The $40 Gifts

It’s not very often that I write a post inspired by a book – especially when I’m not even finished reading that book. But, today I’m happily doing just that.

I began reading Life Creative on Friday and was instantly delighted by the book.  Nearly everything about the book is art. The different fonts. The designs on the pages. The life-painting word pictures. I was inspired from the first page, and that inspiration didn’t fade as I continued reading. (Which, in addition to being fantastic, is actually a bit amusing because the book was written for moms, and I’m obviously not one.)

Last night before I went to bed I was reading the book again, and something one of the authors said really stuck out to me, and I’ve been pondering it on and off all morning. The author said that she sent her daughter $40 in the mail, and instead of being thankful, her daughter asked “Mama, why didn’t you send $50?” Of course it distressed the author that instead of being thankful for what she had sent, the daughter could only focus on what she hadn’t gotten. (I was kinda feeling the same way, like Ungrateful child!)

Later on that day, the author said she was reading a blog where the blogger was all excited because she had just signed her first book contract. The author said that added to making her day difficult, because she wanted to publish a book, too. She said as the day went on she stewed at what she felt was her “unfair lot in life.” And then suddenly it hit her. She was being the ungrateful child. Instead of thanking God for what He had given her, she was focusing on what she didn’t have compared to others.

And I realized I do that, too. Oh, not about my lot in life or my talents. No, in those areas I am incredibly thankful. I find utter delight in doing what I do each day, and using my God-given-talents to glorify Him. The place where I struggle is my lack of energy. For years I’ve felt nearly constantly tired and have a hard time accomplishing everything I want to. I look at people like my energizer-bunny-sister and think How can she do all she does? How can she have so much energy when I’m so tired? When I was getting over Lyme disease I even asked the doctor when I would have as much energy as my sister, and the doctor replied that different people had different amounts of energy, and even as a totally healthy individual, I might never have as much as my sister did.

This year I’ve been blessed at intervals with much more energy as normal as I focus on eating correctly, getting enough sleep, and trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour. Still though, the lack of energy I deal with is quite hard for me to accept and I often find myself bemoaning it quite often.

That’s why the illustration made such a huge impact on me. So often instead of being thankful for the $40 worth of energy I do have, I complain to God about the lack of $10 of energy that I feel belongs to me. Which means I’m the one being the ungrateful child. (And, if you’ve been around Noveltea very long, you know I think it’s extremely important to be a thankful person.)

So, from now on I’m striving to be thankful and happy with the energy that God has given to me. Sure, I’ll still work on increasing my energy, and praying for it if it’s God’s will. But in the meantime, instead of getting frustrated or unhappy, I will choose to rejoice. My energy is a gift from God, and it’s a gift that I’m incredibly grateful for.

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