As Mom and Dad were going to the car to travel home yesterday, they said they had a surprise. Mom had found a beautiful "must have" at a gift shop on the way over. After a little coaxing (it doesn't take much with my Dad), he bought it for her. She decided at some point during the weekend to give her new little treasure to me. Have I mentioned before the generosity that is modeled for us by both sets of grandparents? With some arguments from me, some insisting from my Mom, and finally much gratitude on our part, she gave me this Willow Tree nativity set. A complete set. I do not own a nativity set, but I have always wanted one. I pray my Dad will make good on his promise to buy another one for Mom, too. Any way, I had to take each figurine out of the box and set it up in the kitchen before I packed it safely in the attic. (Excuse the yellow background and protruding butterfly wings.) I can not wait to enjoy this beautiful set at Christmas!
As hard as it was to accept my Mom's gift, I kept thinking about the sheer joy of giving to my own children. I wanted that feeling for my Mom. And I thought about the mysterious joy Christ felt as he sacrificially gave the ultimate gift of His very life. As my husband's Granddaddy used to tell us, "Take my gift. Rejecting a gift is like rejecting the grace of God." I'll think about that abundant grace every time we use this little wooden set.