The Ugly Gift Every Child Needs

What if I told you I discovered a gift that is free, meaningful, and won’t take up any space? And that I can guarantee, without a doubt, that your kids will remember it forever.

Doesn’t that sound perfect?

But, this one is far from perfect. It’s most likely not sitting pretty with a bow on top. Actually, from the looks of it, it can get ugly. Sometimes covered in shame. Hanging on by a thread. Messy. Torn. Broken. And, sometimes it’s hard to find. You have to constantly keep digging for it. And, it can run out real quick. So you will have to search for it. You will have to be patient.

I promise you they will still want it.

I am here to unveil a gift that is very valuable. We need to discover the importance despite the unsightliness. Sometimes it doesn’t get noticed but, clearly, it is worth mentioning. Let’s give it the recognition it deserves.

It’s called effort.

At times it’s not so holly jolly. But we have to find the good. Make the most of it. Time is precious. Effort goes beyond. Effort is taking advantage of the time. Spending time where it matters most. Giving for who it matters most.

Let’s find the courage.

Bringing kids to church is stressful, but try.

It’s way too hot for the baseball field, but try.

No one can hardly make it through a movie, but try.

Grocery trips are insane, but try.

It’s too cold to play outside, but try.

Library visits may be loud, but try.

Restaurants are barely manageable, but try.

Vacation is exhausting, but try.

Having kids. Raising kids. Taking kids. It is hard. But try.

It’s not about being perfect. Or even successful at what you’re doing. Effort is winning. It earns respect and admiration. Your kids will remember how hard you worked. They will remember the places you go. They will respect you for not taking the easy way out. For being brave. Making yourself vulnerable to stressful situations because you want to see them smile or just be together. They will admire the ways you made it through, what you dealt with and how you managed.

Effort teaches good qualities. Being persistent even though something is hard and showing your ambition to conquer it. They are secure knowing you will not give up and comforted that you will make it right. When you consistently direct good behavior it develops discipline and reinforcement. It is necessary.

Trying is nurturing. It gives time and love. It gives the opportunity for precious moments, simple occasions, being present, and just being together. Attempting anything for the benefit of our children shows love. Time and love by effort grants worthiness. They need to know how special they are. Feeling valuable builds confidence.

Effort earns, teaches and gives.

Soon they will notice and appreciate it. It is more special than anything bought. It is enough. It counts. It is a gift that lasts a lifetime.

If we do this right, our kids will always want it. Always want us. The longing will never end. Even when they are grown.

So, then, keep reaching.

Give advice.

Support their decisions.

Acknowledge their accomplishments.

Love their family.

Make the call.

Make the visit.

Do anything.

Just never stop trying.

About the Author:

Tova Stelly is a former public relations professional who traded in marketing and media for dirty diapers and laundry. She is passionate about all things home—interior design, gardening, baking, and family time. You can find her on the outskirts of Lafayette playing ball with her sons Porter (8) and Callon (1), dressing up with her daughter Eden (4) and dreaming about travel with her husband Loren. In her spare time she is most likely imagining, researching or sketching her dream home. She also enjoys reading, writing and learning. She believes in achieving goals and inspiring others. It is her mission to create a positive, purposeful, pretty kind of life. You can follow her journey @tovamaurelle on Instagram.


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