We lived in various rooms at the inn for 5 years after we opened Whitestone. Jean finally insisted on a personal refrigerator – one that did not have gallon jugs in it. The 85 acres adjacent to Whitestone became available and so we moved to our dream home in 2000.
The new drive-way was 4000 feet long and hilly and graveled. One day as Jean was bumping up the driveway with Dakota, our then 4 year old grandson, he asked “Why doesn’t Pa pave the driveway?”. Jean said “he will pave it when he saves enough money”.
I didn’t know about that conversation but the next day Dakota bounced into my study with a small can. He proudly set it on my desk. “Pa, here is money for paving the drive. I wanted to give it to you so you can get it fixed!”. He was almost glowing with enthusiasm and joy. $2.32 I think I will always remember that amount. He was so pleased with his participation amd he had given all he had.
A year later when I did get the driveway paved I went to the kindergarten and got Dakota in order to watch the results of his generous heart. He was thrilled with the big machines amd with the smooth driveway. My prayer for him that day was that he would never loose the joy of giving. The Bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive. The Greek word for “blessed” means “happier, fortunate, to be envied”
I wish for all of us, especially at Christmas, that we could experience the joy of a 4 year old boy when he gave what he had to someone he loved who didn’t have the money to do something he thought should be done. Certainly the Gift of the first Christmas embodies that spirit. We had a need we could not meet and Someone gave all He had to see that our great need was met.
I hope you will give great gifts this Christmas. Some may be wrapped in colorful paper, but the best gifts will be love, forgiveness, time, attention, patience, and hugs to those you care about. There is a deep joy in giving that I hope you experience in this season that celebrates the greatest Gift of all time.