By Cami C.
“I Feel My Heart Growing with Love”
Mix in cinnamon.
Then, Elmer’s glue.
My first graders read me the directions and then helped roll out the dough and use the gingerbread cookie cutter. We carefully laid out hundreds of miniature ornaments on every flat surface of our classroom, flipped them every few hours to dry evenly, decorated each one-by-one, and then added a ribbon. After a week of tender care and with mounting anticipation, my young learners chose several ornaments to take home for gifts and then each selected one to deliver to our special people around the school. As we returned to the classroom after visits to our P.E. teacher, the principal, and the custodians, Kaylee whispered, “I feel my heart growing with love.”
All of these years later, her statement stays with me. I hear her. I see her make the shape of her heart with her hands. And then I question, “What can I do so my heart is growing with love? How can I help others’ hearts to grow with love?”
For me, Christmas is special because of the giving and the receiving. Our hearts transform like the Grinch and grow several sizes. I think of a happy people in scripture who were known because “they did walk uprightly before God, imparting to one another both temporally and spiritually according to their needs and their wants.” It’s in the giving that we are happy. It’s in the receiving graciously that our hearts grow.
A friend recently stopped by my home with three sacks totaling two big dinners. I wasn’t sick, nor did I know I needed it. But her meals sustained me through the busy season of finals and grading. My heart grew because she saw a need and filled it. This simple gesture reminded me of a quote by Spencer W. Kimball: “God does notice us, and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs.” This was true for me. I think this is especially true at Christmas.
As I consider my own Santa wish list and consider the gifts I am giving, I rejoice in this season of heart-sharing and heart-growing and hope that in the end, my heart is what I have shared most.