Re-gifting is the act of taking a present received and giving it to another person. Growing up, I don’t recall my mother ever being a re-gifter.  However, she was a re-boxer. I think that’s worse.

In 1985, I was about to turn 16. I really wanted a Sony Sports Walkman. Daddy had just gotten the popular portable cassette player to listen to music while he ran and I couldn’t wait to have one, too.

I’ll never forget tearing through my birthday presents in front of all my friends and getting to the pile from my parents.  I reached for the small rectangularly shaped package in the polka-dot paper. I was excited. It felt even more lightweight than the advertisers promised.

Rapidly, my fingernails ripped away the tape and wrapping. I recognized the box with the picture of the bright plastic yellow Sports Walkman prominently featured. With my heart racing and smile widening, I carefully raised the lid. To my surprise, inside the Walkman box wasn’t the portable cassette player I was hoping for but… panties!  I was mortified.

Mom smiled and said, “Sorry, honey, I ran out of boxes.”

I learned a really big lesson that day.  No, two big lessons. There is terrific disappointment when what’s outside doesn’t match what’s inside. And never give your daughter panties in front of her friends on her sixteenth birthday.

Recently, I was convicted by something Daniel asked when I was updating this blog: “Mom, how many followers do you have?” Turning toward him, I smiled, “Daniel, I don’t know.  And, do you know why?”

Pulling him onto my lap, I continued, “When Ms. Gina helped me set up this site, I asked her to hide how many people visit.  I know myself too well, sweetheart, and I am often led astray worrying about what people think of me. Every day I’m learning more and more that it is not about who or how many are ‘following’ us, but whether or not we are living our lives in a manner worthy of the One we’re called to follow.”

Our children are being marinated in a culture of celebrity. Even in our Christian churches where the focus can be more about making front page news with attendance records rather than sharing the Good News for God’s glory.  May we take heed.

There is no way for our outsides to match our insides if we are entangled in the idolatry of popularity and making a name for ourselves.

Oh how I want my heart’s cry to be that of the eighth-century prophet when he said of the Lord, “Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts” (Isaiah 26:8).

Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to have the greatest gift of all.  He’s too big for any box, but telling others about the redemptive power of His love is the only present truly acceptable of re-gifting.


10 thoughts on “Re-gifting

  1. Tara, I truly enjoyed reading your latest entry. I too was enriched as a youngster by the “re-boxing experience” My Nanny “Beulah” was very good about re-boxing with love. As I sit here with tears and a smile this morning I am thinking of the wonderful warm memories of close family that are now in heaven. Permanently etched in my mind are the days that were and still are surrounded with happiness. I am revisiting every detail of those Christmas mornings with all my family there, the house smelling of freshly cooked food and deserts, The stories, the joy, and laughter but one thing for sure was ever present, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I truly miss those days and my loved ones that have since passed but one day soon we will rejoice again together In Beulah Land. My Great Grandfather named am Grandmother (my Nanny) after Beulah Land from the Bible when she was born in 1918. I love and miss you Nanny see you soon your loving Grandson. lil Jerry : Thank you Tara McClary Reeves for re-gifting me and for setting me out on this morning’s wonderful journey. Love you all in Christ.

  2. Love this!!! Great word picture for so many applications in life!! Makes me think of a billboard I saw the other day with a scantily clad female teenager on it with the quote
    ” it’s just an outfit, not an invitation.” Your great word picture is a reminder that the way a package looks on the outside leads to expectaion of what’s on the inside.
    Your blog today is very convicting. “Lord, may my heart be filled with you and my actions reflect you”

  3. Hey Tara– love this! I actually just got on FB a month ago for my 50th bday. Wondering if you have a “share” link, so that I could post this???

  4. Tara,
    I love your blog. You are such an inspiration. You truly let your light shine. Love to you and your beautiful family.
    Sandra Balthis

  5. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that produce the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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