Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Priceless Gifts

Some gifts are carefully thought out.  Some gifts seem to fit exactly who you are.  Some gifts seem to be more for the giver than the receiver.  Some gifts are meant to be re-gifted (but very carefully lest offence be given).  And then there are gifts that just can't be quantified.  This last type of gift is the type that I received recently as I celebrated my birthday.

One of those gifts was time with family.  I was able to celebrate both my birthday and that of one of my sisters (3 days apart) with much of my family.  What a gift.  I don't get to do that very often.  (Too bad our brother, whose birthday is the day after mine, was out of town or it could have been a three for one!)  While I didn't see my brother or one of my sisters, I did talk with both of them and felt their love.  Time with family is truly a blessing.  I was even able to celebrate with my 95 year old grandmother.  Truly a blessing beyond words.

One special surprise was coming back from a small outing and finding two bouquets of flowers outside my parents' house - one for me and one for my sister.  (The one in the picture is mine.)  These were sent by a sister and brother-in-law.  I am truly blessed.

When I returned to my home, my yard was ready for spring.  The spring clean-up had been done by several of my colleagues and members of their families (a total of 6 people, including a former student of mine).  Oh, what a gift that was - and is!  Every day when I see my yard, I am warmed to the depth of my heart.  God has richly blessed me and surrounded me with such a gracious and giving community. 

I share a birthday with a colleague.  Every year we are assigned birthday buddies, people we get to bless and celebrate on their birthdays.  The two of us were assigned to each other, a fact that delighted us all year.  Even though I haven't been at work, we still were able to celebrate together.  (Truth be told, she blessed and celebrated me more than I was able to for her - but that time will come.)  We went for coffee (well, tea for me) and she treated both of us to pedicures.  Now, normally I don't get pedicures.  Not for any special reason, really, just that I don't bother.  And I even chose a colour which, for me, is very bright.  And I like it.  It was delightful to be pampered and to spend time with her.

The best gift, though, is something that can't be bought.  I had an appointment with my doctor and was given the best news ever!  The cancer I had removed was completely contained.  There is no need for any further treatment other than annual checkups for a couple of years.  I am so grateful to God for this result.  I know that, with God's help, I could have climbed the mountain of chemo if necessary.  But how incredibly wonderful that I don't have to.  I have been forever changed.  Not a change I would have asked for.  But a good change.  And now I can move on to the next stage in my journey.  Truly a gift without measure.

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