Happy November 1! I just love this day. I know it’s a rather arbitrary date on the calendar, but somehow it just feels new and fresh.
For many people, November 1 marks the beginning of Christmas planning. Even those of us who work our hardest to make sure to not diminish the celebration of Thanksgiving frequently begin looking toward Christmas even before October ends. I know that is definitely the case around the Hibbard household.
Several years ago when the Christmas budget was at zero, we determined that we were going to make everything we gave. The problem was that I have a hard enough time coming up with things to buy for people. How much harder would it be for this idea-challenged gal to figure out what to make?
I’m currently reading a book entitled A Praying Life. One of the chapters talks about how our helplessness can lead to our greatest ability to pray. I can tell you now that trying to come up with ideas for Christmas gifts definitely left me feeling helpless that year! And, as a result, it led to some of the most beautiful times of prayer for people, not only that year but every year since as our homemade gift tradition has continued.
You see, when we have limited resources (whether in money, time, or other resources) to put into something, we want to make sure the thing we do is special. Right. Appreciated. Before we can do that, we have to know the heart of the recipient. How better to know the heart of the recipient than by praying for them. It produces a deeper understanding of their hearts than even the most intimate conversations ever could. Even more than that, it fills the giving with a joy we could never know by just grabbing up a gift to fulfill an obligation.
Who is on your Christmas list this year? Maybe there are many, maybe there are few. Maybe you are accustomed to giving extravagantly and maybe you don’t even participate in gift-exchange. Maybe you buy or make early and maybe you are a last-minute shopper.
Whatever the case may be, all of us have people in our lives who need to be touched this season. They need to be loved. They need to feel known.
Will you join me in praying for each person – whether family, friend, or acquaintance – on our Christmas lists this year? May we give them the greatest gift of all – our hearts lifted up faithfully in prayer. And, may we be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit as we prepare or buy more temporal gifts. May our hearts be truly inclined to truly know and encourage them during this beautiful time of year.