The best Christmas present I ever got.

December 26, 2008 at 9:08 pm 26 comments

We had a nice Christmas yesterday, very full of family and food. I was thrilled by my husband, who is a tremendous gift-giver, with my first iPod!

But the best Christmas present I ever got from him came four years ago.

Picture it—Christmas 2004…

I was a new mother, just six weeks out from the delivery of my own firstborn son.

orison-2004

I was a new stay-at-home mom, which was definitely a shock to the system. I never realized how much of my identity was wrapped up in getting dressed in the morning, getting the things done in my day that I wanted to do, sitting down to eat meals instead of grabbing whatever I could get my hands on by 11am, getting to wear my Speech Language Pathologist hat five days a week, etc.

I was enjoying our son, don’t get me wrong, but it was definitely a process where God was remaking me and changing who I was and how I viewed myself.

That Christmas, we had very little money. We had just bought our first house and those mortgage payments were definitely daunting with one income. So Abraham and I decided not to buy gifts for each other that year.

I didn’t obey. I felt horrible not having something for him to open on Christmas morning. I don’t even remember what I bought him—probably something like a shirt or tie—nothing that required too much thought. I just couldn’t deprogram myself from the materialistic aspect of Christmas.

Abraham obeyed. He didn’t buy me anything. On Christmas morning he had me play Hot and Cold. You know, the game. So the game sent me up our staircase (getting warmer and warmer) and into Orison’s bedroom.

By now, I was hot!

As I walked over to the dresser/changing table I was BURNING!! Perplexed, I looked at him and he handed me a simple slip of paper printed from the computer. It said:

When I’m home, I’ll change the diapers.

I remember being glad and thinking, “Aw, that’s really sweet.”

But the magnitude of the gift really hit me as the months and months went on through 2005, when he’d come home at 5pm and, never complaining or shirking, give to me over and over.

I tried not to take advantage of the gift, like letting Orison stay in that messy diaper for just 10 more minutes until the clock struck 5!

I can’t tell you how much that gift changed my experience of being a stay-at-home mom. I was energized by that gift, knowing that Abraham was seeing that there were aspects of my new career that were taking some getting used to. He saw into my struggle and gave me a beautiful gift, from his heart.

Now that he works from home, I don’t hold him to the same standard—the man has to work sometimes! But he still changes more than his fair share. It’s a habit he’s gotten into gladly and it continues to this day.

I know it’s too late for you husband readers to do it for this Christmas, but keep it in your bag of tricks for next year! Or… think of another task you could do for your wife that would bless her socks off. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

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26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kaysie  |  December 26, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    That is almost the sweetest thing I have ever heard. What a great idea. This just goes to show you that sometimes the best gifts aren’t bought, they are made from sacrifice (like that baby in the manger…). Thank you for sharing this!

    God bless, and Merry late Christmas!

    Reply
  • 2. Jennifer  |  December 26, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    If I ever marry, I hope I’m that lucky. You’ve really been blessed!

    Reply
  • 3. Chris  |  December 26, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Beautiful, sweet story!

    Reply
  • 4. Brook Elaine  |  December 26, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Wow, that is precious. And what a great reminder. I am thankful God placed it on your heart to share that!!! And I am also very thankful for getting to read the story about Dorothy. She is a beautiful inspiration and I pray one day, God willing, I may be a blessing to God’s little lambs like she is.

    Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  • 5. mandy  |  December 26, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    That is so sweet! I’m new to your blog and I really enjoy it! I just ordered a “Molly” cover from Jenna LOL. My second son was born Christmas of 04 as well=) My first was Christmas of 03 and I am expecting our 4th now…holidays again! It’s crazy but we love babies this time of year obviously!

    Mandy

    Reply
  • 6. Jessica  |  December 27, 2008 at 3:57 am

    How nice! My husband does this also. We have been married a very long time, and it has really helped me–I’ve had a very difficult time adjusting to our little one and my new role. He has given so much. My pregnancy ended up being life-threatening, and the recovery is on-going. Don’t know what I’d do without him! Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
  • 7. No No Nanette  |  December 27, 2008 at 8:20 am

    I love how Orison is signing “I love you” in the photo.

