I know it is so 2013 to talk about Christmas gifts right now, but I'm a rebel -
so I'm gonna do it. And you're going to like it! Yes, you are.
Christmas as an adult seems to be more predictable? The traditions, routines,
gift planning, feasting, etc. all have a familiar hum; it's natural, cozy, and warm.
Like that feeling you get when recalling fond childhood memories -
nostalgic butterflies in your heart! Blessed time of year.
I was given so many wonderful gifts this past Christmas,
but there was one gift that I did not expect or see coming.
My 19 year old brother - God bless him. The heart of a child.
So simple, so easily delighted - he has the best laugh. It's that deep-belly
cackling, can't catch your breath, "oh man", roll off your seat kind of laugh.
I love him a lot.
I unwrapped a box. A beautiful, decorative box. Filled with index cards.
Smiling, intrigued by the mystery - I looked to him with the question on my face,
"What... what is this, buddy?"
He proceeded to tell me that while at a retreat he heard someone share about a prayer box.
You write down the happy things, the heavy requests, the trying questions, the everyday blessings
on those index cards, place them in the box, and leave it for God to take care of.
Tears filled me eyes. I choked out a "thank you" - trying to tell him without
bursting into tears that THIS was the gift I needed most at this time in my life.
It's so easy to add up the needs, desires, requests, the petitions and burdens of ourselves
and others - and carry them around on our OWN HEARTS. So heavy - weighing down a torrential
downpour of anxiety, fear, and need to fix matters on our own.
Or maybe that's just me. I humbly confess - I try to be strong and play "God" all the time.
Which is ironic because one of my favorite things to say is, "Well, I'm not Jesus."
The box is slowly collecting the little things that I have the hardest time surrendering
to God. Seems silly, but it totally has an effect on me... writing, folding, opening the lid,
shutting the lid, walking away... it's done. God has it.