Last Christmas, I attempted a bit of a social experiment.
Unfortunately, it failed.
But it did give me some points to ponder and to reflect on for this upcoming holiday season.
Somewhere I read about this wonderfully creative and unique gift idea, and decided to try something different!
I believe as a result of GIFTS not being my primary love language, I am somewhat deficient in this area... I am a life-long learner.
I am a work in progress with this process, as well as many other aspects of my brief life here as a mere mortal. ["Humble Me" by Norah Jones]
Back to the failed "social experiment" from last Christmas. The idea was to practice Financial Peace and attempt to stay within our budget while also building, sustaining, and encouraging in family relationships. The gift was a packet of stationary, book of stamps, hand-written letter from us [me], along with a self-addressed stamped envelope; in the hope of making it super simple to mail the first "pen-pal" correspondance.
Each smaller family unit within our larger family unit [from my former in-laws of 30 years side of the family] received one of these care-packages. My humble written request was for one member of each family to hopefully benefit from this old school therapeutic journaling style of communication while keeping us connected on some level outside of social media.
It was apparently too much to ask... as later revealed by 20/20 hindsight.
It seemed like a splended idea to me at the time.
But as it turns out, each package ended up costing more than I had budgeted for, and more significanly, not one person wrote a letter (at least not to me.)
I truly hope they found some other use for the stationary and book of stamps, so that those items did not completely go to waste.
However, in my life lessons learned, I now know that it's none of my business what they chose to do with those gifts, or why I never recieved a letter, or what they think about me in general.
I actually do know it's not personal. It's busy lifestyle choices and priorities that we all have to decide upon for ourselves. I get it 100%.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself or being filled with self-doubt, I can CHOOSE to be incredibly grateful for the Quality Time, I got to spend with each and everyone of my loved ones at Christmas time and on a few other recent significant family events.
My former father-in-law is still my Dad, and he always will be to infinity and beyond.
He and his wife have a framed portrait of myself with my new husband at our wedding on their wall with all of the other family photos. That simple act speaks volumes.
Actions really do speak louder than words.
Regardless of the results of that particular gift, the immense, enormous love with my family is still quite evident even after that marriage was legally dissolved. It's why God hates divorce. Malachi 2:16
But we all rise above our past mistakes, and move forward one step at a time, giving the very best gifts and offerings we are capable of giving at that time.
Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50; John 12:1–8 annointing the Lord's feet with my most valuable perfume, wiping his scarred feet clean and dry with my hair kneeling in humbled gratitude with eternal praise and worship now and forevermore.
P.S. Further evidence of True Family Love just occured as I was typing this blog entry.
My former husband and his new wife sent a group text to myself and our adult children a few minutes ago, to share that the two of them just treated themselves to Dairy Queen in Youngstown, OHIO in honor of my (his in-law) parents because it is where they first met and began dating over 60 years ago.
The Sweetest Thing.
The two of them are currently back there to attend a couple Steeler's football games in honor of his Dad's birthday and are remembering my Dad as well. When we read things like "more will be revealed" and "don't leave before the miracle happens" it is no joke brothers and sisters.
Miracles happen every.single.day.
We only have to BELIEVE (ted lasso and John 3:16-17) and keep our eyes open for them.