Observe how a family made a birthday very special for the youngest daughter of three. Anita Presley writes:
A few months ago, my youngest daughter Ashleigh shared her bucket list with my other daughters, Andrea and Ali. Birthdays have always been a time of celebration in our house, no matter the age. This year the baby of the group turns 22, and she still gets her day of celebration – even now that the girls are adults and time is more limited. A few weeks ago Andrea called me and told me her ideas about what to do for Ashleigh’s birthday. Knowing that Ashleigh likes adventures, Andrea and Ali planned a day that would help cross off items from her bucket list that she had shared with them months earlier.
On the weekend before her birthday, Andrea drove to Montgomery from Nashville and met Ali and Ashleigh -- all on the known planned list. What was not known to Ashleigh was that Chris and I had been invited to join in on the fun. The girls shared a breakfast of Chick- fil-A minis while they shared with Ashleigh the details of the day.
Here’s a summary of the day’s activities that fulfilled some items on Ashleigh’s bucket list.
• She learned to play tennis. The surprise instructor was Anita, Ashleigh’s mother.
• She learned to do a front-flip on a trampoline at Rock N Jump with coaching by the general manager and a pre-teen who could do back flips while talking on the phone.
• She learned to hula hoop.
• She learned to juggle with the help of some videos from YouTube. She learned that it’s even more difficult to juggle while laughing.
• She learned to spin a basketball on her finger. Her coach was big sister, Andrea.
• She learned how to do a pull-up at a local Planet Fitness. They didn’t master the feat, but they tried!
• She learned how to skate. They had to travel to Wetumpka from Montgomery to find a skating rink. After some practice, Ashleigh skated around the rink holding her sister’s hands. Then she completed a solo skate!
The gift of this special day required a lot of forethought, planning, implementing, and intimate knowledge of the honoree. It was successfully completed with a whole lot of love.
God has a Gift for each of us. This Gift required a lot of forethought, planning, implementing, and intimate knowledge of the beloved, especially our greatest need: salvation from sin. The Gift was given with boundless love.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV).
God will give the Gift of salvation and eternal life to those who accept His offer by placing their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). God will continue to cleanse and prepare for heaven those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).
Because of His great love for YOU, God gave His Gift. Won’t YOU accept the Gift on His terms?
-- David A. Sargent