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I do not usually like presents. I don't like to give them and I rarely like to get them. I am a practical girl. I know what I need. I like to do my own shopping. I don't like to guess at what family and friends want or need. My kids are rarely surprised on their birthdays because we go shopping together.

I received an unexpected check a few weeks ago. When I first opened it I thought, "God sent us money to cover bills that I don't yet know about." Then I thought, "Nah!" and prepared to spend the money on Stuart's birthday...all of it...on a great camera. I made him tell me exactly which model he wanted. Then, last week he was driving home from work and a rear window fell down...clunk... right down into the door. He couldn't coax it out. The mechanics at the car dealership could... and did...for six hundred fifty dollars. Next, Charlie needed to take a trip to the emergency room. Happy Birthday, Stuart.

My husband buys me funky artistic jewelry. I like understated elegance. I unwrapped a five disc CD player a few birthdays ago. "Thank You. It is just what I wanted." I rarely use it. I can't turn off the kids but electronics, that's another story. Stuart sees it differently...drown out the crying with Nickel Creek. For Christmas this year... more jewelry, hand lotion and a nail buffer. The last two were a hit. Why? Because they appeal to my real love language...acts of service, quality time and attention. Every once in a while he grabs the manicure tools and goes to work. Heaven!

God doesn't care if I like gifts or not. He pours out His goodness anyway. My family life is rich with His blessing... great husband, funny kids.

Some of His gifts come wrapped in some really ugly wrapping paper though. Aspbergers , PMS, this current season of loneliness... I wonder if He watches my face as I receive these...sees me recoil...turn away. He keeps holding them out to me until I begin to work my way through the wrapping. These packages that appear so unattractive on the outside are the ones that compel me to reach for my Father's hand, to listen for His direction, to pour my heart out to him. (One of His love languages must be quality time and attention.) God knows me so well He gives perfect gifts...ones that will transform my weaknesses into His strengths. Turns out, they are just what I wanted.


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