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.
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 – paid for all but $18 of the boots. The hub could live with it.
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.
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. ❤