The Beautiful Gifts We Bring

God makes our offerings beautiful--no matter how small or humble. via @blestbutstrest #AdventMary walked down the aisle of the church, head down, as if in shame. Her bulky dress covered her slim body, and an old, ripped up sheet held in place with a green headband covered her hair. Joseph walked beside her, hesitant and proud at the same time.

When they reached the front of the small church, they stepped carefully into the bower of branches and Christmas lights and sat on the blanket-covered bench. As the angels drew near, Mary reached behind her and set a baby doll firmly between her and Joseph.

God makes our offerings beautiful--no matter how small or humble. via @blestbutstrest #AdventBefore the program started (forty minutes late), six-year-old ‘Mary’ had buzzed around the church with boundless energy, stopping by our pew to wiggle onto our laps or ask a question before bouncing off again to interact with a classmate. I didn’t know what role she would have in the program, so when I saw her heading up the aisle with Joseph, I worried that she’d be able to pull it off.

The gamut of emotions that crossed ‘Mary’s’ face made me think about the ‘real’ Mary. Between the shy looks of embarrassment, flickers of pride flitted across her features—much like the real Mary must have felt as her growing abdomen declared to the entire village that she and Joseph had done things out of the proper order. Yet at the same time, Mary and Joseph knew, really knew, the whole story. The words of her song in the book of Luke show us this combination of humility and pride that God had chosen her—above all other women—to carry the Savior of the world for nine months.God makes our offerings beautiful--no matter how small or humble. via @blestbutstrest #Advent

Once seated up front, Mary stayed still the entire time—reacting to each angelic appearance, shepherd and wise person with the same regal but slightly bewildered expression. Her energy of the previous hour seemed laser-focused on doing her part and doing it right.

After the wise people left their gifts, the entire cast lined up and started singing “Joy to the World.” I hurriedly switched my camera to video mode and tried to capture the song and their expressions. Though small in size, their choir filled the church with joy and praise and beauty. Any choir of wiggling children that has work so hard to reenact the story of the greatest moment in our world’s history sounds beautiful—even if their voices strain to find the same key.

And that is the lesson of Christmas. When we try our very hardest to bring His story to the world, the results are beautiful. (tweet this)

We might think our efforts are off key, out of kilter, not perfect or far from ‘good enough.’ But what we think doesn’t matter. When we do our part to share the joy of the advent, the serenity of salvation, and the wonder of God’s love—God takes our off key and turns it into a a beautiful gift.

Inspire Me Monday Instructions
What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).

2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer–just do it!

Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).

I found inspiration for my Monday at #inspirememondays. Join us! (tweet this)

So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!
Take a moment to visit the other hostesses, too! Angie, Cindy, and Denise.



Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • So cute and such a great lesson learned from the event. I just love how you tied this into a twinkling, beautiful package sealed with a bow of love. 😉
    Mary Hill recently posted…Book Musing Mondays, Week 4My Profile

  • I think that for God, being present is perfect. That’s the “bar” He’s set; we’ve got to choose to “be there”, but once we are, it’s all good, as they say.

    Great post.

    • Amen. It takes a daily choice on our part to ‘show up’–to bring our presence into His presence. But, oh, what a difference it makes!

  • Yes!!! Beautiful! The video is so cute. Indeed when we try our hardest we get beautiful results. I could totally picture “Mary” running up and down the aisle and reacting to all the different characters throughout the story. “And a little child shall lead them.”
    Tara recently posted…Sunday Blessings #61My Profile

  • Beautiful! God takes our off-key… yes!!!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…When Holiday Cheer Is Lacking But You Don’t Want To Just Be Going Through The MotionsMy Profile

    • :). And I love him even more because he does–he can take my off-key and make it beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  • Love- “When we try our very hardest to bring His story to the world, the results are beautiful.” I was blessed by the Christmas program my Sunday School kids put on yesterday as well, I might have teared up when the wise men brought their gifts to Jesus, and knelt down before Him. Merry Christmas!
    Tobi@SimplyJesus recently posted…What We Learn From the Wise Men. {We Three Kings}My Profile

    • It’s pretty easy to tear up when we see the story reenacted, isn’t it? Especially if the actors are dear to us or their actions help us understand a new facet of his great love for us.

  • This is so lovely – I love that you recognize their efforts and joy – it’s funny because my post I linked up has a similar focus on children’s best efforts!
    JulieK recently posted…Lessons Learned from My Little Drummer BoysMy Profile

    • I loved your post about your ‘drummer boy’. :). Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy the gifts God gives you (I’m sure he enjoys each gift you bring to him!).

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  • I love this! These kids are so cute and earnest.