Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jesus Loves Me

I was inspired by BooMama's tale of Christmas miracles while shopping the after-Christmas sales, to share my very own experience.
Last year while partaking in our December 26th annual shopping spree with all the women on my mom's side of the family, I came upon the Willow Tree nativity set. I had never seen it before, and was drawn to how simple and rustic it was. Unfortunately for me, many other shoppers must have been drawn to it as well. There was an all out battle for boxes going on in front of the display. I tend to avoid brawls unless I have Superman with me for protection, and since he wouldn't be caught dead within 20 miles of any mall, I passed on the chance to duke it out in full on 1980's-Must-Have-Cabbage-Patch-Doll-Glory!

But bless my heart, as I continued with my shopping, I spied two Willow Tree boxes. As I moved in to take a closer look, I found myself with the wisemen and the shepherd sets in my hands, and me making a mad dash to the register before another crazed shopper could grab what was undoubtedly meant just for me! My heart was not sad at the fact that I didn't have Mary or Joseph or baby Jesus, oh no! After all, does one really need those three to make up a nativity scene? I jest! I jest!

Seriously though, I was so happy to be able to start my collection, that I would have been happy with anything they had left. I mean, come on, who can argue when it's 50% off? Not I!

This year, I was determined to get Mary with Jesus and Joseph. I knew if I didn't get to the store in time to buy it for 50% off, I could walk into the mall and buy it for regular price at the Christian bookstore. Whatever happened, I was coming home with those pieces!

Because I was under orders from Superman to not come home without them.

Because he's just that great!

And because I'm trying my darnest to be a submissive help meet.

Oh yeah, and because he's tired of me whining about wanting to complete my nativity scene!

Anyway, I have never attempted shopping the day after Christmas with my joys! Something about rambunctious little boys and lots of breakable and expensive decorations just doesn't mix! However, today Superman had to work, so I didn't have a choice. I promised (bribed) the boys that if we made it quickly and painlessly out of Dillard's with my nativity pieces, and without knocking over any of their trees or displays or employees or shoppers- that we would leave the mall immediately and go out for breakfast!

I also used the 20 minute drive to the mall as an educational experience for my little joys. I had a lesson on all the skills I would need them to use to assist their mama in the shopping madness! I reminded the boys of how they learned to cover the plate when playing catcher on their baseball team. I reminded them of how they block one another while shooting baskets. But you would be proud, I resisted the urge to remind them of how they body slam one another on the trampoline.

I really didn't think the Lord would like it if I encouraged my children to body slam shoppers all in the name of me getting to buy a Mary holding Jesus and a Joseph! Even if I do have an inner
shopping maniac! No ma'am!

Well, I was a bit worried when we pulled into the parking lot at 9:04 am and it was full! The boys and I made a mad dash in the rain, and into the store. We headed upstairs, and straight to the Trim-A-Tree department. Things were a bit chaotic up there, so I grabbed the boys by the hand and made my way to the wall holding all of the Willow Tree pieces. And to my amazement, there was not one, single, solitary person there. The boys had no need to guard, block, or body slam! Thank you, Lord! Within 30 seconds, I had handed C a box with the creche in it, and was handing W the other six pieces I needed to complete the basic set. I was just about to reach onto the bottom shelf and get the boxes of stars that could be bought as add-ons.
About this time, a little grandmother came up to me and started asking about the nativity set. She was interested in buying some of the pieces for her daughter, but couldn't reach the top shelf. The boys and I stopped and helped her get down the ones she wanted. She didn't have her glasses with her to read the boxes, so we helped her find a few other pieces, including the stars I was just about to buy for myself.

I must admit, my first thought was, "Oh no, now there aren't any stars for me to buy." But then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I hadn't exactly had the best attitude from the time I left my house this morning. To put it mildly, I'd been behaving a bit selfishly. In that moment, I decided to find the joy in the situation. Without incident, I had managed to get myself and my two children to the mall, in from the rain, up an escalator, and to the very items I wanted to buy. And on top of that, I was also able to buy the creche, which I had hoped for, but not expected. My day had already been blessed!

I thought to myself, "Here's another example of Jesus showing his love for me, but am I showing my love for Him?" It didn't matter that I wasn't getting some silly trinket that I didn't even know I wanted until I saw it. What mattered, was that I showed God's love and kindness to a stranger, and more importantly, that I set that example in front of my children.

Although I'm glad that I have my nativity set 99% completed, and plan to keep it out all year long, I'm overjoyed Jesus loves me enough to use it as a tool to teach me a lesson. It is a lesson that I will visualize and remember every time I walk past my nativity!

1 comment: said...

i love your reflection.
so nice to hear.

i responded to the comments of one gift on my blog in the comments section...if you are interested. :)

have a happy new year dana!
thanks for stopping by.

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