    Reply
  • 8. Denita  |  December 27, 2008 at 8:48 am

    We just had a beautiful little girl on Dec. 19th, and we’re going through similar times as you two did when Orison was born. New house, one income, plus a six year old son with ADHD. It’s been a real challenge just in this last week. But my husband has been such a godly and patient man through all this, even when it means he has to sacrifice his sleep so that I can get mine. I winder if I’ll ever be able to fully repay him for his incredible compassion!

    God Bless you all, and Happy New Year!

    –Denita

    Reply
  • 9. Crystal  |  December 27, 2008 at 10:40 am

    That is SO sweet!

    Reply
  • 10. godzgaljen  |  December 27, 2008 at 10:59 am

    That is wonderful!!! I love that your little baby is signing “I love you!”…unintentional I know but still…:)

    Reply
  • 11. myra36  |  December 27, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Great story! Thanks for sharing. It sounds small but that is such a huge gift. Pay attention hubbies! My husband was lucky enough to get 6 weeks off from work after our son’s birth to help me out. I didn’t need a lot of recup time but bumbling through parenthood for the first time together was very special. Hope you have a very happy New Year!

    http://tinyyetmighty.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/god-bless-us-every-one/

    Reply
  • 12. Greta  |  December 27, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Wonderfully sweet. Made me tear up just a bit.
    You two share a very thoughtful and considerate relationship. At least it seems so over your blogs :).

    Reply
  • 13. Abigail  |  December 27, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I have a feeling there will be a lot of hinting going on after this great story. “Honey, do you know what Molly’s husband gave her for a Christmas present one year… isn’t that sweet?!?”

    I love it.

    Reply
  • 14. emily  |  December 28, 2008 at 2:21 am

    What an example of true love :)
    Aren’t godly and sacrificial husbands the best!?

    Reply
  • 15. Caryn  |  December 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I guess great husband’s minds think alike…Kempton bought me an IPOD as well!

    Reply
  • 16. Michelle- This One's for the Girls  |  December 28, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    My husband has changed soo many diapers after five kids– but reading that gift/note made me tear up. What a blessing to be married to such unselfish men!

    Reply
  • 17. Justin Taylor  |  December 29, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Abraham,

    Would you consider offering that gift to us when you visit our house too?

    JT

    Reply
  • 18. Abraham Piper  |  December 29, 2008 at 9:32 am

    I’m sure we could come to an arrangement, JT.

    Reply
  • 19. amandaginn  |  December 29, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Is it too underhanded to email this post to my husband?

    I’m just kidding. Scott’s not only a great diaper changer, he’s a great cloth diaper dunker, too. And I’m oh-so glad for that!

    Reply
  • 20. Ashlee  |  December 29, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing! My husband is a great help with changing diapers too. He also works from home. I’d love to hear more about how you manage your day being a stay at home mom with a work from home dad around. I love having my husband here so we get to eat lunch together each day- I think that helps me to get to have that adult time in the middle of each day.. but I have not figured out how to keep up our house, fix lunch & dinner & still save energy for the end of the day… Any insights into how you schedule your life would be appreciated!

    Reply
  • 21. Tootie  |  January 10, 2009 at 9:03 am

    What a thoughtful gift! It’s proof that the best gifts don’t come from the store, but from the heart!

    Reply
  • 22. Melanie  |  January 10, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Being a mom is a new idenity, one that takes getting use to. But, one that is most rewarding in the end.

    What a great gift. And an excellent idea for Valentine’s Day!

    Reply
  • 23. amberhaines  |  January 10, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    this is truly wonderful

    Reply
  • 24. bitterpromise  |  January 11, 2009 at 10:08 am

    dats really a sweet story……..:)

    Reply
  • 25. sholok  |  January 11, 2009 at 10:31 am

    your baby is SO beautiful!

    Reply
  • 26. Rebekah  |  January 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Wow. What an incredibly thoughtful gift, given my an obviously incredibly thoughtful husband. I was very encouraged by this.

    Reply

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