Gifts – they come to us in all shapes and sizes. Our home is mostly decorated with items that Jim and I have received as gifts, providing precious memories of those who shared the gifts with us.
Tucked away in my cedar chest is a box of small clay bowls and pots made in school by former children during their years of living in our home. I love their names or initials etched in elementary style letters, reminding me who made each piece as a gift. I have various small handprints of children and grandchildren imprinted in plaster, reminding me of days when they were small and their hands often slipped into mine during walks and other adventures.
I have a beautiful quilt cross-stitched by my mother and an ecru bedspread crocheted by my dad’s aunt,
both representing many hours of love and work, resulting in two lovely heirlooms to be passed down through generations.
When our son, David, first started shop classes in school, he made a magazine rack which still hangs in our bathroom. Our daughter, Lisa, enjoyed pottery/ceramics. Several pieces of her handiwork are among my handmade collection of gifts.
A simple piece of framed stitchery hangs in our bedroom, sewn by Jim’s Great Aunt Emma when she was just a child. Now over 100 years later, the handmade sampler reminds us of the birth of one of Jim’s ancestors, born in 1844.
Above our bed hangs a small quilt, a Christmas gift from my brother, Parke, this past year. The pattern is a primitive flag and it represents Parke’s first attempt at quilting (and possibly his last). It is a sweet reminder of his love and his desire to give a unique and lasting gift.
The list is endless, but I think you can see the common theme in all of these gifts. Not only are they expressions of love by the givers, but they are HANDMADE! How special is that!!
Take time to read Psalm 139 and you will see handmade gifts have been with us since the beginning of time. The Creator – our wonderful God. The Gift – you and me. If it is hard for you to believe that your life is a gift, as it sometimes is for me, meditate on verses 13 – 16. You will be reminded that you are a beautiful handmade gift, knitted together by God Himself in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God created your unformed body and each intricate part of you is designed by His handiwork. Nothing about you was an accident. You are a beautiful creation of God.
Just as we cherish our heirlooms and handmade treasures, God cherishes you! He knows when you sit down and when you stand up (Psalm 139:2). He knows your name (Isaiah 43:1). He knows how many hairs you have on your head (Luke 12:7). He knows your words completely, even before you speak them (Psalm 139:4). And, too incomprehensible for me to grasp, His thoughts about you are as numerous as the grains of sand!
Just like my handmade treasures from friends and family, we are all unique. We are all special. Just as those small hands, long ago, fashioned primitive clay pots, Isaiah 64:8 reminds us God is the potter who molds and shapes our lives. We are all the work of His hands. Just as the children fashioned their initials or name on their little clay bowls, God has placed his signature on us. We aren’t the only creatures with flesh and hair and blood and hearts. But we are special and unique because we are the only creatures created in His image. His signature is on our lives. We are His works of art. We are created in His image to do good deeds. We are significant, not because of what we do, but because of whose we are.
As a reminder of God’s plan, start your day by reminding yourself “I am a gift fashioned by my Father for the purpose of bringing glory to Him.” Then go out and be the gift God created you to be, bringing joy to others and glory to God!