Good Gifts

This week, with the approach of Father’s Day, I’m thinking of my daddy. He died much sooner than I was ready for him to, 30 years ago this year, and I still miss him. He was a good daddy, who knew how to give good gifts. I don’t necessarily mean material gifts, although he was extremely generous. I’m talking about intangible gifts that mean more than things ever could. These gifts aren’t unique to fathers. We can all invest in the lives of others by giving these gifts:

Time

A fond childhood memory is that of my daddy coming home for summertime lunch, crunching his 6-foot frame into the door of my playhouse, and perching on a child-size chair for a lunch of mud pie and tea, aka rusty water. I sill remember his pinky finger in the air as he pretended to sip tea and his yum-yum sounds as he sampled dirt pie. He was a busy builder and real estate developer, but he always had time for me.

Despite the slowdown of 2020, gradually, the pace of our lives is picking up speed. As forward motion resumes, will we retain the lessons we garnered from a year of life on pause? We learned the benefits of rest and renewal. We gleaned from unhurried time spent with family. We listened, pondered, reconnected, and reassessed.

When you give your attention, you show you value the one to whom you give your time, and your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

Encouragement

I remember the day my father encouraged me to ride my bike without training wheels. As the story goes, my training wheels were so bent they no longer touched the ground, yet I was fearful of riding without them.

When daddy removed the training wheels, ran beside me, gave me a push, and yelled “keep riding,” I didn’t take it well. I ran in the house, tearful, and tattled to Mama that Daddy “forced” me to ride my bike without training wheels.

Sometimes, we need a little boost to move beyond the familiar and on to new levels of growth. Your encouragement may be the impetus someone needs to climb out of an emotional pit, gain perspective on a difficult season of life, or implement courage to attempt a new endeavor. Be an encourager to someone today.

Affirmation

In the long waiting lines created by closed restaurant lobbies, I have become keenly aware of the impatience of patrons and their unkindness to employees. One day, as I pulled to the drive-thru window to pick up my food, a woman dashed in front of my car shouting, “This is wrong, wrong, wrong!” I narrowly missed hitting her as she squeezed between my car and the building, plopped her bag of food at the window and cursed the woman inside for contents that weren’t her order.

Many people live daily with verbal abuse and harsh actions that damage them in ways we may never understand. In a world filled with criticism, words of praise and affirmation change the landscape. Be one who affirms rather than berates. Point out positives instead of negatives and shine a positive light on those around you.

Example

I will always remember the sight of my father sitting at the kitchen table on cold winter mornings—toast browning in the toaster oven, a steaming cup of coffee, an open Bible with Daddy’s hands folded over it, and his head bowed in prayer. His example of faith and the lessons he taught me, as much with his life as his words, shaped the person I am today.

People watch us to see how we respond to life difficulties as well as times of prosperity and peace. Let your life be a positive and worthy example.

Love

Love is one of the most used and abused words on the planet. Some confuse love with control and manipulation. Others equate it with lust or physical attraction. But love is so much more. Love responds with kindness and patience. Love protects, brings hope, and endures through great challenge and hardship.

I am so thankful I experienced the gift of love from my earthly father and know the grace of my loving Heavenly Father. Because of their great love, I can love others.

Forgiveness

My father was in the Army Air Corps in World War II. Captured when his plane was shot down, he never revealed all he endured. He forgave, didn’t allow the past to color the future, and moved forward.

Forgiveness is an action many find difficult to employ. Yet, forgiveness is a good gift with multiple benefits. Forgiveness is a gift modeled by God, beneficial for the one forgiven and the one forgiving. When you choose to forgive someone, you remove a heavy weight that will forever hold you captive if you harbor unforgiveness. Forgiveness blesses others, but it also sets you free.

In sharing intangible good gifts with others, you change lives.

“So, if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him” Matthew 7:11 NLT

©CandyArrington

Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.

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