I’d love to tell you about a lesson my granddaughter Ashlyn taught me on love.
Click here to listen.
My grandchildren teach me all kinds of things.I’m surprised at how often my grandchildren are the teachers and I’m the student. Both Brayden and Ashlyn were excited to be spending the night with us. Karyn wasn’t coming with us, so I opened her door first to give her a hug. Ashlyn’s voice from the back seat greeted me even before I could get the door open. “Nana, I got you a present.” She was excited…. “Do you want me to give it to you now?” I opened her door, making sure she didn’t step in the fire ant bed that was just outside her door, “No, baby, let’s wait ’til we get home. “Did you make me something?” I asked. She is so much like her mother was at this age. She is constantly making cards for people. Her thoughtfulness is so precious! And now her spelling is delightful as she sounds out the words and scrawls them on her handmade cards. Treasures. I tell you. Priceless treasures!
“No, Nana. I didn’t make you something. This is something special.”
We chatted as we drove home.
School. Kid stuff. Wonderful conversation.
But when we pulled into the driveway, she started again. “Can I give you your gift now, she asked at a level of excitement that was high even for her.
Let’s get inside the house, first baby. She rolled her suitcase into the foyer and plopped it onto the floor. Unzipping and opening it in the foyer. She instructed me , “Open your hands, Nana.”
“Let’s go sit in the den,” I suggested. She followed me with her gift hidden in her hands. I wasn’t sure if she wanted me to shut my eyes, but she didn’t. She was just too excited, she wanted me to see the treasure she brought me.
She tucked her gift into my hands. “Do you like it, Nana?”
And I did.
It was one of her necklaces, pink beads strung on an elastic string with a heart dangling from the center. One of her special treasures. Her excitement mirrored how valuable it was to her. When we she looked at the necklace closer, she hopped up off the floor and ran back to her suitcase. The jewel in the center of the heart that dangled on the necklace was missing. She came back with it and new instructions. “This is very delicate. You have to be very careful.”
I explained I could glue it back onto the necklace. She repeated that the heart shaped rhinestone, which she called a jewel was very delicate.
“Do you like it, Nana?” And I did. It was one of the best gifts….ever. And I mean ever! I knew it was special to her. I felt it was too special for her to give away.
I explained, “Ashlyn I can fix the necklace and then you take it home with you so you can enjoy it. You can think of me when you wear it!”
“Oh, no! Nana! I want you to keep the necklace.
Every time you wear it,
I want you to remember how much I love you!”WOW!
I had just been lavished with love.
The sweetest love imaginable.
Her expression was intentional
I was holding a treasure.
I was holding a precious token of her love.
It felt good.
I let in soak into my soul and I hugged her and thanked her for her awesome gift.
She was right I loved her gift and the lessons they taught me.
1. Do I know how to receive love like that?
I almost missed it because I didn’t want her to give away something that was so precious to her.
But receiving her gift was important to both of us.
2. Do I know how to give love like that?
Am I too grown up…
too fearful of rejection that I fail to lavish people with love. I can only say…I want to learn.
Especially in my most important relationship–
my relationship with my heavenly Father.
Do I lavish Him with my adoration?
Or is it quick and awkward?
I am embarrassed for anyone to see my outward expression?
Am I afraid I’ll look silly or that my gift isn’t good enough to please Him?
Lavished with His love!
What a decadent thought!
But when it comes to receiving God’s love,
do I really know how to receive His love?
He lavishes me with gifts,
but I have no lens, no scale, no value system to determine their value.
1 John 3:1 New Living Translation
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.New International Version
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. NIV
In my immaturity, I only see plastic trinkets, instead of the magnitude of their worth.
He lavishes me with opportunities to laugh and sing and explore His goodness, but too often I’m busy pouting when He doesn’t give me exactly what I want when I want it. The sense of entitlement has spoiled me and while I pursue worthless, plastic baubles I miss the beauty of His presence…His voice…His awesome love.
Help me Father, to value eternal things.
Help me to love the things you love and hate the things you hate.
Help me to be transformed by the power of your love and presence.
Transformed by your life giving Words.
When I really love you, I make you a priority.
I listen to your voice on the pages of Scripture.
I lean in to hear more clearly and feel your voice vibrate in my soul.
Maybe that’s your prayer too!
… “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3b
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