The Gift of Time


In the season of hustle, bustle, buying and crying, perhaps we’ve lost sight of the gift of time. Yet, what a precious gift! Our daughter-in-love in Georgia saw this snowman on Pinterest, bought the burlap, and created this as a gift. While the price tag for the materials wasn’t too costly, the time involved proved extensive. She crafted this adorable decoration as a gift for one of her girls’ teachers, a way to say thank-you in a personal way.

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Then Becky assisted the teacher and the parapro as they all helped direct 80 kindergarteners who sponge painted Christmas place mats that would later be laminated and taken home as gifts.

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Dave spent most of last Friday entertaining children at a local elementary school by dressing up as Santa, reading stories to all 80 kindergarteners, and making appearances in ten different classrooms.

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In one class where children kept telling Santa what they wanted, the teacher gently reminded them to think about others and not  just themselves. Her simple statement took only a moment to utter, but she changed the children’s perspectives. However, one little boy did say he wanted a four-wheeler “for my sister.” Can’t win ’em all, can you?

In one first grade class, a bigger boy would not make eye contact with Santa, but whispered, almost reverently under his breath, “I believe, I believe, I believe.”  This Mrs. Claus had all she could do not to laugh. Another Christmas wish, “That my Mom and Dad would stop fighting,” reminded Santa and Mrs. Claus that not all children anticipate happy times during Christmas vacation.

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Mrs. Claus, aka Grandma, bought a Hello Kitty house to build with the girls this year. Now, if you have ever baked or decorated cookies with little ones, you know two things: there is a time investment, and if you’re a perfectionist about the final confection, leave it with Martha Stewart! The little ones’ greatest interest lies in consuming as many sweets as possible!

But who wouldn’t spend the time on the project when the final result is two happy girls who want to have a bite?

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Speaking of Christmas confections, Becky and two other friends invited Bushra to a cookie making afternoon at one of their homes on Saturday. Recently married and relocated from her home in Pakistan, Bushra knew only of Ramadan, but we talked while she got copies of recipes and enjoyed taste testing. A small investment of time imparts much to one far from home, family and the Christmas story.

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And while we women had gathered to bake oatmeal scotchies, chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin spice cookies, snickerdoodles and peanut butter blossoms, Santa and Brent took the time to get the 45th annual Wolfe and Li’l Red Riding Hood letter printed so L’il Red could mail the Christmas cards this week.

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Galatians 4 says, “But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”

In the greatest event of time, God sent Jesus to spend more than 30 years living with all the difficulties and temptations of this world, and yet, to walk this earth living without sin. He then sacrificed his life for the likes of you and me, we who daily deny and disappoint him in thought, word and deed. May we ponder anew the real gift of time as lived in the life of Jesus Christ.

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