The Little Things…

There are not many times when I’m left speechless, but this past week was one of those rare times. I got a serious lesson on “gratitude” the other day when I received a phone call from my dad. We talk regularly so it was nothing out of the norm but after the initial exchange of pleasantries, he began to tell a “funny” story about a close family friend who I lovingly call my uncle. He told me that my uncle has yet to open the Christmas gift I gave him TWO YEARS AGO!! My first reaction was complete disbelief and a bit of confusion. Then when he began to share the details of how it was still perfectly wrapped as if he’d just received it yesterday, we broke out into laughter. We joked about how crazy he was and how we wished he would just open the box!! I remember saying, “I hope by the time he opens it, he’s not disappointed. It’s nothing big… it’s just a George Foreman grill!!” I laughed but my dad ensured me he would not be disappointed… to him it was much bigger than the gift.

You see, my “uncle” has not led an easy life. He comes from an estranged family who abandoned him. He went on to serve in the Vietnam War and like most soldiers returned with psychological damage. The years of drug use has taken a toll on his outer appearance but his spirit has never faulted. He’s always known to have a kind, giving spirit. One that would give his last for his friends and those he considers family. Well two years ago, he was living in a transitional housing apartment for working homeless adults and God laid upon my heart to reach out to him. I asked my father to invite him to Christmas dinner at my house. It was a last minute decision so I had to run out on Christmas Eve to pick him up a gift. I hadn’t seen him in a few years, I had no idea what to get him, and of course the stores had been cleared out. So I settled on the George Foreman grill thinking he could use that to cook meals since he didn’t have a full kitchen in his apartment. I wrapped it up real nice, set it under the tree, and that was it.

Well, when I passed out my gifts, he wouldn’t open it!!! I was taken back for a minute but he just kept saying, “I don’t want to open it right now. I’m going to wait.” Two years later, he’s still waiting because to him that gift meant more than a Christmas offering. He says that he used that gift as a motivator to get out of the homeless shelter and get his own place. He locked up that gift and protected it, only taking it out when he was home. Every time he looked at the unwrapped gift it was a reminder of what he needed to do to get out of the situation he was in. Just two weeks ago, he’s moved out of the homeless shelter, has his own apartment…YAY!… but he’s still not ready! LOL… he want’s to furnish his bedroom first. It seems strange that someone would hold such value to something and they have no idea what it is. It could be an empty shoe box under that wrapper for all he knows. After I got off the phone with my dad, I just sat there in awe of how God can teach life lessons through the simplest happenings in life. I not only learned a lesson in gratitude, but I learned the value of listening to God’s voice. Look at how my inviting my uncle to Christmas, led to me purchasing a gift, which led to that gift making a larger impact than any Christmas gift ever could.

I hope this encourages you to be a giver. It’s nice to receive but it’s an even greater reward when you know that your gift has made a lasting impact on someone else’s life. It could be the gift of your time, money, or even a George Foreman grill (LOL) that could make a difference in someone else’s life. You just never know someone’s story. You don’t know what all they’ve been through and what may be a small thing to you, could be life changing for someone else. I encourage you all to think bigger than yourself, listen to God’s voice, and trust it with all your heart. There’s truly no greater reward!

Be BOLD,

Be FABULOUS,

Be YOU

Tuesday with Bianca

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7 thoughts on “The Little Things…

  1. Because I know this story and am so invested it the lives of all involved, it makes me smile (throught tears…I know “whimpy” me) and warms my soul to know that you are my daughter and not only do you listen to me (and always have) but much more importantly you LISTEN to the voice of God. I am so proud of you and this story is just a small part of why. Maybe one day you’ll tell the story of you and your Dad which will also Bless anyone who reads it. Keep Listening to His voice and Acting on what He tells you to do…I LOVE YOU TO LIFE and am proud as always to say “that’s MY baby”!!!

    • It means so much to hear that you are proud of me… that’s one of my most important goals in life is to never disappoint you in my life choices. As for the story of me and my dad, I’m sure I will reveal in time. Not sure how I’ll sum that up in a blog but I’ll do my best. Love you mom! … and for the record, I’m extremely proud of you as well.

  2. I have become very in touch w/ my emotional side on this trip and your post has spoken tears to my eyes. Uh…such a sap!!! lol.
    God is always moving, it’s up to us to get on board w/ His momentum for our lives and BE A BLESSING to someone. Most times, we don’t even realize how we’re called to be a blessing. But just being obedient, He will reveal. I praise God for how He used you to bless your Dad’s friend and his life. Love this!!!!!

    • Between you and my mom I don’t know who’s worse… lol! It’s okay though, thanks for the comment and being such an awesome friend. I’m grateful for you listening to God’s voice and inviting me to be a part of the BOLD & FAB. It’s blessed my life.

  3. Great post Bianca! I think that is really sweet that your uncle cherishes the gift you gave him so much! How awesome it would be if you could be there when he opens it.

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