do I have margin for the gifts that really matter?
Thanks for walking the road with me.