December 26, 2010
It’s the day after your second Christmas, and you’re in Florida with mommy and daddy. I couldn’t be happier for you. All the presents you’ve gotten, are getting, and will get when you get home don’t compare to the beautiful gift of having you, mommy, and daddy together for a whole week. I know your little heart is popping with joy, and mine is too as I write this. Tears of joy are running down my cheeks as I think of it. Love is the greatest gift of all, and time with those you love is far greater than any gift that can be purchased in the world. The gifts of this world are truly wonderful, and I know you love the little train set that I gave you before you left, but I also know you love the time we spend playing with it more. I have more gifts for you when you get home because I love giving you things. I delight in watching you play with them. especially when you try to figure out how to make them work. You remind me of your daddy when you do that:)
Watching you learn and grow blesses me, but I also delight in watching you sleep and just holding you in my arms. When you wrap your arms around my neck and kiss me, my heart melts into a puddle of pure joy. You are a special little girl who makes a difference in the lives of all you love. That is what love does, Lillyann. It transforms me into something I cannot be without it. It changes me as I give it away and changes me even more when I welcome it into my heart. I’ve never had a problem loving and have the tendency to love with my whole heart, but I have had trouble when it comes to accepting love. That’s the biggest way God’s love changes me. I see myself as worthy of love and am able to accept His love and the love of others in a way I was unable to before. That changes me and those I love, and that’s what accepting God’s love is all about.
God loves giving and loves it when we accept His gift of love and share it with others. He wants more than anything for us to love Him, love one another, and figure out how His love works. Just as I love watching you enjoy the gifts I give, so does God love it when I accept and share His love. He loves me so much that He gave His only Son so I could be with Him and experience love unlike anything I could ever imagine on my own.
While your love changes my heart in a beautiful way, God’s love transforms even more powerfully in a way that I cannot put into words. It has been a decade of transformation and a time of tremendous growth for me sweet Lillyann. This last Christmas of the decade, God gave me the gift of a beautiful image to help me remember that transformation. God is eternal love, and Christ brought that love down to earth on the very first Christmas. The Holy Spirit connects me to God’s love and helps me love others and myself as God desires. Real love is eternal and isn’t defined by time or circumstances. It always has been, is, and always will be. In fact, God is love.
Let me tell you all about the sweet image God gave me on Christmas morning. I have a chair that was the organist’s chair at the church for many years. I brought it home because I couldn’t bear for it to be thrown away. Mary Evelyn, who reminds me so much of you, sat in it during the morning worship services for decades. It is a special chair for me because I love to pray and meditate, and it’s perfect for both. I was doing just that on Christmas morning. As I thanked God for all that He gives, I opened my eyes and saw the picture of the orchid you love so much that’s in the hallway. As I looked at the orchid, I could see God holding a beautiful crimson and yellow butterfly. The crimson was the blood of His precious Son, and the bright yellow the breath of His Holy Spirit. They were connected in a beautiful way and blessed me as I thought of my own transformation. I thanked God for the beautiful gift of His presence in my own heart.
You know how I feel about butterflies, and God knows how much I love them. Everyone who knows and loves me knows that about me. I delight in them, and so do you!! Butterflies are a symbol of transformation. I have struggled in my cocoon in the forty-four years since I first accepted God’s offer of love. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I’m letting go and learning what accepting His love truly means. God’s transforming love connects me to Him, His Son, His Holy Spirit, myself, and others. With God, I am a new creature with a changed mind, a new heart, and a fervent desire to connect to and share His Love. It’s taken me a long time to let that beautiful truth transform me, but it is worth every minute of the struggle!
God is the source of all true love. He is everywhere if I will simply seek Him. He is in each of us, but He is also in flowers, birds, butterflies, and all of His creation. Seeing and connecting to His love is what the journey is all about. Love connects us to God, to one another, and to His beautiful world. You and I have a sweet connection, and I feel your love across the miles this morning. I love you in a way that helps me understand God’s love all the more, and I thank you for that dear little one.
In Christ’s Precious Love, Gigi:]