Disclaimer: Sorry. You might be singing that title the rest of the day. But, you know, there are a lot worse songs out there to have stuck in your head!

On my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I received some beautiful gifts, all of which I loved. But there are a few that touched me in an especially deep way.

First, was a gift from my parents. A family party, the first from them I’ve had since I was 16. I was surrounded by precious people I’ve loved all my life. My mother set the table beautifully, prayed over me, and the afternoon was filled with laughter. I loved every second. It was such a special day.

Thoughtful, from the heart.

At that party was a gift from my aunt. I read the card that came with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and there was a picture of her 1969 wedding party inside, complete with an almost 6 year old image of myself. I was her flower girl, and she had written the first couple of lines to that song, along with a gorgeous sentiment.

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing? Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?

The words alone made me tear up, but then I realized that the bouquet of flowers were the same flowers used in that wedding, bunches of daisies and other flowers making up the colors of the day, yellow and white.

Thoughtful, from the heart.

Another gift I received was from a friend, whom I’ve always thought of as the ultimate gift-giver. Not because they over-the-top or elaborate (although this year’s qualifies), but because they are always from her heart. I received a beautiful bracelet on my birthday, a Benedictine Blessing bracelet to remind me to always be a blessing with my hands, but then I read her card. She told me of the weekly (WEEKLY) surprise of blessing, love, and friendship I would be receiving in the mail for the whole of my 50th year. And the two weeks since, I’ve had a little surprise on the same day of the week, right there in my mailbox, a card in her beautiful hand, and the reminder of a beautiful friendship.

Thoughtful, from the heart.

My husband is not a writer. He can dictate a fine business letter, but he is not one to sit down and write a personal letter. For my birthday, he presented me with a handmade envelope. When I opened it, four (FOUR) pages of words in his beautiful hand pulled out like so much bounty. He’d sat and handwritten a love letter to me. It took him almost four hours to get it just right, but knowing that words are one of my main love languages, he gave it everything he had. I cried and cried at such a treasure.

Thoughtful, from the heart.

It seems that gifts like these are waning in our society. We like the ease and convenience of grabbing a quick gift card, or better, zipping one off through email and saving a stamp. And by we, I mean me, too. We’re in a hurry and “why make them wait if we have the means to get the gift in their hands today?” we reason. We hardly even mail cards anymore, opting for an e-card instead. And you know what?

We’ve taken the person we’re trying to honor RIGHT OUT OF THE EQUATION.

We’re making their gift about us, and what’s easiest for us, and what’s the most convenient for us.

Seriously…where have all the flowers gone???

While I still enjoy receiving gift cards, and believe there is certainly a place for them (I mean, who doesn’t love a little bonus shopping? :)), it’s so lovely when we stop to consider the recipient and give to them a gift that will touch them in the deepest way. It takes a little more effort, but it speaks volumes of our love.

Thoughtful, from the heart.


“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10 NLT

Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 AMP

“…God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 MSG