I just stood there and began to cry---it's 7:31 and the make up is BLOWN! (and no, I wasn't wearing the waterproof mascara---you'd think I have learned by now...) anyway, I couldn't even believe it. I had wanted an iPhone when my phone began acting up and then I realized---hellooooooo, it's CHRISTMAS and you have way too much to spend your money on right now. I had two different people GIVE me their old Blackberry's and I just gave up the iPhone thing---really, I was TOTALLY over it---so I was just blown away at this extravagant gift---it's not that this money is a Lexus or anything, but it's money that people--someone--just GAVE to me....to love me---just because. It's not a NEED---I HAD that need met by two kind hearted souls who gave me an old phone.
When I mentioned it to a friend---in disbelief, she just said, "you are loved"---more tears. I had a parent at school bring me dinner tonight because she knew it was a crazy week and thought it would bless me. Another colleague at school called me today while I was in rehearsal and said she was picking up a Chick-Fil-a giftcard for me to use for dinner tomorrow night so I wouldn't have to mess with it. All of this happened TODAY---within a 10 hour span of time.
It was crazy---and, as I have a tendency to do, I began to ponder this today. Each time I was met with an outpouring of love I was SO HUMBLED that someone would go out of their way for me---seriously. I'm a pretty independent person. I can get a phone, I can make a meal--or TWO---but the LORD kept reminding me today how loved I was---and that it's a GOOD thing to let others show their love to me in tangible ways. I work with the most amazing group of women. I'm SO grateful for their support and love--that in itself is a gift. I couldn't do this job without them. I could NEVER pull off a program without them. They always amaze me---I'm so thankful for them---especially this year. When your heart is tenderized---by God or man---you can either become bitter or more tender. I want to end up more tender. I don't want to become jaded and angry by my circumstances---I think the LORD is just using his sweet servants here on this earth to remind me to let the situation make me more tender.
One of the things I love about one of my dearest friends is how very tender her heart is. Repeatedly over the last year, I have watched her HURT for someone that many of us would judge. She's not "just a cryer"!!! Her HEART is tender---she's felt real pain and I think the LORD has made her more tender---not harder. Please God, let me become tender-hearted like this sweet sister. I turned to her today and just told her of this gift and she just smiled that knowing smile and said, "I KNOW"---I later had to describe this to her as an "Extravagant gift"--because that's just what it is to me. I don't need this phone---I don't need a meal, I don't need TWO MEALS! These are extravagant gifts of love to me. I looked up the word extravagant and here's what it says:
1. spending much more than is necessary or wise; wasteful: an extravagant shopper.
2. excessively high: extravagant expenses; extravagant prices.
3. exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions, demands, opinions, or passions.
4. going beyond what is deserved or justifiable: extravagant praise.
5. Obsolete . wandering beyond bounds.
ummmm, yes, yes, and yes---on all accounts today! Extravagant love---it was shown to me today---I can't help but think of the most extravagant gift ever given---that Jesus Christ---the God of the universe would "put skin on" and come down to this earth to live among us--the wretched people that we are....to DIE. That GOD the Father would SEND his son to do such a thing---EXTRAVAGANT gifts---life changing gifts. I hope I can show my son---and my students this extravagant love this Advent season and point them to the One True Gift--Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift~