I absolutely love giving and receiving gifts. I get so excited when I pick a gift for someone I love. I put lots of thought into what they like and what kind of gift would make them happiest.
In my life, I’ve recieved not one – but FOUR gifts that have moved me and been incredibly memorable. I’m pretty blessed like that.
So here goes:
- A personalised calendar DIARY of love letters from a variety of friends and family. My ex-sister-in-law supported my move back to my homeland of Perth, Australia from Liverpool UK to complete my Degree in Teaching. Jayne knew I would be away from her brother (my husband at the time), their family (I had built a strong bond with my parents-in-law), and the entire Church community. Words are my love language, so to get Jayne’s gift absolutely blew me away. Jayne bought a beautiful hard-cover notebook, wrote the dates for all of January, February and March (my first few months away from everyone in England) on the top corner of each page, and asked my husband, my friends, her parents and beloved fellow Church-goers to each pick a date that they wanted to write to me on. Every day for the first few months away, I got to see a handwritten note from so many people I loved. Every Friday, Jon (my first husband) would write “DATE NIGHT” along the top of the page and write about a pretend date we’d go on eg; “Tonight we go bowling. We’re both rubbish at it but we have loads of fun anyway” and took time detailing all the fun moments we *would* have had if we’d been together on those nights. I STILL HAVE THAT NOTEBOOK. I ended up getting divorced and moving back to Australia permanently 3 years after my failed attemt to finish my degree. Jayne – who made that incredibly special gift – hates me with the passion of a 1000 suns and didn’t hold back on letting me know. I understand that. I would feel as protective of my own sibling. I still get that notebook out and read over the handwritten entries. I will forever treasure this gift…even though the person who made it for me hates me.
- An easter egg from a little boy called Matthew. I was on ‘Teaching prac’ over Easter, so of course I wanted to hide little Easter eggs all over the classroom and smile in delight as the little ones went around with their baskets; squealing in excitement as they collected their eggs. When the eggs were collected and I’d called the children to “gather together on the mat” for an Easter story, one of the little boys came up to me with a frown on concern on his cute little face. “Miss…where are your Easter eggs?” Matthew asked, looking at my empty hands. “Oh, they’re just for you guys” I answered with a shrug. “No, you need one, too” and with that, Matthew reached into his little basket and gave me an Easter egg wrapped in shiny pink metallic paper. I was SO TOUCHED that he gave me one of his eggs. Sometimes it’s the smallest gifts that mean the very most. I have the wrapping from that egg between the pages of my Bible and whenever I come upon it as I’m reading God’s word, I remember that moment with a smile. I love children and how caring and sweet they are. They’re also natural problem solvers, bless them.
- I was going through a really, REALLY hard time with depression. It honestly had me by the throat and I couldn’t even get out of bed. This lasted months and I honestly wanted to die from it. I was coming under fire from a lot of lies and gossip surrounding my divorce at the time. Something about Divorce divides people and there seems to be a “team wife” or “team husband” and very few who see the middle or the grey areas between. I felt really attacked and was unable to cope with my mental health in such a bad condition. That’s when a journal from my dear friend Kristy arrived in the post. I LOVE GETTING PARCELS IN THE MAIL so this made me smile. It not only gave me a reason to get out of bed, it gave me a purpose – a journal to write in when I felt so very alone. Kristy had filled in the first pages with pretty pictures and beautiful inspirational quotes. Again, because words are my love language, this gift meant SO MUCH to me. I still have it and I still use it.
- My 2nd (and absolutely bloody AMAZING) husband Alun said one afternoon “get dressed, we’re getting you a surprise”. I was dressed in about 10 minutes flat, I was so excited. I love surprises. In the car ride, I noticed we were following all the signs for the airport. Were we going on a trip? Because we didn’t have any cases. It was even better than imagined. Alun directed me to the “arrivals gate” in the international section and when I saw my best friend Becci walk through the gates, I burst into delighted tears and ran to hug and hold her tight. Alun had paid for Becci’s flights to Australia so I could see my best friend again. BEST GIFT EVER. I got 2 weeks with Becci and it was awesome to have her on my ‘hood’ and get to show her the best parts of Western Australia. They are some of the happiest weeks of my entire life. I’m so blown away by Alun’s generosity. Becci LOVED being here and it was so great having her just down the hall from us and hearing her giggle, singing and cute Liverpool voice throughout our home. So blessed.
I’m so thankful for today’s blog prompt because I’ve recently been FIRED so this has been a lovely reminder that I’m loved, I’m whole, I’m healthy (ish), and I’m going to be okay xx