Tuesday, June 5, 2012

" . . . She's a Rag Doll, Such a Rag Doll . . . "

Matthew 12:51
"Have you understood all these things?"  Jesus asked.
"Yes," they replied.

"What do you want for Christmas, Sarah?"  I ask my three-year-old daughter.  We are planning to visit Santa the following day, and I'm making sure that she doesn't tell him anything I haven't heard first.

"I'm going to ask Santa for a pink baby doll," she states.  I begin to hyperventilate.

"A pink baby doll?  Why pink?"  And, where in the world am I going to find a pink baby doll?  What does she mean by that?  What does a pink baby doll even look like?

"Because, pink is my favorite color."

Okay, now I'm thinking fast.  Warding off encroaching panic.

"Honey, what if Santa doesn't have any pink dolls this year?"

"Oh, he'll have them," she responds confidently.  "He has everything!"

But, this mom doesn't.

As promised, I take Sarah, along with brother, Daniel, to see Santa the next day.  I have their wish lists firmly planted in my head, but the doll dilemma still haunts me.  I decide that, instead of going home right after Santa, we should explore the mall.  Just to see.

If pink baby dolls exist . . .

My children are delighted with this prospect, and happily hold my hands as we stroll toward a new toy store which has only been open for two months.

Standing at the entrance, I give them one admonishment.  "Okay, Daniel, Sarah.  You can look all you want, but don't touch."

"Okay, Mom," they say in unison.

And, in we go.  Because I assume they clearly understand what I have said to them.

Look, but don't touch!

"Mama!  Here she is!  This is the pink doll I asked Santa for!"

I can't believe my ears!  I whirl around to follow the direction Sarah's finger is pointing.  I can't believe my eyes!  Row upon row of the sweetest, most angelic, mostly pink rag doll one could ever hope to see.  What are the odds of this happening?  Right here?  Right now?

"Thank you, Lord," I say under my breath.  "Oh, thank you!"

"Mom!  Come look at this for a minute!"  It's Daniel calling from one aisle over.   I say to Sarah, "Either come with me or stay right here and don't move.  We'll be leaving the store in just a few minutes."

She decides to stay.  To gaze with adoring eyes upon those precious, priceless pink baby rag dolls.

I hastily join Daniel to see what he has to show me while trying to keep an eye on Sarah at the same time.

But, sometimes, in a split second, it happens.

Those Mom-eyes-in-the-back-of-the-head cease to function.

For.  A.  Split.  Second.

"Alright, it's time to get going, kids," I say as I dig in my purse for my keys.  Daniel scoots toward the door with Sarah right on his heels.

Something bright pink flashes in my peripheral vision.  Oh, no!  She hasn't!

Tucked protectively under Sarah's arm is a pink baby doll.  And, she's walking out of the store!  Toddler shoplifts!  News at 11!

With lightning speed, I grab her arm.

"Sarah!  Didn't you understand when I told you not to touch anything?  Honey, you can't walk out of a store with something without paying for it.  We have to take the doll back this instant."

"But, Santa said I could have one," she says, tears welling as she looks with loving longing at her coveted doll.

"Yes, but he has to be the one to bring it to you.  He didn't mean for you to take it yourself."

Click!  The light bulb goes on.  "Really, Mom?  Really?  Will Santa bring her back to me?"

"Yes, yes, Sarah, I promise he will.  But, only if we take her back now."

Cheered by this prospect, Sarah willingly returns the doll to her shelf as I explain to sympathetic, understanding clerks the circumstances behind the pilfering.

And, I return the following day to purchase that pink baby doll for my baby doll, delighted to make her Christmas dream come true.
~
Was there a time you thought you understood a situation only to find out you didn't?

Will you pray with me?
Sometimes, Father, we think we understand the right thing to do or the right direction to take, when we haven't asked for Your discernment and advice.  May we always go to You in prayer for guidance and assurance.  Please lead us to do Your will and walk in Your ways each and every day.  Amen.
 

26 comments:

  1. Wonderful post Martha...visiting your blog after quite sometime. Absolutely delighted to read this. Nice message here.

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    1. So glad to see you back here, Janu! I've missed you!
      Glad you enjoyed this post today. My next one will be up on Friday.
      Blessings to you!

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  2. There have been numerous instances where I think I have understood the situation only to realise I have not :)

    But life with its bitter sweet moments is wonderful as it is. AMEN to your prayers.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Me!
      Haven't we all had those moments? But, I agree, with all its ups and downs, life is still grand.
      Glad you enjoyed the prayers, too.
      Blessings to you!

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  3. I've had a number of those situations when I thought I got everything perfectly only to find out I was wrong. Humiliating sometimes but perfectly alright. Keeps my feet on the ground and my heart close to His.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Anne!
      Yes, those experiences can be humiliating, but, so often, they do teach us to not rely on our own assumptions, but to turn to God instead. They remind us who is really in charge here.
      Blessings to you!

