I Got a Robe

I got a robe for Christmas.

If you watch SNL, you will laugh at that. They did a parody video a few years back about how everyone else in the family gets all these awesome gifts, and the mom gets a robe. Why? Because most of the time moms are the one that do the majority of the shopping and cooking and planning for the holidays!

But the funny thing was that I actually DID ask for a robe. My husband bought me a robe for Christmas the first year we were dating. It was a super plush, red, terrycloth robe from Victorias Secret. That thing was indestructible! Can you believe that I have worn this robe for… drum roll….. 27 years?! That is just insane. Mainly because I can’t possibly be that old.

But anyway, I figured after 27 years, it was time to retire the robe for a new one.

But really, the best gift was not under the tree. (and I know, I know… the best gift is Jesus)

But the OTHER best gift (besides Jesus) was spending time with my family. We got to see *almost* our entire family this year and it was great! And then after Christmas, my hubby and the girls and I always go out to have brunch and then the girls and I go shopping. I never knew how much joy it would bring me to spend time having fun with my girls as they have gotten older. As they have gotten older, we are able to enjoy each other’s company, laugh together, shop together, and our shopping excursions would not be complete without a Starbucks coffee run!

The greatest gift for me isn’t the presents. It’s ALL about being in the presence of the people I love.

I am thankful.

In your presence there is fullness of joy- Psalm 16:11

Presents

the greatest gift

is your

presence

Last week was my husband’s birthday. I admit that I am not a good “gift giver”. It’s not that I don’t enjoy giving gifts, or purchasing things for others- it’s the pressure of looking for that perfect thing- the one that will make someone feel like the king (or queen) of the world, as Leonardo DiCaprio says in the movie Titanic. And let’s face it- as adults, most of us have what we need– and if we don’t, then we just buy it!

The girls and I got him a few things that we knew he would like, but we knew the best present to give him was the gift of being with friends. He is an extroverted “people person” and loves being social- and he also enjoys playing games. So the girls and I planned a small murder mystery game party with a few of our closest friends (who are like our family).

And I think I was the one who received the greatest gift that night…

As an introvert, I love watching people and taking in the scene. I watched the joy and excitement on my hubby’s face that evening and it was such a blessing to me. It was a blessing to be with our close friends, and to see the girls’ and my “gift” played out (pun intended ūüôā all evening long!

The greatest gift YOU can ever give is yourself

your time, your talents, your attention…

your PRESENCE.

In YOUR presence there is fullness of JOY- Psalm 16:11

Gifts from my Grandmother

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Hands dance across keys 

where music breathes 

life

into my soul

Like a movie screen

my history is seen

upon these ivories

where memories are made

how I reminisce

and make believe

that she is sitting

here with me

oh the conversations I’ve played

loud and soft

slow and sweet

she and I-

that’s where we meet

on this weathered

piano seat

I was given the piano in the photo above by my grandmother as my wedding gift, almost 18 years ago. It was my great-grandmother’s, and she passed it down to my grandmother. ¬†We lived nearly 5 hours away from her, so I really treasured our visits to her home. ¬†One of the things that I couldn’t wait to do when we arrived was play her piano. ¬†It had the warmest, richest tone and even my measly¬†“hot-cross-buns” sounded like a symphony on it. ¬†I didn’t get to see her very often, but she always held a special place in my heart.

Over the last 18 years, it has traveled up and down several flights of stairs, been played by hundreds of piano students, and has moved many times. ¬†I purchased an antique baby grand piano about 5 years ago and thought about getting rid of my grandmother’s piano-

But I couldn’t.

Too many memories. It is the only thing that connects me to her. ¬†She passed away nearly 15 years ago, and this was her gift to me. It was more than just a piece of furniture- it was part of my grandmother’s history.

And as strange as it may sound, when I sit at that piano, I feel close to her.  Sometimes in those moments, I go back into time and I am that little girl- wishing to play something to make Grandmother proud.

A Few of My Favorite Things

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My hubby and daughters know me so well…they couldn’t wait to give me their favorite gift yesterday morning- ¬†the anniversary addition of the Sound of Music on DVD!

I remember the very first time I saw it. I was about 8 years old. It used to come on TV around Easter.  The first scene I saw was Liesl and Rolph dancing in a gazebo, in the pouring rain.  I got butterflies in my stomach as I watched them sing- and dreamed that I, too, would one day find the man of my dreams,  sing and dance in the rain, and squeal with delight over my first kiss!

The Christmas I turned 10, I got my very first keyboard.  Another favorite thing of mine.  I can remember my grandfather visiting me and offering me a challenge- he said if I could learn to play the theme song from The Sound of Music, he would give me 20$.  I took him up on the challenge and learned to play it in no time.  My grandfather passed away this August.  I went to see him in his final hours of life, and while I was there, I remembered the challenge he gave me so long ago.  What he gave me was priceless- a passion and a desire to learn to play songs by ear- a gift that I thank God for every day!

A couple of weeks ago, I went downstairs and found my girls snuggled on the couch, watching The Sound of Music on DVD. ¬†“Mom, sit with us! ¬†Watch it with us,” they begged me.¬†You see, The Sound of Music is not a spectator’s sport! ¬†I must sing. every. song. And I must recite every. single. word. ¬†I sat with them and as I sang, they hung on my every note. ¬†“Mommy, you weren’t kidding!” ¬†You DO know every word!” ¬†I left them to finish the movie by themselves and ¬†my heart melted. ¬†They were too cool to sing in front of me, but once alone, they couldn’t help themselves! ¬†I could hear them singing all the way upstairs.

How sweet it is to hear them singing these songs, much like my sister and I used to do so long ago! ¬†It’s not just a movie to me- it’s part of my childhood. Music changed that strict, lifeless household ¬†into a vibrant, joyful family full of passion and love! ¬†I have always loved Maria’s positive, joyful spirit, her whimsical ways, and how she never gave up on instilling her passion for music into the hearts of each member of the Von Trapp family.

Every good and perfect gift is from Him and I could never thank Him enough for the precious gift of music- and how He has used it to draw me closer to Him all these years.  And I thank Him for passing on the love of music to my children!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights

James 1:17