I waited in the Costco gas station line and tried to block out the sound of my four kids arguing over who should hold the bag of dried mangos.
My mind drifted to visions of shoulder-high laundry piles waiting for me at home. I started to tell them they were going to have to help–perhaps out of irritation from the constant sibling rivalry–when suddenly, a Macy’s bag was thrown onto my lap.
Before Costco, I had made a quick trip to Macy’s to buy makeup. On the way out the door, I was lured by my favorite Inc clothing brand. If you’re familiar with Inc, you know how expensive it is if you don’t find it on sale. The slim pickings of the clearance rack were the only items in my budget.
I tried on shirts and sweaters that weren’t even my size, but because they were only eleven dollars, I put them in my yes pile.
When I tried on the black and white polka-dot shirt, my kids told me I looked pretty. But when I saw the $64.00 price tag, I quickly put it back on the rack and said, “I am not getting that one.”
My 12- year old picked it back up and said, with eyes that looked like they were up to something, “Well, do you like that shirt?”
“Yes, but not for $64.00 so please put it back.”
So when I was startled out of my laundry-pile-visions, I looked in the Macy’s bag on my lap, and behold! There was the $64.00 polka-dot shirt.
I looked back at my grinning pre-teen.
“Madeline, you didn’t!”
“Mom, when you weren’t looking I snuck up to a register and told the sales person I wanted to buy this shirt for my mom. She helped me hide it from you.”
“Madeline, that was your Christmas money. We have to go take it back, honey. That was so nice of you, but I can’t take your Christmas money. You will want to buy something with it later.”
“No, mom. I knew you would make me take it back and so I threw away the receipt.”
“You threw the receipt away!? Did you pay $64.00 for it? Did you get the 25% off? Honey, that’s a lot of money. We can still take it back without the receipt and get full price. We have to go back.”
“I got the sale price, mom. I don’t want to take it back, I want you to have it. I never get to buy you things. And you deserve something nice.”
“But why? It’s not even my birthday or anything?”
“Just because I love you and I wanted to show you.”
“But, later on, you’ll want to go get a cover for your tablet or get something from Claire’s and I may not be able to get it for you …and you may wish you didn’t spend your money on me.”
Her resistance continued.
As much as I questioned her to make sure she wouldn’t regret it, I found her resolve unwavering. I even went so far as to question her motives. Would she throw it in my face, later, if something didn’t go her way? Would she still want me to have it when she had to do her chore? Yep–the laundry. And she said, “Yes!”
I’ll be honest. I felt so conflicted. If I kept this expensive shirt, would it be impractical and selfish? If I returned it, would I be rejecting her love?
I agonized over the high price–this extravagant gift–something I couldn’t justify buying for myself. And for nothing–no special occasion, and from my child’s own Christmas money!
“I can just ask Grandma for money on my birthday. It’s no big deal, mom.”
When I took in the depth of her love … it was overwhelming.
Later that evening, while watching a movie together, I thought about the times I’ve been impatient or yelled and just felt so undeserving.
Suddenly, I was a blubbering, grateful, gushing mom, thanking my daughter through sobs and telling her how much I would cherish that shirt as my favorite item of clothing in my closet because it represented her love for me–her lavish love–a representation of our mother-daughter relationship … a shirt I could never get rid of.
I knew I just couldn’t return it. I was attached. Not through Inc threads and polka-dots, but through heart strings … from my daughter’s heart to mine and from mine to hers … a moment in time I would never forget.
And I knew that returning it would be rejecting her love.
Her extravagant love!
And in the same moment, my tears felt the overwhelming, lavish love my Heavenly Father has for me.
He died on the cross. Why?
Because He loves me!
Because He loves you!
Simple and true.
Even through my mess-ups, my selfish attitudes and pride, He still loves me. He shed His blood on the cross and showed me the most extravagant love of all!
His love overwhelms me because I know that I've done nothing to deserve it, yet it's given freely, purely and without strings attached. Click To Tweet
Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children. (1 John 3 :1)The Voice (VOICE)
I love the commentary that www.Biblegateway.com gives from The Voice Bible:
When we feel like we are not good enough to be loved by God, we should remember that God’s love is greater than our doubts. We must silence the sounds of condemnation so we can hear the voice of God’s loving assurance and remember that He has selected us to be part of His family.
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and, therefore, all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.( 2 Corinthians 5:14-15) (NIV)
When the love of Christ overwhelms you, you will not be able to reject it. Click To Tweet
It will fill you up and bring you peace. It will become your purpose. You won’t want to keep it to yourself.
Mary was compelled to express her love to Jesus in an extravagant way. She chose to wash the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume and wipe it off with her hair while the crowd chastised the wasted expense.
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (1John 12:3) NIV
But Jesus did not chastise her for wasting money. He accepted her gift. He saw the purity of her love for him.
Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her. Matthew 26:10,13
The expense was of little concern to her compared to the invaluable love she wanted to display.
And the expense of the shirt was of little concern to my daughter compared to the invaluable love she wanted to show her mom (kleenex please).
The expense of dying on the cross for the sins of the world was of little concern for Jesus compared to the invaluable gift of eternal life He bestowed on us so that we could be His very own.
How could we ever reject the lavish love of Christ towards us?
You just can’t say no to extravagant love. Click To Tweet
Has the love of Christ overwhelmed you? Have you ever been shown extravagant love from someone? I would love for you to share in the comments below.
I would love for you to subscribe to recent posts from Cord of 6!
