Yesterday was Mom’s 86th birthday. What an amazing lady! She has taught me so much and I love her with all my heart. Happy birthday again, Mom!!
Mom knows how to receive a gift. She sincerely oohhs and aahhs over every gift with great gusto.
For Mother’s Day one year, I bought her a plastic gardening hat. It had a flower on it and a bow and a huge brim to protect her skin from the Kansas sun. On that Mother’s Day, she loved the hat. She put it on, modeled it for all of us, and gave me the biggest hug and kiss. I was on cloud 9. I had given my Mom the best gift ever!!
We finished the Mother’s Day morning activities and then got ready for church. (Mother’s Day is always on a Sunday – remember?) Sunday mornings were special, but hectic, with seven of us in the house all dressing in our best clothes. As we gathered in the living room before heading out to the car, I looked at Mom. There she was, dressed in her finest, shining with a Mother’s Day corsage that Poppa had bought for her, and wearing that big, plastic gardening hat that I had given to her. I was embarrassed. Didn’t she understand that it was a gardening hat and not a Sunday church hat? She looked over at me and said, “Jill, I’m wearing your hat. It’s beautiful.” I replied, “Thanks, Mom. But, I don’t think that it’s a church hat.” She smiled, took off the hat, and said something about saving it for her gardening chores.
What I didn’t know until years later was that Mom wasn’t sure if I understood that my gift wasn’t appropriate for church. And, she didn’t want to offend me by not wearing it as soon as she had received it. Her plan was to look silly at church rather than making one of her kids feel bad. I still tear up a little when I think about that. I know what some of our not-too-good “church ladies” would have said or not said.
(Now, she didn’t always worry about us being embarrassed. Misbehave and Mom had a different strategy!)
Mom really knows how to receive a gift!
We should be thankful for every act of kindness that comes our way. Suck it up, Friend – it’s time to practice our game face for the “unusual” gifts we get this year. And, when you get that “unusual” gift, be sincere in praising the giver; you may make a memory that will last a lifetime.
And, as we begin this holiday season, may our gratitude increase and increase. For “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)