The Beauty Of The Unexpected Gift

December 5, 2012

I was joking when I said anyone who wanted to, could buy me that stunning print for Christmas. I’d clicked through an email to an Etsy shop and instantly fell head over heels for a painting by an artist I’d never heard of. Feeling particularly silly that afternoon, I shared the image on Facebook along with the note about wanting to own this beauty for myself.

A within a week, I received an unexpected package from Canada. I know approximately three people in Canada, and while I’ve enjoyed the gift of chatting with Ann at conferences, I was certain this wasn’t a gift from her. But, someone had in fact bought that print for me. I immediately felt guilty for the silly post I had launched, when I jokingly asked for this print. But a friend of mine took my longing seriously.

Gently peeling away the strip that held the envelope shut-tight, I slipped the inner manila colored envelope from it’s stiff outside casing. I held my breath and shooed my curious children back. I could feel their little eyes on my slow movement. With tears brimming, I stared down at this piece of loveliness–this unexpected gift.

On my knees there beside the stairs, I sat staring at this treasure. My asking had been tongue-in-cheek. Facebook is a noisy place and I didn’t expect anyone to hear me, much less take me seriously–and yet. I held the love of a friend right there in my hands.

A card slipped out of the envelope and the words were simple, but heartfelt, and I wept with gratitude for the small, surprising ways God whispers His love.

I suppose I have to admit here, that I’d been struggling, questioning the value of my time spent online–questioning my writing and whether or not I was actually serving God by what I was doing.

God used my friend to speak His truth to me that day–that I have value, that He cares about the things I care about, that what I do matters–someone notices, and someone cares.

“The English Major” By Janet Hill, hanging on my wall.

I know the cost of the painting because I had window shopped this artists’s Etsy store. But to me, this image carries a value immeasurable. My sweet friend paid real money for it, that is true, but no money in the world could buy the feeling of gratitude and deep love I feel each time I walk past it.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. James 1:17

Have you ever been surprised by an unexpected gift? Let’s tell our stories in the comment section below.

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  • Reply AmericasNextTopMommy December 5, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Love it! I also love how it’s so reflective of that “ask and you shall receive” that I always hear about but never full believe although I can think of about a gazillion times that I’ve asked God for something that I never thought he’d give me or ever expected to receive and it showed up at my doorstep!

    Enjoy the print. It’s lovely! Also, I’m a fellow Living Second blogger so drop by to say “hi” sometime! 🙂 (I’m so loving making all these new friends!)

    • Reply Kris Camealy December 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      Thank you for dropping by to say hello! I am so glad you did! And yes, i think of that particular scripture as well…. our Father notices and cares for every small detail of our lives. He doesn’t miss a single thing. So nice to *meet* you here.

  • Reply Sarah December 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Gorgeous print. Beautiful friend to send it.

    • Reply Kris Camealy December 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      yes, indeed. I smile every single time I walk past it. it has become an instant treasure here.

  • Reply Barbie December 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    What a beautiful gift, and a simple yet profound display of His love for you.

  • Reply Nikki December 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    oh my…love, love, love.

    someone heard you and cared enough for you to respond! Gift doesn’t seem big enough to contain that kind of love…

    immeasurable, indeed!

    • Reply Kris Camealy December 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      It’s a crazy thing the way God uses people without even their knowing, isn’t it? His flagrant grace continues to undo me–I think that must be how He likes it–us all undone and in awe of His ridiculous love. May we never want to live any other way. love to you, sweet Nikki. Lets talk soon.

  • Reply dukeslee December 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    This is gorgeous. The gift, the story behind it … and you.

    Hear me now… I’m grabbing you by the shoulders, with both of my hands, and I’m looking you straight in the eyes. This is me, being all bossy-like, so I can tell you something. You listening?


    You matter. Your words matter to God. They matter to people. And they matter to me.


    Now, my arms are off your shoulders, and I’m pulling you in for a big hug. SQUEEEEZE!!

    Love you.


    • Reply Kris Camealy December 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Jennifer, my sweet friend, thank you for these life-giving words. I’m dabbing my eyes here, as your words came on a day when my heart needed them most. I seem to keep stumbling into that place of struggling to own my worth in Christ. Thank you for encouraging me. You’ll never know the extent of my gratitude. God bless you, my friend.

      • Reply dukeslee December 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm

        Right there with you, friend. Right there. Just terrified some days. Let’s press on, sister, right behind Jesus, so close that He can feel our breath on his back.

        • Reply Kris Camealy December 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

          Oh the image I have jesus between us, holding our hands as we walk–Yes! pressing on today with you, remembering that in Him we have and are all we need. Love you, my friend, Just love you!

  • Reply Mary Bonner December 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Oh sweet friend…your words matter. They matter A LOT. You have touched me in ways I cannot begin to explain. Someone heard you…and wanted to express their love for you in such a tangible, real way…you are blessed my friend. And I am blessed to know you.

    And wow…that image of Jesus walking between you and dukeslee…that is pretty awesome.

    • Reply Kris Camealy December 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      Mary, you know how I treasure you, my friend. Thank you for always encouraging me–for always taking a moment to share your heart with me. I still think about our time at Allume, and thank God I had the chance to sit a while with you!! You bless me.

  • Reply Yvonne Reynolds December 6, 2012 at 2:18 am

    What a sweet gift!

  • Reply Tara_pohlkottepress December 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    so, so beautiful. the painting, the gesture, the writing of it. darlin’ you matter. I get it, how lonely it can feel. how small our reach can feel. but i feel your hand in mine, and in turn, i give yours a little squeeze back.

    • Reply Kris Camealy December 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Oh Tara, bless you for these sweet words. I’m honored to stumble down this path along side you. You inspire and amaze. Thank you–you show Jesus to me in spectacular ways. Bless you, sweet friend.

  • Reply Diana Denis December 8, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Oh Tara, what a gorgeous print. I love that He doesn’t tire of reminding us that He loves us and that we matter. What a beautiful demonstration of love. Grateful that He uses seemingly simple ways and unexpected people to reach down from heaven and gently kiss our foreheads. Sigh. He is good ALL the time!

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