Well, this is a great scripture for the whole year through, but I got this on my Air 1 daily scripture and I think it's such a great reminder about the power of giving.
Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Luke 6:38 NLT
I have always believed it is better to give than to receive. Ok, maybe not always....I doubt that I felt that way when I was six years old, laying in bed, anxiously waiting for Santa to come and fill my stockings and put that bike under the tree that I so desperately wanted. But, as I've grown and matured, giving has meant so much more to me. I still love to receive gifts, but not expensive gifts, I love getting gifts from the heart. Like when Carrie makes me a gourd or some beautiful jewelry or my mom writes me a poem or Chrissi or Nicole or Kendall draw me a picture or when my husband finds just the right card that says what he feels in his heart....at those moments I love to receive! But giving can be even more fulfilling. I love it when I find just the right gift that totally suits the recipient. One of the best giving moments for me is last father's day when Jay's dad was pretty ill and I was trying to figure out what to give him that would mean something to him. He's always loved Footprints, although I didn't really know just how much at the time, but I wanted to find a picture of some footprints in the sand and type up the copy in Photoshop and print it out and frame it and give it to him. I thought that every time he looked at it, he would be comforted in knowing that God was carrying him through. I talked to Jay about it and he liked the idea and he suggested going through the photos we took of Lonnie when he and Sharon were here for the wedding and we took them to the beach and it was the first time they had seen the ocean. If you could have seen Lonnie that day, it was a moment that is forever frozen in our hearts. His eyes were so wide and he just stood there and stared at those big waves and you could see the wonder in his expression. So, we found just the right photo and I put it all together in Photoshop and found a frame and sent it to him for Father's day and he hung it up and Sharon told us how much it meant to him. She even brought the framed picture to the funeral and had it up for everyone that walked by as a reminder that even when he was so ill and struggling so much, he was never alone. Well, that gift keeps on giving. The other night, Jay asked if I would print out that photo and frame it and give it to him to hang up in his office. It meant so much to me that he wanted to have that image in his office to look at every day. It was such a simple gift that cost so little, but meant so much and I think of all of the gifts that I've ever given in my life, that one is the most precious to me. I think it's partially because that was Lonnie's last Father's day on this earth.
Whatever gifts you give this year, give them with your heart and I guarantee, the return will be so much more than the investment. I know it's not always easy to come up with just the right gift. I'm struggling right now, trying to figure out what to get my Grandmother. She's 96 and can hardly move and is living with my Aunt and Uncle and has little space for her things and I just cannot figure out what to give her. But, I refuse to get stressed or frustrated about it, because I know that whatever I give her, as long as I give it with my heart, she will love it. Gifts of the heart have a great ROI!