The Passing Out Gift

IMG_1647Christmas is a time that stirs memories, good and bad, happy and sad. We all have our favorite Christmas movies, songs, traditions, stories, memories, and deep feelings connected to this season. We, as mothers, desire to build precious memories for our children that they will always link to the years they spent growing up in our homes. We have stories of our Christmas years past, and we want our kids to build on those stories and write new stories of their own. We give gifts that you can’t buy in a store.

What is the greatest Christmas gift you have ever received? That question has been asked year after year a million times over — and it will be asked again this year by people who have never asked that question before. A couple’s first Christmas together. A new baby’s first Christmas. A new place. A lost love … the first Christmas to face without them.

New and old, stories make up the tapestry of our lives. It isn’t until the tapestry is complete that we see the full picture. A weaving of our lives with people we never knew existed. Places we didn’t foresee going to. I have always believed that, if I will let Him, God will give me blessings in ways I wouldn’t have even thought of to give myself.   I could never have given myself the life I now live. I would have messed it up. I have absolutely trusted the fact that God has a plan for me — an incredible future and hope…just as He does for you. Such a gift.

The greatest Christmas gift I’ve ever received? This question is an easy one for me, because Christmas night 1981 Bill proposed to me under the Christmas tree in the Kentucky house where he grew up. That year was life changing, marking the beginning of a new era. It was the night the first of the four children of this home would extend an invitation to another to join them in life. For me, it was an invitation to share his story for the rest of our journey, he extended his hand to take my hand to walk in the shadowlands. To be his wife, to be the mother of his children, to join him in our calling to follow Jesus, to share his rich heritage. The unknown walk of faith together is thrilling and terrifying at the same time, hoping that the thrilling will outweigh the terrifying.

A box. A gift. A ring. A lifetime. He knew the answer before he asked … and I knew the answer within minutes of looking into his eyes. “There you are!” “I didn’t know it would be you but I’m so glad it was.” What a gift!

When I was growing up, in our family we had what we called a “Passing out gift”. It doesn’t happen every year, necessarily and you certainly can’t orchestrate it. It is the ultimate gift that you didn’t expect or even imagine would happen. Nothing tops it!   One year my Mom secretly had my Dad’s old trunk restored. This is the same trunk my dad had knelt beside with his mother when he was just a boy to ask Jesus to save his soul. The gift you wouldn’t even of known you needed or wanted. A gift you would never be able to give yourself. The passing out gift!! The best gift ever…

The greatest gift given — Jesus gave us the gift of salvation! The best ever! It’s the passing out gift! This greatest gift cost God his only son.                HE IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE, OUR PASSING OUT GIFT.                              Give someone a passing out gift this year- share Jesus.

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Just Jesus,

Sheri Langley

 

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Author: sherilangley

Loving Jesus and clinging to him for dear life. Living and serving in Kentucky with my Bill at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. www.svbc.cc ministering to women and families in our community. * just trying to be a blessing to the people I cross paths with along the journey. I'm a writer, photography lover, unconventional thinker, dreamer, wife, mother, grandmother, pastor's wife, traveler, teacher, speaker, DIYer, bargain shopper...love to reclaim and repurpose everything, just as God did for me. Blessed to be a blessing. Just Jesus!

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