Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I needed this!

Once again, something came up that forced me to my blog against my
better judgment. Look at this fabulous quote I found in my in-box today:

"Great gift-giving involves three things: you feel what the other feels,
you give freely, and you count sacrifice a bargain...

"It will take some practice, more than one holiday, to learn how to be
touched by what's inside others. And giving freely and counting sacrifice
as joy will take a while. But we could at least start this Christmas being
a good receiver. We have the power to make others great gift-givers by
what we notice. We can make any gift better by what we choose to see--
and we can, by failing to notice, make any gift a failure. Gift giving takes
a giver and a receiver.

I hope we use this theory not to criticize the gifts and giving that come
our way this year, but to see how often our hearts are understood and
how often gifts are given joyfully, even with sacrifice."

(Henry B. Eyring, "Giving with Joy," Liahona, Dec. 1996)
It's just what I needed to hear to keep me going this week. I needed a
reminder of why I am giving the gifts I'm giving this year, why I am
going without sleep, etc. (Don't get me wrong, I'm still working on a
game plan to avoid this craziness next year!)

It's also such a good reminder about being a good receiver. I think
this would make a great family home evening lesson for my kids.
From time to time, we discuss how they should act when they are
given a gift, but this is such a great perspective that I would like to
share with them.

I think for the most part I am a good receiver, but one incident stands
out in my mind when I should have been more gracious and it haunts
me to this day. So what do you think? Are you a good receiver?


Jenny said...

What a great quote. I think I am a pretty good receiver. Maybe because my mom has instilled since I was a kid to be grateful and write thank you notes no matter what.

I love the quote "we can make any gift better by what we choose to see" Sometimes I think my kids need that. They tend to open it up and don't realize how much time and effort goes into each one.

Elisa said...

I had a conversation with a friend about this very subject just today! We were saying there is an art to being a good and gracious receiver. We have both had experiences where we felt lame after giving a gift and then times when we felt overwhelmed with happiness after giving. The trick is to keep giving to those who haven't perfected the art of receiving. As for me, that was something I wanted to work on this year...being a gracious receiver. I loved the quotes you found, they made my day.

Jill said...

What do you mean these quotes showed up in your mailbox today? From where?

They are excellent quotes and are perfect for this time of year. I think I'm sometimes a good receiver and sometimes not. It's kind of sad, but it depends on who the gift is from because some people aren't thoughtful at all and that makes me feel badly. I should be nicer no matter what.

Jordan said...

I can't wait to see photies of all these projects that are taking you away from us! You're amazing. Craig tries to buy me clothes once in awhile and I usually end up exchanging them...is that ungracious? We were also highly encouraged as children to write thank you notes for gifts recieved...it is a wonderful habit.

Amie said...

Thanks for this... I have already been preparing myself to be a good recipient this year. Jimmy thinks I am a terrible recipient. (My mind immediately goes to the money he shouldn't have spent and I always end up making him mad instead of just appreciating and trying to remember it isn't about the money.) Last year I actually said "are you kidding me?" Rude, I know but I always feel misunderstood, I didn't mean it rude but you know.... I am too long winded.

Anyway, thanks for the quote to back up my internal dialog. It is so fun to give to a good receiver.

jenn said...

I LOVE Henry B. Eyring!! Thanks for sharing- such words of wisdom don't show up in my inbox so I come to my favorite blogs for such great thoughts!!

Laurie said...

Excellent! Thank you. Good luck with your projects!

Alison said...

I hope I am a good receiver. I will keep that in mind this weekend. Great quote.

amy m said...

Thank you Michelle. I was totally feeling angry yesterday about the whole Christmas holiday. Perhaps it was pms, I don't know. I am doing better today, but so needed this. It is all what we choose to make it.

Kristi Brooke said...

i am a horrible reciever, i feel like i am 20 thank you cards in the hole!

But i had to tell you today that your Chrismtas card is so AMAZING!!! it is wonderful. classy, beautiful. tells the story of your family, artsy, not crafty, oh my i seriously sat and stared at it all night.
i love it love it!!!!!!!!!!!!

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