Praying the Promises of the Cross by Arabah Joy includes:
– 40 ALL NEW Scriptures in a Quick Start Guide
– Instructions on How to Pray Promises from God’s Word
– 40 Daily mini-devotionals
– 40 beautifully designed and fully customized prayer journal pages for you to journal your thoughts and prayers
– blank journal pages for you to individualize as you like
This is an affiliate link.
Thank you so much for this Valerie! You don’t even know how much I needed to read this. I can relate so much to your story in both perspectives as you and your daughter. It really make my open my eyes to the love of our Savior Jesus.
He is just amazing!!
God bless you
Hugs from Portugal
Absolutely beautiful story! I’m nearly crying!!!
Extravagant! What a great descriptive word for the love of God!
What a sweet and loving daughter you have raised. If it was me, I’d probably wear it on days my teen was being particularly challenging to remind myself and her that we really do love each other. Jus sayin’! 😉 At any rate, you’ve done a fabulous job training her up in the way she should go! Blessings!
Yep…I will certainly be doing that Liz. My daughter is the biggest love but also very strong-willed as are most of my kids. Thank you for your kind words!
What a dear! I’m sure when you picked up the shirt at the store, you had no idea how much it would mean to you. I can imagine you will smile every time you wear that shirt!
It was for sure a parenting moment that I will never forget!
Your sweet baby girl! Tears! Such a beautiful heart full of Jesus for a Mama who is absolutely equally as beautiful!!!I love this, Valerie!
Happy Valentine’s Day Lori! Thank you for your encouraging words to me!
Awww…Valerie, what a beautiful example of extravagant love. I’d probably do the same thing you did bit it was clear God wanted you to experience his joy and be reminded of his great love. Please tell her she’s got a lot of mommies singing her praises. 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day to you, my friend!
Happy Valentine’s Day Marva! I pray you have a great day! Thank you so much for leaving such a sweet comment!
Oh my word! This is precious! What a kind-hearted, tender babe you have! This is such a great post, Valerie. And thanks for using this sweet story to remind us of God’s extravagant love for his children!
Have a SWEET Valentine’s Day and give that girl a few extra hugs. <3
It’s always a joy to see a comment from you Alison! Thank you for your kind words. I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day with your hubby!
I was bawling right there with you! My 5 yo was trying to read what was making me read on the computer. I explained to her that it was a daughter loving her mom very selflessly, like when she plays quietly to let mommy think and recharge even though she craves noisy and loud.
I love your tweet quotes in this one. I tweeted you twice! I am praying that the love of Christ overwhelms the unsaved in my life!
Awe, I’m so glad that this touched your heart Jennifer! Thank you so much for sharing this, I really appreciate it!
This brought tears to my eyes, Valerie. I love this beautiful picture of your shared love for each other. The parallel to Mary’s lavish gift is perfect! Blessings to you and your family this weekend!
Awe, that’s so sweet. Thank you for leaving such a kind comment!
What a precious story of the love your daughter has for you! It touched my heart and did indeed portray the amazing unconditional love of the Father towards us. Thank-you for writing this lovely and tender post. (I totally get why you ended up a blubbery mess!)
Wendy, I always appreciate that you take the time to read my posts. Thank you so much for always being so kind!
Valerie, this is such a great post. I love it! Your daughter sure did give you a perfect picture of Christ’s extravagant love. That would have melted my heart, too. I think that’s what God’s love has done for me. He overwhelms me with His love, and I am just so grateful and want to love Him. Thank you for sharing this touching story. And I know you have loved and taught your daughter well.
Awe, sweet friend, thank you! I’m so glad we can celebrate God’s love for us! And I’m so glad to have had the privilege of meeting you!
Oh I love this story!!!! What a wonderful daughter and a mom who DOES deserve that gift…and a great Illustration!
Awe, thank you! I look forward to reading more of your posts!
Wow – what a precious story! My favorite verse is Romans 5:8 – God commends His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Amen!
What a great verse! I appreciate your comment!
What a beautiful story of your daughter’s unselfish extravagant love for you! It is so much like the Father’s love for us as you say! Thanks for this precious story! Visiting today on #Arabah Joy linkup as your neighbor,
I’m so glad you stopped by Pam! God’s love is overwhelming at times, especially when he shows us in unexpected ways. Have a great day!
Valerie – I soooo love this post! And just in time for Valentine’s Day!
I LOVE what your sweet little Madeline did! Yay for mommies! It’s so wonderful having kids who love extravagantly. But honestly, we must talk: you mustn’t fight so hard to get her to return it :o). And she threw away the receipt! That’s one smart kid who knows her mom soooo well. I’m so tickled by this post (and the way you weaved in God’s extravagant love for us).
Blessings to you my dear sister.
PS..Please post a picture of you wearing that polka-dot shirt, please???
Hi Tiffiney! I know, what was I thinking even questioning it??? I’m so glad you liked this post. I tried taking pictures of the shirt but I am so not good at photography using my own phone. Have a great Valentine’s Day!
Extravagant, overwhelming love! What a fantastic picture!
Thank you so much Michele!
Amazing…your daughter. Guess what, she learned that somewhere. Guess who taught her? Don’t take it back. She wanted to bless you and to take it back, robs her of giving the blessing. We often put a price tag on things and in this case you shouldn’t. As they say, priceless. She will always have this to remember and God will use it as a testimony for her one day. You DESERVE this friend! Happy Valentine’s Day Valerie.
Thank you for the encouragement, Michelle. I’m so glad I kept it, but honestly at first I didn’t know what the “right” thing to do was. Sometimes we have to let our hearts decide! I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day!