In my kitchen, next to my sink, I have a rock. It is not an ordinary rock. It is beautifully painted. It has a scenic picture of a barn yard. There are luscious trees surrounding a rustic barn. There are wildflowers growing around the wood fence. Puffy clouds decorate the sky where a few birds are flying.
This rock has been in my kitchen for almost 10 years. It has made many, many moves. I always place it near my sink or on my kitchen window sill. I place it somewhere that I can see it when I am washing my dishes or cooking. It is comforting to me. It reminds me that the world is a beautiful place. It reminds me to thank God for the beauty in the world.
Sometimes when I glance at the rock, I remember to smile. Other times, it is like the breeze on a warm day. I don’t really notice it but its mere presence provides happiness.
The rock is also special to me because it was a gift from my great uncle Dwain. Dwain painted the rock. I imagine he had no idea how much joy his simple gift would bring me. Naturally, the rock reminds me of him, as well. He passed away not long ago. Though it had been several years since I had seen him, he was never far from my thoughts. His gift brings me joy and thankfulness. His memory makes me smile. He was the kind of person that always made others smile.
Something else I realized thinking about the rock this morning. The best gifts are ones that come from your heart. As I think about the holiday season approaching (yes I am already thinking about it and yes [yikes] it is around the corner), I hope I can remember that truth.