In Christmas of 2009, I'll admit I was fresh out of ideas for gifts for Vera, Emma and Ella. My girls aren't the best at playing with typical little girl toys. I know that's no surprise as far as Vera is concerned, but even Ella and Emma don't really care for Barbies and baby dolls.
What I had noticed, however, is that they loved my iPhone and were surprisingly adept at using it. With that in mind, I decided to bring the grandparents in on my idea to purchase each girl an iPod Touch for Christmas. Part of my rationale, besides plain old Christmas fun, was that I had heard of a communication app that I thought might be a help to the girls: ProLoQuo2Go. See? Fun AND educational AND mostly paid for by someone other than me! Apple even had a special running: free engraving and free shipping. I had the girls' names and our phone number engraved on the back.
The girls were ecstatic over those iPods. So ecstatic, in fact, that Emma carried hers almost everywhere. I say almost to indicate the time, about a month after Christmas, that she left it outside overnight. It snowed. It never snows in Texas, right? Only if you've left your new iPod outside and no one knows until a few days later when it's wet and ruined. Emma, surprisingly, was not terribly disappointed. She still carries it around and pretends to talk on it and dance to the tunes.
Ella's iPod was never really put into her possession. I bring it out occasionally, particularly for doctor appointments and car trips. It's relatively safe in my jewelry drawer.
Vera. Oh, sweet Vera. Try as we might to keep it in a central location she always managed to steal off with it. Strangely enough, however, she generally managed to keep up with it. Well, until a few months ago when it went missing. We just knew it would show up any day, but in-depth searches of her room produced no results. Unlike Emma, Vera was NOT HAPPY to have lost her beloved and well-used iPod.
Last year when Christmas came around Vera asked for another iPod, a green iPod. She never asked for anything else. Just a green iPod. I just couldn't do it, though. I couldn't ask the grandparents to shell out again for a new one. I didn't think John and I should buy her a new one. She kept asking, though, right on through Christmas and on into the new year as her birthday is February 9th.
Yes, that's right. February 9th...two days from today. Once again, I struggled to come up with ideas for gifts because make no mistake, she wants to open "lots and lots of gifts!" I took my two oldest sons and their 14 year old cousin, James, to the store last week to help me. It seemed only fitting to take boys on a gift buying excursion for Vera. They were super-helpful and we had a fun time choosing some items for her.
This afternoon I made a little trip to the store to buy a few odds and ends like candles and powdered sugar and colorful icing and candles. When I left the store, I thought I might like to listen to my own iPhone on the way home and went searching through the console in the van for my headphones. I had just been rifling through that same console last week when I took Luke for his learner's permit because I thought we might need proof of insurance for our car.
Still rifling and finding no earphones, I stopped short. At the very back of the drawer, I see an iPod touch.
You know whose it is, of course. I did, too, but I turned it over to see Vera Spicer engraved on it, plain as day.
You know what my very first thought was? "God, You love Vera sooooooo much!" He just does. I guarantee you He'll be every bit as delighted as I am when she opens her old iPod with a new green cover on Wednesday morning.
I had thought I would write a different MBM today, one about the way God provided for Vera's adoption. I was close; I just got the sweetest reminder that what God always provides for is Vera.
When I get my memorial box, I believe I will put in a picture of an iPod. Like so many things that go into the box, the item itself isn't a bit spiritual on its own, but bears the mark of the divine when used in God's generous hands.