family, love, the friends

Sacrificial Gifts

A few weeks before Christmas my daughter texted me a picture of Sorel Slimpack II Waterproof Boots – in case I needed a gift idea.

I had already bought her gifts but I was tempted to buy just one more.  Except the hub said we needed to scale back this year due to all the vet bills.  So I resisted.

The Monday before Christmas I stood at the pharmacy counter with a prescription for a colonoscopy prep kit – the same kind my husband used back in October when he had his colonoscopy.  The kind that is a lot easier to take than the Golytely jug I’ve used in the past.

“Your insurance doesn’t cover this one,” the pharmacist said, “it will be $100.”

“What?” “Is that how much my husband paid back in October?”

She checked her computer.

“He paid $86, he had a coupon. I’ll try applying that same coupon code to yours.”

With the coupon it would be $91.  The price must have gone up she said.

“Is there another kind that my insurance will cover?”

She advised me to call the doc’s office and ask them to authorize a switch.

Golytely. The dreaded 4 litre jug.

Dreaded but 100% covered.

I texted the hub.  He said go ahead and pay the $91.

But then I remembered the boots. I was willing to suffer for the boots.

So I took home the jug.

The day after the colonoscopy I went to Nordstrom to purchase the boots – for $145.

“I thought I saw them on sale on your website for $114,” I said, as the clerk rang them up.

Apparently not.

As I was leaving the mall I spotted the same boots at another store – on sale for $109.

Back to Nordstrom to return, then back to Journeys to buy.

Those 8 hours of gut-wrenching misery – literally – plus the return and repurchase paid for all but $18 of them.  The hub could live with that.

Sacrificial Giving

As we were heading to the theater to see the matinee showing of La La Land the day after Christmas, I told my daughter the story of the boots – my own small version of the Gift of the Magi.  Not because I wanted a medal or anything, but because I wanted her to know the depth of my love. And because giving a sacrificial gift felt so good, I thought receiving one might feel good, too.  Judging by the expression on her face at the end of my story, I think it did.

Same Love, Different Scenario

That evening, after dinner, I said, “Time for family goodness.” (“Family goodness” = all of us taking the friends for a walk.  One of us takes the hound, another takes the beagle and the third is on bag duty…”)

“It’s almost dark,” the hub said, sitting comfortably on the sofa watching some sort of sport on tv.

“Bring a flashlight,” I replied.

My daughter didn’t say anything, but the look she flashed revealed that she wasn’t thrilled either.

It was a rare 50 degree day in December and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to walk the little beagle. She cannot tolerate the cold anymore and getting oxygen to her lungs is so important.  I had been waiting all day for the rain to stop so we could take her.  It was still drizzling when I made my announcement, but it was getting dark and the window was closing.

“Come on,” I said.

As my daughter put on her coat she said, “You’re never going to be satisfied with the manner in which I parent your granddogs.”

“I just won’t come over,” I replied.

She continued, “Because I’m going to treat my dogs just like the rest of the country does.”

It snowed 8 inches the weekend before Christmas.  I bundled the beagle up and took her for a walk a few days later when the temp rose to 32 degrees.  She begged to romp through the woods.  “Sorry, little Be,” I said, “but your legs are too short, your belly will drag through the snow and you’ll get too cold.” I promised her that once the snow diminished enough we would take a walk through the woods.

And on that rainy, 50 degree day after Christmas when the snow was just about gone, we did.

The five of us took a walk through the woods, the hub carrying a flashlight and me using the flashlight on my iPhone.

It felt good to keep a promise.

It felt good to take my friends for a damp, drizzly, sacrificial walk in the woods.

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It’s all the same.

I thought about my daughter’s comments as I was unloading the dishwasher the next morning.

It’s all the same love, baby girl, I thought.  The same quality of love that bought your boots kept its promise to the Be.

It’s that way with God, too.  The quality of His love is always the same  – whether He is extending it to the saint or the sinner.

It isn’t about how lovable we are, it’s about how able to love He is.

And I so love Him. ❤

#nomoping

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Sacrificial Gifts

  1. Mrs. Boots says:

    This is so beautiful, Julie. I read it to my children. You have no idea how much I am feeling convicted over my feelings towards animals lately. Because of your posts about little Be, and because of something else I watched recently — a Christian science professor giving a lecture about CRISPR (a new methodology in genetic modification) at Roberts Wesleyan. He was speaking about John 3:16. God so loved the world. Not humanity. The world. All of it. Even dogs. It really struck me after our previous “commentsation” about the sparrows and the man’s little ewe lamb.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww, you and your children blessed me so much on Christmas Eve that I’m glad I could give a little something back.

      Love your term “commentsation”; love how God conforms us into His way of thinking, feeling and loving.

      Now, of course, I’m going to go google that lecture video….

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        • Thank you. I went to the Roberts page but didn’t know which was the right talk. I also googled CRISPR and watched a little video on genetic engineering. I’m wondering what you think of the whole thing. I have mixed feelings.

          Like

          • Mrs. Boots says:

            I think it’s horrifying, frankly. I have a genetic disorder at the root of my health issues. Would I opt to fix it if they were to be able to alter my DNA? As horrifying as I find it, I have to admit, I would definitely be researching hard into this kind of cure! It is very interesting to hear a Christian perspective, and I think there is a lot of value in what he says. Certainly, we are more than willing to treat disease after the fact. Why wouldn’t we be willing to alter someone’s genetics in order to treat that same disease? But at the same time, I keep thinking of how He knit us together. (How apt that word “Knit” has become in light of the way scientists have discovered how our very makeup is in that double helix pattern. The Bible is always way ahead of us!) If He knit us together, is it up to us to reknit faulty spots? I’m sure we’re both all too aware of the vast potential for abuses that can come with reknitting our DNA. Eugenics, anyone? It’s a real jumble of mixed feelings I have on it, too.

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