By: Susan Lawson | Amidst all the modern lights and Snoopy themed Christmas tree, it would be easy to miss the 2 ornaments hanging side-by-side. To look at them, one might wonder what has earned them the honor of even being put on as decorations. Truthfully, if you take a closer look, you will even note that one of them has had tinsel glued around the top as someone attempted to “preserve” the ornament.
To anyone else, except my family, these two ornaments aren’t all that spectacular. But the memories…oh the memories they hold! Every year as a little girl, these ornaments had a special place on our tree. Always at the top. And every year, we would take time to search for them. My Mom was always the one who would reverently place them on the tree and as kids, it was our job to find them. Sort of like a Christmas version of “Where’s Waldo?” Even as an adult, I would always come into her home at Christmas time on a mission to “find” those bulbs. And of course, tradition mandated that my children be taught to look for them as well.
The last few years, my Mom has decided not to put up a Christmas tree. Oh, she still puts out a few items including a green ceramic tree that lights up. You can buy one similar to hers as nostalgia has made them popular again…but thank you, I will wait for the time when she decides to pass on the real deal!
So, back to the ornaments, every year for the past 5 years or so my Mom has tried to get me to take the ornaments. I kept refusing on the principle that if I don’t take them then all is right with the world as the ornaments are still at “Mom’s house”. Last year, Mom got a little more creative and put them into a gift bag at Christmas. I, of course, couldn’t refuse her “gift”.
During the Christmas season, don’t we all try to find that “perfect gift.” Have you ever given a gift that was exactly what the other person wanted? A perfect gift, that would bring joy to the special person who opened it? I love what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:15. After talking about the joy and blessing of giving, Paul was overwhelmed at the thought of all that God has given us. So instead of trying to put it all in words he just ended with, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (NASB). The New Living Translation says, “Thank God for his Son — a gift too wonderful for words!” Another version goes on to say “…precious beyond words.”
To most, the ornaments are nothing special. For me, my Mom has given me an indescribable gift. One that her Mom passed on to her and one that she has now passed on to me. When I look at them, I can hear the sound of my Grandma’s voice describing a life of poverty. I can also hear the gentleness of her voice detailing exactly how God provided these exact ornaments for their tree. I look at them and see the years in which my Mom did not settle for an artificial tree. She would gather up all 5 of her children and we would walk the Christmas tree fields looking for just the right tree. The tree that always wound up being way bigger than it looked out in that snow-covered field. And as I look at them today hanging on my tree (yes ours is artificial), I see and feel years of memories flooding my mind and heart.
As I close, let me encourage you to take some time to make precious memories with your family. The invention of modern technology has enabled my daughter to Facetime her Grandma every night. My mom has said it has become the highlight of her day. As I listen to the bits and pieces of their conversations each night, I realize my daughter is making precious memories for herself because the reality is my Mom is 73. With each day, she is aging and one day Leah won’t be able to Facetime Grandma anymore. Our senior pastor recently said it best…”Aren’t we all just one heartbeat away from not being here ?”
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15 (NASB)
Meet Today’s Writer: Susan Lawson and her husband Chuck are Illinois natives, have been married 32 years, and have 2 adult children. Susan is currently the Youth Pastor at Rolla First Assembly of God. Previously, she worked in a variety of other social service agencies and programs for the incarcerated and their families. Additionally, Susan has worked in other crisis service agencies for children. Today, she spends her time dedicated to helping young men and women discover, keep and deepen their relationships with Jesus Christ! Pastor Sue has invited you to contact her via email: