by Julie Lessman
Hello, everyone—Julie Lessman here, and I am delighted and honored to be back on Seekerville today for the “Advent in Seekerville” celebration. This year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays,” and I have to say my story below details one of my favorite holiday memories.
You see, I grew up in a family of thirteen kids, and all I remember of Christmases past is a wall of presents piled halfway up a ten-foot tree. As soon as presents were distributed, all of us tore into the gifts at the same time, completely swallowed up in a sea of paper and bows. To this day, I have no memory of gifts I received or what anyone else received because, frankly, it was bedlam.
So, when I met my husband, I discovered their tradition was opening gifts one at a time, everyone seated in a circle of laughter so we could all oooh and ahhh over each token of love. Wow! That sealed the deal for me and from that Christmas on, that became my favorite Christmas tradition of all that we still honor today.
And so, I thought I would share a “timely tale” of that very first Christmas I spent with my husband’s family when we just going together, not married yet. Because the greatest gift I received that year was a very special lesson from God, which to this day, has given me a life“time” of joy. Hopefully this lesson will inspire you—like it did me—to take “time” to thank God for His abundant blessings.
I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and holy holiday season!
🎁 When God Wraps a Present 🎁
We’ve all heard the adage “it’s better to give than receive,” but never have I agreed more than the year I was dating the love of my life—my husband, Keith.
It was truly a Christmas to remember—spiced egg nog and snickerdoodles and shimmering presents unwrapped in a circle of love. Of course, we all ooohed and ahhhed over each gift opened, one at a time, reveling in the glow of excitement for giver and recipient alike.
And then it was my turn. Everyone waited while I tore into a small jewelry box, fingers trembling while anticipation fairly shimmered in my boyfriend’s eyes.
“Do you like it?” he asked, grinning like a little boy when I unearthed a very pretty silver watch.
“It’s beautiful,” I said with a shaky giggle, slipping it on and holding it up for everyone to admire. I quickly gave him a sweet kiss on the lips. “Thank you so much, babe—what a perfect gift!”
Uh … perfectly awful, that is.
You see, when you are a twenty-seven-year-old Type A career woman who is very set in her ways (not to mention expecting a piece of jewelry for your finger instead of your wrist), there are just some things you have to buy for yourself.
Books, costume jewelry, purses … a watch.
All right, yes, I’ll admit it—“high maintenance” is my middle name because heaven knows I’m one of the most particular people on the planet, especially when it comes to watches. They have to be digital, waterproof, have a day and date window, an alarm, chronograph, second hand, both silver and gold metal to wear with either silver or gold jewelry, stretch band skinny enough to fit my wrist … and a GPS. Okay, I’m pulling your watch chain on the last one, but you get the picture—not easy to find, especially with numbers big enough for someone blind as a bat.
So, yes, I faked it, of course, thanking my boyfriend for the “prettiest watch I had ever owned,” because it was—I just didn’t like it.
But did I “fake it” with God? Uh, no. I went straight to His throne in prayer and BEGGED Him to help me love this watch because the man I loved gave it to me and I just flat-out didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I even went so far as to write the prayer request on a piece of paper and tuck it in my Bible so I could “wrap” it in prayer every single day, which I did for a number of years.
Until the fateful moment long after we were married when my husband used my Bible one day and found the note.
“You don’t like your watch??” The hurt in his tone matched the look in his eyes when his gaze flicked to the pretty watch on my wrist.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, somewhat confused.
He held up the note. “You told God you hated it in this note I found in your Bible.”
Uh-oh … BUSTED!
“Oh, babe,” I said with my brightest smile and a quick kiss on the lips. “That was then and this is now. It’s perfect for me, just like you, and I absolutely love it.
And you know what? I did!
And now it’s “time” for a giveaway, so leave a comment, and you’ll be entered to win all six of my Christmas e-books below:
🎁 EXTRA JOURNAL JOTS CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!
Then come on by my Journal Jots blog for EVEN MORE chances to win the following:
🎄$15 Amazon gift card
🎄 All six of my Christmas e-books (if you don’t win them in this Seekerville)
🎄 Christmas books by Becky Wade, Allie Pleiter, Toni Shiloh, Mary Manners, etc. and more.
🎄 Your choice of any one of my indie e-books
🎄 PLUS a character named after you in my next book
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.
Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, Heart of San Francisco, Isle of Hope, and Silver Lining Ranch series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered over 18 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards, Julie’s novels also made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors” 2017, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction. Her independent novel A Light in the Window was an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.
Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. Contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.