the gift thatkeepsgiving
What would you consider your favorite gift? Something that no matter who gave it to you, would never disappoint, but would bring a smile of joy and immediate gratification.

Your favorite gift is probably different from mine, because we all have different tastes in styles, fashion, desires and wishes. Trends change quickly, and something you want may be out of style before you ever even get it. Remember when Capris came out (or should I say were popular again)? The 1990’s. My mom used to say, “If you hold onto something long enough, it will come back in style again.” At that time in my life I had been married for about ten years or so, and life was difficult with two small children and never enough money. When this cute new style came out and everybody started wearing them, I wanted a pair. However, I never had any money leftover from week to week to buy them.

Do you ever feel left out?

I have many times. Whatever the new style or fashion is, the cute boots or scarf you covet, you never seem to be able to own it. You think, “If only I had some extra cash.” The oh so familiar words, “If only.” But time after time something else comes along to suck up your whole paycheck. You feel something is missing and you are the only one who is doing without.

I LOVE shopping. I really do. It is one of my favorite pastimes. But for years I wouldn’t go shopping. I would never go into the cute stores, because I never, and I mean never, had any extra money for myself. Nor…was I very fashionable. Most of the time it was more important to be able to buy my kids something new if the chance arose. But at times, it would have just been nice to do something for me.

Going through a time of financial hardship can bring out the ugly parts in us. We can get selfish, self-righteous, sarcastic, and spiteful, start getting angry and yell at those we love the most. We can blame all of our problems on our spouse and then crawl up into our own self-pity, becoming someone we don’t even like to live with.

As we approach a time of thankfulness and splurging for gifts we ought to be more intentional with our love, for not only our spouse and family, but for the Lord. The holidays can be stressful, draining not only our money, but our energy. Therefore, it is even more important during this time of the year to intentionally spend time with Jesus.

I don’t really have a favorite tangible gift. Do you? Don’t get me wrong; I love my stuff. Now that my kids are grown and I can actually shop, I love clothes, shoes, pocketbooks, jewelry and all the pretty things that are hanging on the hangers in the stores at the mall. I love redecorating my house and buying books I may never read. But, in the end, it is just stuff. It doesn’t do anything to complete me, and it only brings temporary happiness.

The real gift, the perfect and free gift, is what God gave each one of us when He sent Jesus on that very first Christmas. It is the gift that keeps giving love, freedom, peace, joy, and eternal life. Have you opened your heart and received it?

Material possessions get outdated, broken, worn out and old. Jesus however, is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is alive and new every morning. He refreshes our soul, fills us up and completes us. When we are broken, He heals us. When we are worn out, He makes all things new.

As we quickly draw near to the most beautiful time of the year and celebrate the most precious gift ever given, let’s be intentional and refrain from focusing on things that will be here today and old news tomorrow, meanwhile demonstrating our thankfulness and love for the One who continues giving the gift which never disappoints.

Tips for Demonstrating Thankfulness instead of Displaying Indulgence

1. Count your blessings, not your problems.
2. Thank God today and everyday for what you don’t want to live without tomorrow.
3. Pray and ask God to help you be more grateful.
4. Ask yourself when shopping, “Can I live without this?”
5. For everything you buy, give something away.

Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings to you for a Merry Christmas!

If you can relate with the post or have any additional tips, please leave me a comment. I would love to connect with you.

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brendamcgraw@yahoo.com'

About Brenda McGraw

Brenda McGraw is the founder of Ask God Today Ministries where a team of writers share hope and truth with others. She has a God-given dream to reach the masses with the gospel of Christ. Brenda is an author and speaker who reveals how to discover joy beyond the clutter of life. She draws from her own life experiences in the #1 Amazon Best seller,“Joy Beyond, 28 Days to Finding Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life”. She has two new books released. Finished, Top Ten Steps to Finish Writing a Book and Living Uncluttered, An Abundant Life Bible Study.

Brenda lives in South Carolina with her husband, Jeff and one of their five children. She is a survivor of breast cancer and a heart attack. Despite the challenges she has endured, Brenda found peace through her relationship with Jesus Christ.

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