Christmas Stories: Day 16

Every day ’til Christmas, we’re sharing a story from your family at FN. Would you rather get them straight to your inbox? Click here and choose “Christmas Stories: (Daily Emails Dec 2015).”


I’m always surprised the way seemingly random thoughts pop into my brain whenever I ask God to give me something to write about, but then with God is anything ever really random? This time when I asked the question I saw myself in a picture that now resides at my oldest sister’s house.

19b_-_CopyI wish you could see it. In the photograph you would find three little girls standing in front of a Christmas tree each holding a gift. Two of the girls pictured have broad, beaming smiles – and one most notably doesn’t. That girl, the one with the blotchy, tear-stained cheeks and pouting lip, is of course yours truly. In my hands is something that sort-of looks like a Barbie. The problem was, it was most definitely NOT a Barbie.
Apparently Santa didn’t get the memo!  What I’d asked for was a REAL Barbie, the kind with bendable legs, hips that swivel and hair of spun gold!  What I got was a dime store version with perpetually stiff legs that randomly popped off and hair that appeared to be badly sewn in hair plugs! The photographic evidence of course gives testimony to my disappointment and the fit of emotion that ensued. I remember hearing my mother issue a blessedly brief recount of Christmases of old and how I should be more thankful but that was it. Nothing more was ever said about the incident. I vaguely recall getting over my disappointment fairly quickly and playing with my sisters and the dime-store Barbie, but if I could go back now I wonder if I’d recognize pain on my mother’s face. Would I see the wound my immaturity must have inflicted? After all, she was a good mother who always did her best and gave gifts from her heart.

15_aSo as I sat to write this I was left to wonder – why this memory Lord? You KNOW what I wouldn’t give to go back, throw my arms around her neck, kiss her cheek & tell her how very sorry I am and how much I loved her!  What is it that YOU want me to know or learn from something that happened so long ago?  Thankfully He immediately reassured me it certainly wasn’t guilt or shame and that not only He, but she KNOWS….

I’d like to be able wrap this story up in a pretty package complete with a bow on top, but I’m afraid I can’t do that. The reason I can’t is because although these things took place years ago & to our adult eyes may seem small, He’s still not done finished using it. I know it’s not about guilt or shame, but I don’t know what else he wants to use it for. Are there gifts & peoplein my life or yours right now we’re taking for granted? Does He want to use this memory to help you or me embrace more of his love, forgiveness & grace? For now I’m still pondering those things and in doing so I’m unwrapping a precious and most wondrous gift that only He can give.


IMG_0972Today’s story is by Sheila Cabrera.

Sheila and her husband Iggy have two grown children, Dan & Rebecca. They first started attending FN back when it used to meet at the YMCA. She’s always appreciated that it is a church of both Love and Truth. She also runs a jewelry design business named BrixLoft with business partner Hannah Little.

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