Giving the Gifts that Really Matter: Jody Hedlund

“Please, Mommy, one more story?”

Bright brown eyes pleaded with me as my youngest son pushed another Christmas book into my hands. I bit back the automatic no that begged for release. After a typical day of teaching, mothering, and managing the activities of a noisy, busy household, I wanted to curl up on the couch with my newest biography. I hungered for silence and stillness, food for my creative mind.

“Just one more.” My six-year-old added her big blue eyes to the drama.

Hedlund 1

My mind shouted that I’d given all day. I’d already sacrificed enough. From the piles of laundry I’d folded to the never-ending task of breaking up squabbles and training my children’s characters. For our Advent activity, Red & Green Day, I’d even cooked red and green food for every meal, including green scrambled eggs.

My body ached, and my eyes smarted from exhaustion. It would be so easy to say no, to tuck my littlest children into their beds and have an hour of quietness before the older kids arrived home from art class and basketball practice.

I longed to glance away, to ignore the upturned faces waiting for my decision. But my heart compelled me to look at both of them, into their eyes, and to see the desire glowing there—the desire to spend just a few more precious minutes with their busy mom.

I took a deep breath and settled myself back against the bed. They smiled and snuggled against me.

“Would you sing it, Mommy?” my son asked.

Only then did I realize which book he’d slipped into my hands. I stifled another weary sigh. “Isn’t there another book we could read?”

“No. I like this one.”

I stared at it for a moment, then opened it. “Okay, sweetie.” I whispered a prayer and began singing, “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .”

By the last page, with the twelve drummers drumming and eleven pipers piping, we were laughing at our bumbling efforts. And when I gazed at the delight on my children’s faces, I knew I’d given my true loves a gift that night . . .

The gift of me and my time.

Amidst the craziness of everyday life, especially during the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget to give the gifts that really matter the most, gifts like ourselves, our time, and our love.

What are you giving the true loves of your life this Christmas?

Connect with Jody on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.


Newest Release: Rebellious Heart

Rebellious Heart

When Susanna’s heart for the poor and Ben’s disillusionment with British rule cross paths, the two find themselves bound in a dangerous fight for justice.

10 thoughts on “Giving the Gifts that Really Matter: Jody Hedlund

  1. Jody, I can relate! That last book request at the end of a long day can be one of the easiest times to say no…but the look on their faces when we say yes and snuggle in for another few minutes really is priceless. Thank you for this timely reminder.

    • Hi Gabrielle! Oh, I hear you!! Bedtime has always been a struggle for me because I lack energy at that time of the day (since I’m more of a morning person). But for some reason it does really mean a lot to my kids to have that special time together before bed!

    • Hi Dani! Isn’t this blog fantastic! I just love having this place where we can all come together to talk with readers and each other too! I’m looking forward to reading the posts the rest of the month!

  2. Great story, Jody, and looking at your two cutie pies, I can see why it must be difficult to say no. 🙂 Children seem to grow up so fast, and we can never reclaim those lost moments. Besides, being silly together is a very wonderful thing…

    • Hi Kate! I try to keep in mind that I only have a few short years left with my little ones before they won’t want me to read them bedtime stories anymore! My oldest is now a junior in high school and it’s a challenge to get him to slow down his busy life enough just to talk! 🙂

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