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Friday, February 19, 2016

The Gift

     Recently, my six year-old daughter has been really mischievous. Honestly, I feel like she is gas-lighting me. (Driving me to the brink of insanity.) Her latest incident involved using half of a brand-new bottle of bubble bath on one Barbie's hair. The highly perfumed lilac scent gave her away. The whole house was getting a buzz from the strong smell wafting out of the basement play area.

     She came to me complaining of feeling dizzy. She's blonde, you know. I'll leave it at that. (ha ha) Here comes the shame on me part---I was mad. Extremely upset. Probably a cumulative effect of the kitty litter fiasco from the previous day, plus all the other make-up, sharpie marker, and finger nail polish debacles. Furious, I tell you.

    Was I really that angry about wasted bubble bath? What is wrong with me?
Fast forward---today I was bathing the youngest two girls using some of the remaining bubble bath. A 1yr. old and a 4yr. old can really enjoy a tub full of toys and suds. That made me happy.

     I recalled one Christmas or birthday present that I received from my friend, Crystal, while we were in elementary school. It was a "six pack" of bubble bath. They looked like soda bottles in a cardboard carton with a handle. Three of them were pink and three of them were blue. I remember how much I loved getting that gift! To me, it was a very generous gift. I was not expecting to get anything which made it even more special and memorable. What little girl wouldn't appreciate that perfect gift?!? Merely recalling the whole thing still brings me joy!

     As I wax introspective for a moment---I am going to say this is one of those profound things of life that help shape our personality. Because my friend's generosity brought me such joy, I was inspired to try to bring others joy through giving.

     Now, my analytical side comes into play. I am going to go on and on about bubble bath for a moment. I would like to say that I enjoyed many wonderful bubble-filled baths during my childhood, but I didn't. I hoarded that stuff. It was "special" and "wonderful". I only took regular baths because they were just regular days, not special days. Also, if I really peel away the layers of this tail, I would have said the gift was probably meant for a special and wonderful person, but I was neither of those.

     When I moved out of my childhood home, I found them covered with dust in the top of my closet. Five of them unopened. I felt a pang of regret. That was wasted bubble bath.

     This may be one of the reasons my girls get so many bubble baths! Yes, it is frivolous. Yes, it is a luxury, but I want them to know they are special and wonderful. In this way, the kindness of a simple elementary school gift has inadvertently made a positive impact on the next generation!

      I always feel like everything has to do with everything else, so I try to figure things out---especially God. Why would God do things this way or that? How is this making any sense?

     There is a passage of scripture that tells about a woman who broke a jar of expensive perfume open and anointed Jesus' feet. The disciples were upset because it seemed to be wasteful. Jesus silenced their objections by basically saying---this is between her and I. That perfume pouring out was extravagant. She wanted Jesus to know He was worth that to her. Of course He is.

     He wants us to know what we are worth to Him, as well. No more animal sacrifices or burnt offerings on the altar, no need to wait in the outskirts of the temple, or even talk to some priest. Jesus communicated to us that we are loved so much He would die for us .His blood extravagantly pouring out on display for all to see. "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." (John 15:13 NIV)
     I had a hard time accepting that I was worthy of bubble bath, let alone someone willing to die for me. It's not about our perception of ourselves, though.
     Gifts are freely given, undeserved, ---from the heart, with love, to make us feel special and wonderful. Check out John 3:16, it's amazing!