The Gift of Time & Talent

By: Advent Devotional

Posted: December 17, 2016

Category: Daily Devotional

Psalm 80

One of my most memorable Christmas presents was, probably like a lot of kids, my first bicycle. My sister and I had been asking for a bike for a while. My parents were raising six kids so they had already provided bikes for four boys. So now it was time for two more.

I remember when my brothers got their bikes, they woke up Christmas morning to find them parked in the kitchen. (It was a small house, not a lot of options.) I was about ten when I woke up early Christmas morning. My brother Danny was up getting ready to go out on his paper route, on his bike. I asked him to go look in the kitchen to see if my and Karen’s bikes were there. He came back disappointed and told us no, we didn’t get our bikes.

When we finally got up, Karen & I made a beeline for the kitchen just to be sure. I found out later that our neighbors across the street caddy corner from us could hear our screams of excitement when we saw our yellow bikes. I was a bit high strung then, and still can be now at times when I’m enthusiastic about something. Needless to say, we were so happy. I’m glad my brother didn’t tell us and left it to be a surprise.

Mom & dad were wonderful parents. My dad provided for a family of eight on a milkman’s salary and mom managed the household. Although money was tight, I never felt deprived. We had great Christmases, birthdays, camping vacations, water skiing on the weekends (dad built our first boat,) and in general a wonderful family life. My dad could do just about anything. So, as it turned out, our bikes were used that dad refurbished. You could not tell they weren’t new. One way or another, mom and dad did everything they could to make life great for their family. A little girl could not have been more blessed.

~ Connie Shipley


Dear Lord, we know that joy is in the world because You have come. We know too that You came that our joy may be full. We thank You that Your joy cannot be taken away from us. We thank You for those gifts that bring genuine happiness to us. We thank You for those gifts that represent an expenditure of money as well as the time and talents of the giver. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.