Three Secrets to Gift Giving Found In a Measuring Cup
Today’s article is a guest post written by my beautiful daughter, Alicia Marsh. Alicia accepted Christ at the age of four and has been living her life out loud for Him ever since. Alicia is a gifted speaker, writer, mentor to middle school girls and the best gift I have ever received (other than my salvation). She loves to work with middle school students, and writes curriculum to help them understand God’s Word and make it applicable to their own lives. She also coaches middle school basketball and last year led her team to the championship game. They lost the game, but learned a lot about what a team can do when they work together.
Her life is a gift to many because she invests from her heart to make everyone she meets feel special. She has an incredible sense of humor and a laugh which is infectious. She always fights for the underdog and stands up for those who need a voice. Alicia just doesn’t talk the talk, she walks the walk. I am honored to give you a glimpse into her heart and see the Jesus Glitter that shines from within her.
Enjoy and I bet you will never look at a measuring cup the same way again!
3 Secrets to Gift-Giving Found in a Measuring Cup
Two of my favorite things to do over the holiday season are baking yummy desserts and Black Friday shopping. I love sharing my sugary creations with others and I love the hunt to find a good gift, especially at a great price! I have been blessed to receive many gifts from family and friends over the years. Yet, if you asked me what some of my favorite gifts are, they often did not have a high price tag. At first glance, they might not seem to have much in common. As I began to think about the gifts I have been given and what I wanted to give this Christmas, I thought to myself, “what makes a good gift?” Little did I know, my love of baking would help answer the question on my mind. I opened up God’s Word to Luke 6:38 and read:
“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Just like with baking, if I wanted to give good gifts I need to get my measurements right. But giving was more than just perfecting a mathematical equation.
Good measurements have three distinct characteristics:
A good measure is pressed down. Have you ever added brown sugar to a recipe? Your measurement would be way off if you didn’t take the time to press the sugar into the measuring cup. Good gifts are the same way. They require sacrifice of your time. They squeeze into those moments of free time in your schedule. One of my all-time favorite gifts was a pair of tickets to see my favorite country singer. Though the concert was amazing, looking back, the true gift was sharing the experience with my mom. That was a gift that took time. In the midst of the crazy holiday schedule, she ordered the tickets and had arranged a whole day of fun just for me.
A good measure is shaken together. As my mom can attest, to this day, I’m a messy baker. But sometimes, in order to get the measurements right, you have to make a mess. To measure flour, you have to shake the measuring cup to allow the flour to settle so you get an accurate measurement. Let me tell you, most of the time, flour is all over the table. Good gifts require you to shake things up and sometimes they can be messy. My mom is super creative and a great artist. I, on the other hand, am not. But, some of my favorite gifts to give my mom are excursions where we paint together or are working on some type of craft. By the time we are done, my work space is usually a mess and I have been pushed outside the bounds of my comfort zone. The mess is worth it for the memories shared with my mom. Therein lies the gift.
A good measure is also running over. When baking, I always like to add just slightly above what the recipe requests because I know that some of the ingredients might not make it to the mixing bowl. Remember, I’m a messy baker. Good gifts are the same way. They go above and beyond the original need. When I graduated from high school, I received money along with items to help stock my dorm room for my first year in college. I needed these items, but the gifts that impacted me the most were the words of encouragement hand-written in the cards that accompanied the gifts. It was this affirmation from those who believed in me that helped get me through my first year living 500 miles away from home.
Jesus goes on to say not only are good measurements important to the receiver of the gift, but to the giver as well. Jesus says the measurements we use will be measured to us. Getting our measurements right and giving good gifts is a double blessing because we as the giver are blessed!
Your most important tool for gift giving this holiday season might not be your credit card, but your measuring cup!