the family gift.

Funny how life happens.

Looking back on this year, I don’t see months filled with uncertainty. It’s true that there were plenty of them. We learned in July that my job and the jobs of many colleagues would be done in October. When those 3 months were up, I did not have another job to go to like some others did. Talk about a scary time for our family.

Looking back, instead of reliving that fear, however, I feel something amazing. I’m faced with something much more incredible that’s come from that very uncertain time.

I didn’t see it happening at the time, but looking back, I see how much closer our family has become. I see how much more beautiful my relationship with my husband has become. I see just how much I’ve learned about myself. I realize just how blessed we are.

Though I’ve since found what very well may be the job of my dreams, our journey isn’t done. In fact, it’s only just begun.

When my husband and I got married, he started a beautiful tradition that’s continued each year since. The family gift has become what I look forward to most each year, but mostly when I’m on the receiving end. And before you start judging that comment, hear me out.

We take turns each year choosing the family gift. Well, we used to.

You see, this year was my year, and I struggled what what to get. Nothing seemed to quite encompass the type of year we’d had. Frankly, that’s where I went wrong but was so right. It’s true; there was NO ‘thing’ that felt right. I didn’t realize that this year’s family gift didn’t need to be a thing.

What was it?

It was faith.
It was life.
It was blessings.

What did I do about the family gift? I surrendered. I gave the responsibility of this year’s family gift to my husband. I knew I couldn’t do it, but somehow, he always can. And without discussing what I was feeling about the family gift, he made it happen, because he’d felt it, too.

He did end up finding a small “thing,” a little cross, that represented the bigger concept, but that wasn’t the most beautiful part. He, in his most amazing way and as always, articulated in words what got us through this year. Prayer. Blessings. Faith. Life. One particular family member in heaven. And maybe a little bit of sweat and tears, too.

It’ll be a different year for us in 2012. I know we’ll only continue to grow both individually and as a family. We’re committing to make a change that we not only need, but want as well. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot over the past year, and in the past two months in particular. The amazing part is the fact that the very same things that moved me moved him, too. We’re going to do this together.


I’m really so very excited. This is so much bigger than the three of us. It’s going to be a beautiful journey; one that will change who we are and how we live.


Am I sad that I gave up this year’s family gift? Not for a second. He’s so much better at the family gift than I. And in so many ways, I’m completely okay with that.


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