Is That All…?
My husband is the type of father Brad Paisley sings about in his song, “He Didn’t Have To Be.” Marc took my children, Corey and Ethan, into his heart at first sight. Marc was an only child. His mother’s reasoning is that he was such a good child she didn’t want to take the chance that a second child wouldn’t be as wonderful. I used to wave the comment off, but the truth is, she did raise a very good child to be a wonderful husband and father.
Not only did Marc accept my children as his own, his mother and his father embraced them as grandchildren. From the first time they met, my boys called the senior Lambs Grandma and Grandpa.
One of my favorite memories, and the lesson that came with it, is of our first Christmas together. We were all excited about our initial holiday season as a family.
On Christmas morning, the kids bounded from bed. They were ready to get to Grandma’s. They couldn’t get dressed quickly enough. Marc pulled into the driveway, and Ethan, our youngest, yelled, “Let me out of here.”
Grandma claims she could hear him from her kitchen. She met us as the door, blocking the kids’ view. She wore a Christmas apron and wiped her hands on a dishtowel. The smell of turkey and dressing filled the air. The boys tried to lean in around her to get a look. With a smile, she backed out of the way.
The kids didn’t get too far. Why? They were blocked by all of the packages, which started from beneath the tree in the corner of the living room, filled the area, and spilled, literally, to the door.
“Wow,” a collective gasp came from not only the boys but from me. I’d never seen anything like it. Yeah, as a kid, I’d always been given whatever I wanted for Christmas, put even I knew a single mother had limitations, and because my mother saved up all year for a special Christmas, I chose wisely.
I was overwhelmed. For me, Christmas wasn’t all about the gifts—not that I didn’t love receiving them, but I’d never seen so many packages in one place in my entire life.
Grandma cleared a spot and sat in the middle of the floor. She held out package after package to each individual. Of course, the boys received most of the gifts—so many in fact, that as they opened and stacked them, we eventually could not see the children behind the mountains they created.
As the packaged gifts dwindled, replaced by opened boxes of toys, clothes, electronics, you name it, I couldn’t believe the kindness that my new family had shown.
And then it happened…a little arm stretched up and placed the last of his packages onto a large stack. With a heavy sigh flowing from behind the boxes, a disappointed voice said, “Is that all?”
I was mortified. This wasn’t this child’s first Christmas, and he’d never had another where he’d been given so much. I started to reprimand him, but my in-laws’ laughter stopped me. The joy for them came in the giving. The little boy (I won’t tell you which one) was being a typical child—an ungrateful child at that moment—but nonetheless, he was an overwhelmed kid with excitement ebbing from him.
As the family looks back on that Christmas, we remember the anticipation and the excitement; I remember the halting disappointment from someone who’d received so much, and for a fleeting moment, it didn’t seem enough. That boy is now a grown man with children of his own, and I know he has always been and will always be, grateful to his Grandma and Grandpa Lamb—because they are the best kind of grandparents: the ones who “didn’t have to be.” And whether the boys received one or one hundred gifts that day, the best gift of all was the grandparental love—not shown through gifts but through their acceptance.
When I look back at the memory, I am reminded how much Christ has given to me: his acceptance of me and His sacrifice of leaving Heaven with one destination in mind—the cross, where He gave His life for my sins. And sometimes, I’m reminded that I’m much like my son had been on that one Christmas morning. I receive gift after gift from Christ. I have received the greatest gift in the world from Him, and yet, like an ungrateful child, I sometimes sigh and ask, “Is that all?”
The authors of Write Integrity Press and Pix-N-Pens Publishing, invite you to join us tonight, December 7, 2014, between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. for our Facebook Party. We’ll have food (virtual, of course), fun, and party favors (not virtual–you have to join us to see). Stop in. We’d love to say hello to our old friends and get to know some new ones.
Today starts a week full of free Kindle offers. We start with the wonderful children’s book by Peggy Cunningham, Really Rare Rabbits: Giant Green Ghosts and the Secret at Peppermint Pass.
There on the mountaintop stood at least ten giant green ghosts. They were real.
Fi Fi and her brother heard about Jesus when they ventured down their mountain in Bolivia and peered into the windows of the missionaries’ house. Now, she and Chi Chi are starting a long journey to meet Grandfather who went to visit his Inca relatives of long ago. He’s waiting for them at the mysterious Winding Wall. But first, they must journey through secretive Peppermint Pass.
She’s heard stories of giant green ghosts at Peppermint Pass, and she sure doesn’t want to meet any ghosts––especially giant green ones––along the way. So, the morning they leave for the big trip, Fi Fi tells her brother about her fears. Chi Chi waves them off as just stories. While Fi Fi still trembles, she remembers a Bible verse tucked away in her racing heart, “Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
Fi Fi realizes why it is so important to memorize Scripture––so it stays in your heart always and comes back to you when you need it. Even so, she has no idea how much she and her brother will need to call on God for help to rescue them from the dangers that await on their journey through Peppermint Pass.