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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Red Panty roses and Green Tea

One of my bigger love languages is giving gifts. I love it! But mostly, I don’t get gifts except at the proper times, birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day (if I set out not-so-subtle reminders a week to ten days ahead of time), so when someone takes their time and resources to surprise me with a token of love, it touches me in a deep-down way.

Yesterday was that kind of day.

I did a little volunteer work and when I got to the desk I was to use, there was a Starbucks coffee sitting right in front of my chair. At first I thought, “Gee whiz, someone left their coffee.” Then I looked down at the lid and my name plus a smiley (and we all know that smileys are AWESOME) was written on the lid.

My heart did a little flip and tears filled my sometimes-green-sometimes-blue eyes. The moment felt sweet and healing.

But it didn’t end there. A few minutes later, a new friend came into the office and handed me a gift card to Starbucks. Because she said, she knows I love green tea from Starbucks. And that's the thing about loving people and caring enough to really get to know them. Taking time to learn what sort of gift touches the heart in the gentlest way.

What she didn’t know was that on the way into the office, I really, really wanted a green tea from Starbucks, but I did the responsible thing and didn’t stop and spend money on one.

Giving gifts is easy. We tend to give what we like to people if we get the urge to give. Something that we’d want to get if someone were to give us something. I read a book a few years ago and the author relayed a really funny story about her husband’s efforts to bless her by cooking her a meal on their honeymoon. First, he botched the meal, plus he cooked her least favorite food in the world. And sure, she appreciated the effort as her stomach twisted and turned at the sight of chicken, burnt on the outside, raw on the inside, but-- and this is what really got me—she said, it isn’t a blessing unless the person you’re trying to bless values the thing you give them. How much better if he’d have asked her what her favorite food was and tried his hand at that instead of his favorite meal? If his motive was truly to make her happy and not just to feel good that he'd done a nice thing...get my drift?

That goes against our society’s new (dumbest ever) rule where you get a prize just for showing up. Giving people points for trying. But I agree with her. If you love me and want to bless me, take time to get to know me and find out what I truly value—coffee, for instance. On the other hand, my husband once—in our early days of marriage—bought me a rose made out of red panties. That gift did not bless me and I told him next time he wanted to score points, he better get me a real rose.

I’m still waiting… Ha!


J M Gallagher said...

It's so neat when God blesses you like that. And Starbucks is a big blessing. ;-)

Being a blessing to others is part of why I turn into a wreck at gift-giving time. Not every gift can be the "perfect" one, but I still strive for it. My husband on the other hand, just has a knack for knowing what people like.

Where do you even find a rose made from red panties?

Sharon Marie said...

Your gift of encouragement has surely blessed me.

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