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Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Rocking Chair

I prayed for an experience that would put me in the Christmas spirit.  I love Christmas time, but it had been hectic.  I worked too much, cleaned too little and ignored the days passing by.  Christmas was just around the corner and I had yet to slow down, so I found a clean spot on my bedroom floor and finally got down on my knees. 
“Please send me someone,” was my prayer and God knew exactly what I meant.
I needed someone to share with or give to. I needed to slow down and do something for someone.  I wanted to be like Jesus, if just for a moment.
The stories of Jesus inspire me in so many ways, but around Christmas time I want to exemplify what Christ would do.  An experience like this changes things and keeps life in perspective.  This is the gift I wanted for myself.
God answered my prayer.  And I’m so busy; He had to send my experience knocking on my front door.
This person came to me from a Craig’s list advertisement.
Several weeks ago, I found this vintage rocking chair at a garage sale.  I paid $10.00 for it.
I brought it home, cleaned it up and put it on Craig’s list for $25.00.
The day before Christmas Eve, I received a phone call from Heidi.  She was pregnant with her first child and looking for a special chair.
“Something I can rock my baby boy in,” she said. 
I convinced her this was just the chair.  Shabby, unique and sturdy.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, Heidi came to my house.  Not uncommon for me, I’d forgotten I had scheduled to meet her at 10:00am and opened the door still in my pajamas.  I invited her in; not really knowing who she was until she reminded me we had spoken on the phone.
“Oh, yes, the rocking chair,” I said as I led her down the hall to my daughter’s nursery.
It was love at first site.  She loved the chair.
“I want everything to be so special,” she said, patting her bulging belly.  “This will be my only child and I want to enjoy every minute.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that,” I said.  “Kids are so amazing, you can’t stop and just one.”
“Oh, this will be my only one,” she said with assurance.  “My husband passed away and I’ll be raising our child on my own.”
In an instant, I was thrown into the moment.  My minded stop racing with all the things I needed to do through out the day; the laundry pile, the messy kitchen sink and getting Christmas cards mailed.   I was looking into the eyes of a beautiful lady, pregnant with a child from a man she dearly loved, a man who wouldn’t be there, holding her hand along her journey of motherhood. 
I thought of the baby and only imagined what he must mean to her.
I’m sure she’d been asked these questions many times before, but I asked how she was holding up, how she was feeling and if she needed any assistance.  I asked about her husband, what he was like and how long they’d been married.  
She assured me she was fine.  She had a great job, benefits for her and the baby and loving family waiting for her back east.
“I still feel him near me all the time,” she said, opening a bit of her heart to me.  “I believe I’ll see my husband again.  I know he’s raising this baby with me.”
Before I knew it, we were both crying.  We hugged.  When we talked, I looked into her eyes and realized this was the person I was praying for.  Heidi was the person who I wanted to help.  
What would Jesus do?  
I wanted to give her the rocking chair.
She was hesitant at first, not wanting pity.
“I’ve been praying for you all along,” I said as I carried the rocking chair out to her car.  “Thank you so much for finding me and sharing your heart with me.  I’ll be praying for you everyday,” I said.
We exchanged phone numbers and I watched as she drove away, the rocking chair peeking out the back of her car window.

Thank you, Heavenly Father for hearing my soft, worn-out, short prayer. 
Thank you for knowing the best way for me to celebrate Christmas was to feel close to my Savior.
And thank you for rocking chairs, so we mother’s have a place to sit and hold our cherished baby.  A place to gaze into their eyes and see a piece of heaven, a place where we can sing lullabies, a place where angels can stop by and visit for a while.

11 comments:

  1. Laura, this was beautiful. You had me in tears at work. What a great experience for you & Heidi. I can't imagine having my husband not here to help me raise our kids. You are awesome!

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  2. God always is faithful and hears our softest whispers. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I feel blessed by your story.

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  3. Thank you for this. Truly beautiful.

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  4. That is a beautiful story, i cried. How the Lord definately knows what we need and when we need it. :) I am glad he blessed you that way. :)
    So sweet.

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  5. Wiping tears away. What a beautiful woman to have faith that her husband is still with her and will be there to share in the raising of their child.

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  6. Awww... such a sweet story! You are soo awesome to just give her the chair for her and the baby!! :)

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  7. Seriously crying right now. That is truly a special story and Heavenly Father really knows our hearts. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. ohh my word, that was so amazing...just when I think how hard life is, and how much I miss my son, then I know that there are sadder things that loosing a son, I KNOW is in heaven...this young lady will be in my prayers..

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  9. Okay...I hope you are happy...you have me balling my eyes out. What an amazing story. I too will remember her in my prayers.

    I love your blog!

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  10. I always read your blog since I sell on ebay and I love to see what you list. This story had to be read out loud to my husband (who buy the way is sitting next to me with tears in his eyes). Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

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