Have you ever opened a gift knowing your expression screams, “what the heck is this?” Meanwhile, the giver is bouncing with anticipation, expecting a reaction like “How did you ever know?” or “This will now make my life complete!”
Such began my Mother’s Day.
My husband and I picked up my son from college to trek on another hour to my oldest daughter’s house. Cole, who was reminded that the morning with a daily scripture text from me it was Mother’s Day, handed me a waded up piece of typing paper. On the back was a syllabus for one of his Pyschology classes. I opened it to find a pencil drawn hand turkey that he learned to drawn in kindergarten-just a bigger hand. He even scrawled “COLE” with the “E” drawn backwards. I was so proud.
Next came the daughters’ gift. Casey had run across a something-really-cool-Mom-I-can’t-wait-for-you-to-open-it gift. For weeks, she made it clear she had nailed retrieving the perfect present. Her two sisters agreed to go in with her on it-sight unseen.
Now we break for a little background. When I was about a 3rd or 4th grader, I got into biographies big time. There was a series of burnt orange books on historical figures such as Abe Lincoln, George Washington Carver, Florence Nightengale, Davy Crocket and anyone who ever did anything in our American heritage. About that time a show made for kids on Saturdays mornings featured historical events being played out like they were actually there. Walter Conkrite would be on site at the Alamo as Santa Ana attacked. Or he was in the radio office when the last static-y transmission from Amelia Earhart came through before her plane mysteriously disappeared. My world would stop and I would drink in whatever drama played out. (Ok, this proves I was a nerd then, too. To this day if they ever really find Amelia, I will be sad as the mystery would end.)
Back to ‘The Gifting’. The wrapping told me it was a book, so I ripped the paper open. Inside is an old worn library book, complete with the little white tag on the bottom of the spine, compliments of Dewy Decimal. The title is Amelia Earhart, Heroine of the Skies. Already Robin and Misty are groaning since they helped pitch in on a book that might have cost 50 cents at a garage sale.
“Open it up!” Casey’s eyes are dancing and is about to bust waiting for me to drink in the ‘coolness’ that awaites me. I opened it to a new plastic spine, but the old title page. As I flipped through it, confusion was etched in every line of this face. The hodge-podge of blank pages were a mix of Big Chief tablet, plain white, cut up notebook, seed company pink receipts, maps, checkerboard designs and more random sheets. Ever so often an Amelia illustration would pop up of her and her plane. What the heck? The two out-of-the-loop sisters descend on Casey like piranhas: “How much did WE pay for this?”, “Way to go, Case”, and “Where in the world did you find THAT?” Casey is desperately trying to redeem herself. “Hey, it was made by a mom of 9 kids. I found it in a high-end little shop that carries funky handmade stuff. Look, you can get refills for it”.
Refills? I’m still trying to process what it is and knowing there are reactions expected of me that will make or break my children’s hearts. Or worse. Trust me, I have witnessed these sister’s duke it out and it ain’t pretty. But, if I don’t know what it is, how can I throw a parade?
I finally realized it was the most eclectic journal I have ever seen in my life. The light bulb takes longer to go on a times, especially when chaos reigns supreme around me.
By now I am saying “I love it!” and mean it, but it comes off as “Mom is covering again and being nice.” The sisters will forever roll their eyes and grumble about this one.
The next morning I proceeded to explain to the gals at work about my treasure. “I’ll bring it back after lunch,” as they mirrored the confused looks I must have had on opening it. But, I could not find it. I knew I hadn’t left it at Robin’s, so it had to be somewhere.
I finally gave up the search and called Casey. “I can’t find Amelia. She is missing.”
“Well, Mom, this is nothing new. Everyone has searched for her for years.” I cracked up. Later I facebooked her and posted “Call off the search. Amelia Earhart has been found under a blanket on the couch.”
Have you ever been confused by what God puts in your lap? So many times I have not understood what in the dickens is going on. Because he knows our hearts better than we do, the significance that this is a blessing takes a while to dawn on us and to grow. Much of what comes our way are hard, unimaginable things to deal with. ‘How can anything good come from this?” is usually my response. Just like with Casey, God knows my heart and his gifts might not be conventional, but it was something tailor-made just for me. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
Can you give him the benefit of the doubt today and trust him with your confusion? Talk to him about it. He’s already got it figured out.
Afterall he’s the only one who knows what really happened to Amelia.