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  4. There were many instances Martha and I thought that it was just right for me but in the end the desire wasn't sustained because it isn't what I was supposed to do.

    I had a guide who accompanies me throughout discernment periods but to know God's will couldn't be done in a day. It unfolds day by day. Sometimes, it seems that I got it but then another road comes along :)

    With the children, it seems that they understand what we say but we could never assume that they did in the same manner that we do. They are very innocent and simple minded :) I guess that's how we are sometimes with God. His ways are very far from ours.

    Thank you for sharing this experience with us. I always look forward to your reflections :) Lots of love :*

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Melissa, as always!
      I sure hear you on how knowing God's will is a day by day unfolding and we don't always get it right the first time around. So glad He gives us many chances to do so!
      And, yes, we can never assume that children understand - I've been leading the rising kindergarten kids this week at VBS, and that reality has truly hit home again for me. It's almost as if writing this post was preparing me to enter their little worlds all over again. God is so good!
      Glad you liked the post. Lots of love and blessings to you, too!

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  5. Your story reminds me so much of how much I believed that Santa was real as a little girl, before I was devastated when I found out that Santa was equivalent to mom and dad hehe

    And to answer your question, "Was there a time you thought you understood a situation only to find out you didn't?" I'd say, A LOT. Hence, hearing the line, "Didn't I tell you..." from my mom or dad over and over. I guess this is what taught me not to make decisions out of haste. And I make sure that I consult God first before making decisions.

    Thank you for this much-needed reflection, Martha. I am currently at a point of deciding on something that is related to my future. Thank you for the enlightening words and for the prayer. Take care and God bless <3 :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Irene - I'm so gratified to know that this post is reaching you where you are in deciding an important direction for your life. Wow! Is God good, or what? :)
      And, we've all been there with the "I told you so" from our parents. God may tell us the same thing, but He always gives us that next chance to get it right.
      Blessings to you!

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  6. yes, at times, I thought I understood and made every effort to "force" my way and often finding myself disappointed when I don't get what I want. Now that I'm older, I try to gather lots of information, do my footwork and let go. Thank you for sharing... take care.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Amy!
      Experience in life is such a wonderful teacher, though a hard task-master at times. It is a great thing to learn that we can never "force" something to happen; what will be will be if it's meant to be.
      Blessings to you!

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  7. This isn't the point of your post, but your post reminded me of my son's request for a musk ox for Christmas one year! He did agree to settle on a toy one instead of a real one. But I'm telling you a toy musk ox is not easy to find! It turned out to be a lovely story about a musk ox preserve in Alaska that sent James a stuffed musk ox along with all sorts of information and an invitation to visit them in Alaska! James loved that toy for years!

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    1. Oh, Galen, I love this story! What an unusual request your son made and how beautifully and wonderfully God moved in this case to give James such a meaningful gift.
      Thanks so much for visiting!
      Blessings to you!

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  8. As I read about how the saints give up expectations, I have been trying to do that too...hard...but then easy...

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, Annmarie!
      No, giving up expectations is so difficult. I admire your willingness to let go and let God. :)
      Blessings to you!

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  9. Martha,
    You always do such and amazing job writing these to make us think. I need to think about this one. I loved it!

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    1. Thank you, Cathy, for visiting and for your kind words. So glad you enjoyed this post and that it made you think on these things.
      Blessings to you!

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  10. Too many times to count...lol. Once more your words have cheered my heart.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jan!
      Cheered your heart? Oh, that makes me a very happy camper! So glad you were uplifted here.
      Blessings to you!

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  11. This warmed my heart..you described everything so beautifully! To answer your question: Sadly yes..many times.

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  12. Thanks so much for stopping by, Nelieta!
    So glad this post warmed your heart. And, don't worry - there's not a one of us out there who hasn't misunderstood a situation at some time or another.
    Blessings to you!

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  13. Your post made me laugh, Martha, thanks. My boy now knows that it's not Santa who brings the gifts. I think this year we can negotiate ;)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Luchi!
      So glad this story made you laugh. Makes me laugh, too, thinking back on it, though it wasn't amusing at all at the time. :)
      And, yes, it's great when they are old enough to realize that mom and dad are the true Santas.
      Blessings to you!

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  14. What a delightful story, Martha and as always so beautifully told. There have been many times that I've desired a 'pink baby doll' and tried to get it at any cost, only to find that it wasn't meant to be the way I thought it was. And then God would grant me what I wanted, but in His time and way.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Corinne, and for your kind words!
      Haven't we all wanted that "pink baby doll" sometime in our lives? To have things our way, not God's?
      Thank goodness we learn from those lessons that He is in charge and knows what is ultimately best for us.
      Blessings to you!

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