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Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Gift that Makes Me Smile

A Gift at Christmas
By Marcia Lee Laycock


“No, not even one ‘Silly Santa’ gift!”

I admit I pouted a bit as my daughter spelled out the new “rules” for Christmas. We had all agreed to scale down this year, but I’ve found it hard to do. I love giving gifts to my family. I love the look on their faces that tells me I’ve hit the mark and found something they’ll love.

Like the year I found a bunch of baseball cards for my son-in-law – the perfect cards of the specific players and years he had wanted. He has them framed in his office. And the sweater for my “picky one” that was just the right colour. It makes me smile when I see her wearing it. And the autographed book for my other son-in-law that my daughter said won me “big mom-in-law points.”

But this year I’ve been forced to focus and to be a bit more creative than other years. Stocking stuffers have to be home-made. That posed a challenge. I have done crafty things now and then, but for the past few years I’ve focused on writing and there just hasn’t been time for crafts. I don’t knit well and it’s been years since I crocheted, so I went to Pinterest to get some ideas. It was a delight when I saw just the right thing to do and it has been fun planning them and making them.

As I worked at the craft, with writing deadlines knocking loudly in my head, it occurred to me that writing, especially the self published work I’m doing now, is also a gift. It’s a concept I hadn’t really thought of before. Of course it’s an obvious fit. Once the piece is finished it’s time to find just the right cover art, then design the interior, creating the dedication and introductory pages. Each element is a labour of love, a gift, to the readers. Often they too will ‘gift’ it to a friend who may pass it on to others. It made me smile to think of it. 


I smiled again this morning as I opened an email from poet Malcolm Guite. I think his words express it so well: (do click this link to read the entire poem)


O Sapientia an Advent Antiphon

O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,                

O Light within the light by which I see, 
O Word beneath the words with which I speak, 
O founding, unfound Wisdom, finding me, 
O sounding Song whose depth is sounding me, 
O Memory of time, reminding me, 
My Ground of Being, always grounding me, 
My Maker’s Bounding Line, defining me, 
Come, hidden Wisdom, come with all you bring, 
Come to me now, disguised as everything.
                                                  Malcolm Guite

As I read Malcolm’s poem I realized the whole process of writing is a gift flowing from the mind of Christ to us and through us, to those who need just those specific words. It may even be that it is we who need it most.

That made me smile even more.
****


Marcia Lee Laycock

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has two devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.



Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded on Smashwords or on Amazon

It is also now available in Journal format on Amazon. 


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