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December Daily Day 16 Presents

We all like them. The surprise contained inside usually brightens our day and makes us feel loved.
Especially if the gifter knows us well, and takes the time to either purchase something that we especially want but would not make for ourselves, or if they hand-make us something; for it is the gift of time that is the most precious of all. Because time is the one thing you can never get more of. 
Think about it: everything else you can get more of. Or at least something similar. But time, no.
This moment will never be able to be relived. 
Memories never remade. 
Years never repeated.
I was so blessed yesterday by my dear friends who chose to take time out of their busy holiday schedules and spend the morning with me celebrating my birthday at Teapots and Treasures. We had a lovely time, and I got some wonderful gifts. The most wonderful being time with my beloved friends. Truly they are my heart sisters, and inspire me to be the kind of woman Christ wants me to be. 
One of my friends bought me a book called 
1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. 
You can find her website here. 
(by the way, the Jesse Tree Advent devotional on there is phenomenal.)
I started reading this book last night, and I think every Christian woman needs to read this book. And do the challenge. I know I am and will be this coming year. 
About 14 pages into the book I knew this was going to be a life changer for me. And that I had to make sure my daughters read this book. Heres a quote that will explain why:
(from page 15)
Ultimately, in his essence, Satan is an ingrate. And he sinks his venom into the heart of Eden. Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave. 
Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins? 
Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other. Standing before that tree, laden with fruit withheld, we listen to Evils murmur, "In the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened..." (Gen. 3:5). But in the beginning our eyes were already open. Our sight was perfect. Our vision let us see a world spilling with goodness. Our eyes fell on nothing but the glory of God. We saw God as He truly is: good. But we were lured by the deception that there was more to a full life, there was more to see. And, true, there was more to see: the ugliness we hadn't beheld, the sinfulness we hadn't witnessed, the loss we hadn't known.
We eat. And, in an instant, we are blind. No longer do we see God as one we can trust. No longer do we perceive Him as wholly good. No longer do we observe all of the remaining paradise. 
We eat. And in an instant, we see. Everywhere we look, and we see a world of lack, a universe of loss, a cosmos of scarcity and injustice. 
We are hungry. We eat. We are filled...and emptied.
And still, we look at the fruit and see only the material means to fill our emptiness. We don't see the material world for what it is meant to be: as the means to communion with God.
(end of quote)
I can't wait to see where this is going. Actually, I know where it is going. But I can't wait to see how she (the author) gets there. Because I think it is going to be a great ride. 
All of this to say:
Where are we in our expectations with God? Do we long for His Presents, like a happy family, happy life with well behaved kids, and adoring husband, and even the traffic to go our way, more than we long for His Presence?
I not only long for them, I expect them. And then when they don't happen, I get aggravated and even upset at times. But when I let those circumstances drive me into His Presence, instead of insane, I realize that is exactly what they are there for: to create crisis of belief, and a need for relationship with Him. 
I wonder: if we never had any trouble, would we need or want Him? 
Why would we need a Savior?
What would He have to save us from?
As it is, he has to save us from Ourselves.
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