{day twelve}

We prepared all summer and actually  farther back than that to 

take Courtney to college.

As it happened, the day for this momentous event landed on my 

birthday.

I promise, this is the last time I will mention it.

I shared after the fact, that God surprised us with such a wonderful

two days despite feeling like we had left part of the cadence of our heart

at Linfield College.

About a week later, on a Friday to be exact, Carl hadn’t returned from work.

Caleb had been whisked away for a birthday adventure out-of-town and Carlen

was heading to work.

As Carlen stepped out the front door, she almost fell over a large box that had

been left on our porch.

She carried it in and announced that it was for me.

I surveyed the box and discovered it was from my brother and his family.

As I looked at the box closer, one side looked like this:

{THANK YOU BILL, CARMEN, HILARY AND COCO}

Behold the artistic skills of my niece Hilary and nephew Coco.

By now, I am grinning big time.

I cut open the box to discover whatever “big something” was inside.

As I pulled back each cardboard flap, I discovered not a “big something”

but a lot of “big and small somethings”.

Inside were so many gifts.

But I was alone.

Somehow, that just didn’t seem right. 

I closed the box , placed it on the dining room table and waited for

Carl to come home.

Gifts are meant to share.

Wouldn’t you agree? 

It was one of those beautiful evenings, when the calendar had barely

blinked September into existence.

It was warm but not too warm.

It was sunny but not blinding.

It was still because I found myself alone.

A rare evening indeed.

Well, Carl came home and couldn’t miss the box

on our table and surmised that it was just the two 

of us.

Stomachs growled and could we possibly have a dinner date?

But first we opened the gift.

It was filled with all things fun and wonderful.

It contained things to make me laugh and to make me

feel pampered.

It held things that we might have given Courtney to take

with her, leaving us lacking.

There were truffles and a Magic 8 ball (that has since

been claimed by Caleb.)

The Princess Bride, among other movies and popcorn.

A coffee press, a tea press and some amazing

loose teas.

Books to make me laugh and to make me think.

Candles  and bath goodies.

I could go on and on.

There were gift cards and special cards from those

that I love and who love me.

I smiled and laughed through tears.

I felt thoroughly loved.

By the time we opened the last gift and 

gasped at all the gifts that filled our dining room,

all we could do was shake our heads and smile at one another.

Then we went out to eat.

Carpe diem in all it’s glory. 

That box of gifts was so much fun.

More than the contents of the box and it was

really something, was the deep abiding

realization that I was:

LOVED

KNOWN

THOUGHT ABOUT

I can believe it but I have to also allow myself

to feel it as well.

Let the love trickle down and settle into my soul. 

Many times it is easier for me to be the one 

giving gifts  yet  difficult to  be the

one receiving.

My challenge to you and to me included, is

to let yourself be loved.

Let yourself be known.

Do you know that you are a gift to be opened?

The gift of you is not meant to be opened in private.

It is meant to be shared and spread  throughout your surroundings. 

You are filled with all things big and small and wonderful!

Let yourself be known.

Know that others think about you…in very good ways.

For me, it is a knee jerk reflex to operate in strong mode.

To project an image, that I can muddle through life’s

hard stuff all by myself. 

Those who I allow to know me, see and know the truth.

They love me anyway. 

Let yourself be known

and loved

and thought about

by others and 

by Him.

Don’t muddle along when you need God

to cuddle you and others to huddle

around you.

LET YOURSELF BE KNOWN.

LET YOURSELF BE LOVED.

 

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