I enjoyed the book One Thousand Gifts so much. It was creative. So creative it ignored all the writing rules. Or, so I am told. If you've read much of this blog you know that I am not a trained writer. I do not understand the rules either. (To my friends who are skilled and trained writers and you still take the time to read this blog, please know that I understand how difficult that must be for you at times.)
In that book, Ann shares that she had this profound ah ha moment at the end of the her first 1000 gifts list. As I got closer and closer to that number I started to place that expectation on God and my own list. That is not a good idea. I realized that and asked the Lord to help me avoid placing any expectations on the process, myself or the Lord. So I went back to simply enjoying the list making and worship experience of it all.
Within the last 10 entries, I did have a realization about thankfulness that I have never had before. Thankfulness received is not complete unless it is re-gifted. I found this word re-gift kinda funny the first time I thought about it. Re-gifting is quite controversial. Most people don't think it's a good idea in our everyday lives to re-gift. For some it's associated with giving away what you did not want in the first place. But it is also associated with what you do not need to keep. The second idea is where people are most comfortable with re-gifting. If I have two toasters... why wouldn't I give the second one away?
It is humbling to receive an unexpected gift. It is rude and unkind to not receive an unexpected gift. So when people reach out to us and say thank you we need to receive it. It is an act of love to receive the gift offered. But now what? Unexpected gifts can create a pride problem. We can take to much ownership of the gift. That is what I saw for the first time. Re-gifting can help keep us from having prideful reactions. What we receive we can pass on. It feels complete to pass it on. To whom much is given much is expected. I think one of the expectations that makes sense to me is passing on the generosity given to us.
I've written about this topic of thankfulness quite a bit over the past two years. It has been a theme that God has been working on in my life. I really do have a deep sense of thankfulness that the Lord has opened my eyes to how weak my thankful muscles were. I'm excited to see what the Lord will show me next about all this.
Help us to receive gifts from you and others. Help us to see how to offer them on to other people. Help us not to expect gifts. Help us to avoid pride when gifts are offered. Help us to see you as the source of all good things. Help us to be generous with others as you have been generous with us. Change our greedy and prideful hearts to ones that love.