My sister gave me a gift last week and it made me so happy I screamed.
We were alone in my house sitting on my youngest son’s bed, for a reason I can’t recall now. She handed me a package neatly ribboned and wrapped in the brown paper sack from the gift shop explaining, “I’ve had this forever but kept forgetting to give you.”
I clawed off the paper and grinned, already judging this book by its cover.
My sister thought she was giving me an 8″x8″ gift book; but as STINKIN’ DARLING as it is, the book itself wasn’t exactly the biggest part of her gift. No…planted among its pages was a magical treasure, undetectable by eye, discernible only by the heart.
Her gift was in seeing and knowing me in the deepest ways I long to be seen and known.
I shrieked lunatic-crazy after every single page–think “wolf howling at the moon” and you’ll get a close approximation. Ask her if you think I’m kidding.
THIS IS THE BEST PRESENT IN THE WOOOORLD!
IT’S MY FAVORITE GIFT OF ALL TIIIIIME!
I LOOOOOVE THIS BOOK!!
Counting each double page as a single (one illustration with a companion sentence), there are just 27 pages (aka 27 screams). Thankfully, or the neighbors might’ve called the police.
We’re just 16 months apart but she’s always been the boss of me. I think she felt this was her God-given right and responsibility when we lost our mother so young. Or maybe it’s a first-born thing. Whatever it is, I’ve always accepted it and at times even appreciated it.
(It just occurred to me that she has known me longer than anyone else alive. Whoa…I’ve never thought about that before this very minute.)
One of my best childhood memories is sitting across from one another in her bathroom – her, on the toilet (lid down), me on the edge of the tub. She was my eager audience of one and I delighted in entertaining her…Edith Ann and Jimmy Carter impersonations (my Georgia roots showing), and I don’t know who else.
Her laughter was my paycheck, her approval, a bonus.
Even though sometimes she is maddening, she’s always been my biggest cheerleader.
Like when I was an upcoming high school freshman trying out for cheerleading and I suffered a major groin injury doing a split but not sufficiently warmed up (red hot knife searing pain that left me in a puddle in front of the judges). Back in the coach’s office, my sister gave me a “pep” talk: inches from my face she screeched GETCHUR ASS BACK OUT THERE AND FINISH YOUR TRYOUT!
I thought she was cool to say “ass” in front of grown-ups. Bad to the bone.
I hobbled back to the gym, finished my tryout, and made the squad. Thanks to her.
While we’ve had our differences through the years, she’s still my cheerleader and champion. I suppose it’s not that difficult to understand how she could see me and know me so well, what with our history and sheer amount of life together.
And then she sings it back to me by way of a gift in a gift.
The pages in this little book spoke life and love and affirmation and beauty.
She told me I already am who I long to be.
And though I know we are intimately known and loved by the God of the universe, sometimes a girl needs it in human form. On the very best of days He is gracious to find the perfect person to deliver the message.
My husband knows me and loves me in a way that she never can, but it’s she who has spent my entire lift knowing me in a way he never can–her blood runs through my veins.
It is wired in our DNA, this desire to be known and loved. And I believe each one of us has the capacity to give this gift to someone in our lives who so desperately needs to receive it.
Will you take a moment to consider the people in your life who might thrill to your notice? Will you follow through and find a way to express it to them?
I don’t know if Celebrating You will be a conduit you can use to encourage another, but for less than ten bucks, if you know someone whose love language, like mine, is words of encouragement, it might be perfect.
I’m curious now…what makes you feel well known and most loved? I guess it centers around your love language. If you’re willing to share, I’d really like to know what could turn you into a howling wolf…:).
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