When I arrived, the tables were filled to overflowing with gifts for every age group. Bibs and bobbleheads, screwdrivers and ice scrapers, crayons and candles - even a huge stack of T-shirts proudly printed with the Pittsburgh Steelers logo which Wendi, the elf-in-charge, had managed to snag from a JCPenney's sales rack at a mere $1.99 each! (Marked up to $2.50 for the sale - the school makes a small profit and there will be a lot of happy Steelers fans on Christmas morning!) I was amazed at the large variety of items that had been donated and watched quietly from my post as "Elf-in-charge-of-wrapping-breakable-items-to-insure-that-they-survive-the-bus-ride-home" as the children streamed in with excited exclamations!
"Look at all those toys on that table, do you think I can buy something for me too?!"
"This is going to be super!"
"My Mom HAS to let me wrap these presents because I'm the one doing all the shopping!"
"I can't wait! How much am I allowed to spend?!"
....those were just a few of the things I heard as the kids got their first glance of the huge array of gifts spread before them.
As the minutes ticked by and I wrapped dozens of breakable ornaments, candle holders, coffee mugs and picture frames, I was blessed by the conversations I had with each child who visited my table. One young boy handed me a Christmas mug with its matching ceramic coaster and said, "I'm buying this mug for my Grandma Sue because she gets up very early every day and has a cup of coffee and reads her Bible."
I stopped and looked up from my wrapping as he continued to name each person for whom he had chosen a gift and shared with me the reason behind each purchase. I don't remember any of the other gifts or any of the other reasons, because I was so struck by his comments about his beloved Grandma Sue. And I wondered if Grandma Sue is aware of the awesome legacy she is leaving in her precious Grandson's heart...teaching him the importance of God's Word through her actions. I wonder if she knows how a simple cup of coffee and time with God and her Bible is touching lives around her. Not just the lives of her family, who see her devotion, but also the lives of others...like those wrapping up breakable items at the school's Santa's Workshop!
Grandma Sue reminded me to pay more attention to the legacy that I'm leaving my daughter, Olivia. I pray that Olivia recognizes, as she observes me, the importance of serving the Lord. I'm afraid that I fall far short in so many more ways than I care to think...
So Lord, thank You, for this reminder to pay more attention to the legacy that I leave behind, for that indeed, is the greatest gift I can give my daughter.
so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen
or let them slip from your heart
as long as you live.
Teach them to your children
and to their children after them.