Do you have a sister or a friend or a spouse who leans toward the contemplative side? But maybe they don’t always claim that space for themselves? This gift list is designed for you to find a creative and unique gift for them. (But feel free to forward this list to those who will be shopping for you, too).
Seeking God’s Face:
If you’ve been following Ponderings for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about this daily devotional book before. Each day’s reading invites you into silence, scripture, and prayer. This is a great gift for the person who wants to create more space for time with God in their daily lives, but doesn’t gravitate toward intense Bible studies. I love this book!
2. A Diffuser and Essential Oils:
When I was training to become a spiritual director, we had regular silent retreats as part of our course. As I packed my bags for the few days away, I would often toss in my diffuser and a little bottle of essential oil. Then I would run the diffuser in my room during my times of prayer. I came to love how the scent helped create a welcoming space for my silence and reflection. This is a gift that reminds us that our physical bodies and our spirits are connected. Pick out an oil blend and add a little note about why you chose a diffuser and this particular oil for them. (If there are pets in the house, be sure to research which oils are and aren’t safe for animals).
There are so many options out there, and everyone has opinions about the best kind. Leather bound? Handmade? Blank pages? Lined pages? I’ll leave those details up to you, but I will say that journals given with a particular intention can show the recipient how much you care about them. Last year my family gave me a journal specifically for me to write ideas in, and I am seldom without it these days. Maybe the journal could be to record their dreams, inspirational quotes, what they’re thankful for, or their prayers. Don’t be afraid to give some guidance with the journal. Throw in a set of coloured pens and you’re good to go. If you’re searching for a beautiful journal, how about something like this?
4. Book a Retreat:
Sometimes a personal or silent retreat is exactly what the (busy) reflective person needs, but isn’t willing to arrange for herself. Why not book one for her? Ask around to find a local retreat centre and see what types of retreats they are offering in the next few months. If you’re in Alberta, check out Intermission Retreats and King’s Fold Retreat Centre.
You guys! This book launches TODAY. It’s a perfect gift or stocking stuffer. I’m privileged to be on the launch team, so I’ve already got my copy and have been working through it. What is it, you ask? It’s a two week devotional colouring book. Each day has a one page reflection with a thought, question, or prayer prompt to reflect on as you colour the hand drawn illustration on the opposite page. It’s a book that invites us to slow down and pay attention, while connecting our physical beings with our hearts. And. I am giving one away! Click on the button at the bottom of this post for details.
I’m launching a second round of online retreats in the New Year, and they are designed precisely for the busy reflective person. From now until December 25th, you can purchase a gift retreat voucher at an “early bird rate” that can be used on any of my retreats in 2019.
If the busy reflective person in your life is a parent of young kids, there’s a good chance they don’t have much space these days for anything, much less for being contemplative. Why not arrange babysitting for them once a week for an hour or two, and encourage them to do something that fills them up. Send them out on a walk, to a coffee shop with a good book or a journal, or to go meet with a Spiritual Director.
Okay, hear me out. I know most of us have been gifted a scented candle at some point and felt it was a bit…impersonal. Candles make my gift idea list ONLY when they, like the journals, are given for a specific purpose. Give a unique candle with instructions like “A candle to light each morning as a reminder of hope” or “A candle to light when you remember others in prayer” or “Light this candle as you journal to remind yourself of God’s loving presence.” Check out these candles from Prosperity Candles. Not only are they beautiful, but you can custom order them with the scent you want, AND when you buy from them, you are helping empower “women in and from regions of conflict.”
This prayer book is designed for groups gathering together to pray. When I worked in Campus Ministry, we used it for daily prayer, and I loved the way it guided us.
10. A labyrinth bowl:
If you are looking for a unique and beautiful gift for the contemplative person in your life, this might just be the thing. Not all of us have access to an actual prayer labyrinth (and some of us live in places where any outdoor labyrinths are covered in snow for a good part of the year). It might not be the same as walking a labyrinth, but a labyrinth bowl invites you to trace the path of the bowl with your finger, toward the centre and out again, as you pray and listen to God’s voice and presence. The one pictured here is by Cynthia Webb and can be ordered from her website.
What would you add to this list?