Gift Card Redemption Day

Yesterday our family embarked on what we termed “Gift Card Redemption Day.”  We had a build-up in the house of special offers and blessings from friends and family, so I thought it would be fun to make an afternoon of running from place to place picking out treasures and knocking out a few errands in the process.  Well, I thought it would be fun if Matt was helping to entertain the kids while my brain was in “make-up-my-mind coma.”  We made 10 stops in our adventure, calling each one a super-secret mission and allowing the kids to pick alias names for each location.  Eliana picked multiple exotic names, Ezekiel wanted to be “Zack,” and Elijah was content to be himself.

It was a great time.  One of my favorite moments of the day was walking through a scrapbooking store looking for $10 worth of something that I would be able to use in Costa Rica and finding some really nice reusable shopping bags.  Grocery stores there often charge for their plastic bags so these were high on my Costa Rican hope chest wish list.  And like everything else in the entire store, they were adorable to boot.  That particular gift card had been bestowed on us more than 7 years ago and had begun to feel a bit more like a bill to be paid than a blessing to be received.  It had come to us just as my scrapbooking fervor petered out, so I put it away for a time when it would be applicable to a fresh project.  It made me feel guilty to see it go  unredeemed year after year.  But at just the right time, the Lord transformed it into an unexpected blessing to my heart and my life.  I mean, who buys shopping bags at a store filled with creative implements that would set the most stoic feminine heart cooing over the derivations of pure cuteness?  I can’t help but smile as the Father hugs me warmly and whispers, “You do, and I love it.”

So now as I traipse through the “tiendas” selecting my purchases, I will be carrying a sweet reminder from the Lord of His love and perfect plans ready and waiting to be “redeemed” in my life.  Some may come to fruition right away and some may take years, but the treasure of His presence is always waiting with open arms, available for redemption to us all.