When Life Feels Extravagant

Gratitude Day 370

Fri., Nov. 29, 2019

1 Timothy 1:11: Sound teaching agrees with the glorious gospel of the blessed God that has been trusted to me.

Hubby Rick and I have been remodeling the upstairs of our house. A few weeks ago, I showed some photos of the master bedroom and our new walk-in closet.

I also showed one photo of a new laundry closet across the hallway from the walk-in closet.

Recently, we had expected guests overnight. Well, Hubby Rick hosted these quests while I was gone. Nonetheless, when I got home, I prioritized getting he bed linens cleaned and ready for our next guests.

With this next laundry closet on the second floor of our house, it makes laundry very easy! I threw in a load upstairs and then walked down to the basement, where we have done laundry since we moved into this house. We plan to keep the washer and dryer in the basement because this is a great place for Rick’s work clothes to be washed.

I carried with me the dirty bed linens from the first-floor bedroom. While I was putting them into the basement washer, water from upstairs come down the pipe behind the basement washer. Suddenly, I felt like my life was so extravagant. Who has two sets of washer and dryers in their house? For 2 people!! Here I was, doing laundry in two different parts of the house at the same time!

I am almost a little embarrassed to share this with others … because I know there are countless people in our community who don’t have regular access to laundry. And yet, I have 2 washers and dryers?!

Today, which is Black Friday, begins a huge push for the next four weeks towards Christmas. People will send ridiculous amounts of money on Christmas presents, whether they actually have the means to do so or not. Too often, we feel that we must be extravagant with our Christmas gift giving because, well, that’s just what we do.

Before we begin this frenzy of buying gifts before Christmas, pause for just a few minutes. Whether you can afford to purchase gifts or not, contemplate why you buy various people gifts at Christmas. What is the purpose? As you buy gifts for these people, do you ever think to yourself, “This person has everything they need. I have no idea what to give them.” And yet, we feel obligated to give them a gift over the holidays.

I maybe late to the party … but before we go all crazy about giving gifts this Christmas, I encourage you to re-think your gift giving protocol. Should someone come off the list? Should someone go of? Does your gift giving feel extravagant and over-the-top? If so, maybe contemplate how you might shift your thoughts about gift giving.

Here are a few ideas to go along with this.

  1. Be intentional about who you choose to give gifts. There must be a more compelling reason than, “I received a gift from them last year” or “I expect a gift from them this year.” Give yourself permission to receive a gift without having to give a gift in return. And vice versa. Gift-giving should be rooted to expressing appreciation … not to keep an even scorecard.
  2. Give the gift of an experience rather than something wrapped up in a box. I love this type of gift. It’s a commitment to spend time with your loved one rather than another navy-blue sweater. Create life-long memories with this person. You both will be glad that you did!
  3. Regifting is OK … especially when you know the item is something the receiver would love to have. Years ago, I encouraged my mom to share things that she had with family members rather than buying something that will not be as well-loved and valued. This is especially helpful when a person longs to make sure someone gets some specific item. Why wait until you are gone to give this item to someone? Enjoy them having the item now and you getting to see them have/use it.
  4. Perishable items are great for people who need nothing. Maybe you want to remember someone in a little way. They don’t need anything, but you’d like to honor them. Give the gift of something perishable so it will be used in the near future. Plates of Christmas cookies, their favorite drink, cheese, fruit … anything that will be consumed quickly and gone.
  5. Write a special handwritten letter or card expressing why you value this person. A handwritten letter can have significant influence on another person. While it may feel easier to send an e-mail, please don’t. Taking the time to actually pen the information is always more special and treasured.

Yes, two washers and dryers feels very extravagant to me. We are blessed beyond reason. I don’t ever want to take things for granted.

I also encourage us to be mindful, thoughtful and intentional about our gift his holiday season.

For blessings that make life feel extravagant, I am grateful.

Holy God – most of us have first-world problems. We have so much more than we need and definitely more than we want. As we go into this time of gift-giving, encourage us to be very mindful and listen to You for ways we can share our blessings with others. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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