Wendy Buckwalter, guest contributor. Wendy is a homeschooling mother of 3 and a member of the Marion Mennonite congregation in Chambersburg, PA.
So it is the Christmas season once again; a time of giving. During this season we give gifts to our friends and family, we donate food and money for those who need it, we spend time and energy for others. For us as women, though, it might seem like every season is a season of giving. We give of ourselves as wives, mothers, friends, daughters, and sisters. Giving is in our nature; it’s what we do. It’s the way God made us and it is good.
When my children were small, it seemed like I was always giving. They needed my physical presence near them at all times. I gave virtually all my time and energy to caring for them. Becoming a mother has been the most demanding, yet the most satisfying, task I have ever taken on.
Now my children are older, and in some ways, I give to them differently. I don’t have to physically care for them anymore; they are able to do most things for themselves. Instead, I teach them and support them as they are developing skills they will need to be successful and productive young people and adults. I still give them much of my energy and time, but not so much that I am emptied of it. I can now read a book or go for a walk or run and have enough of myself to meet their needs as well.
We as women also give of ourselves in countless other ways. We support our friends as they are in need. We visit and take a meal to a new mother. We care for aging parents and provide a listening ear to our adult children. We support and encourage and care and love and give. It’s the way God made us, and it is good.
This giving of ourselves is satisfying and fulfilling, but I admit that it can also at times be draining.
Perhaps that’s why the gift of salvation, which is so eloquently yet simply illustrated this time of year in the unassuming birth of Jesus, is so refreshing. It is a gift to us; something that we can receive with joy, peace, and humility. Rather than drain us, it fills us. Rather than another demand on us, it is something we can simply receive.
This season, my challenge to all of us as women is to reflect on the idea that we can receive the gift of Jesus. This gift is one that will fill us and refuel us. It will give us respite in a life full of giving of ourselves to others. Yes, it is lovely to give. Yet, how wonderful to simply know that as a rest from all of our giving, we can also have the chance to receive. Simply receive. Receive the gift of Jesus; dwell in his presence and find comfort in his arms. Reflect on the holy and sacred act of salvation, and receive that gift.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! -2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV)