Friday, December 10, 2010

A Toddler, A Nativity, A Christmas Story

Last night, I was looking through this beautiful Christmas book and decided to share the story behind how I came to have it. If you've heard this story before, feel free to tune me out, but I think it's worth telling again.

One of the highlights of my writing career occurred when Dr. James Dobson's "people" contacted me and said that he had chosen a story from my first book to appear in his Christmas anthology.

Upon hearing the news, I wept. Seriously, I did. This book contains stories from only seven authors, and for a nobody like me to be included was unbelievably exciting, and humbling beyond words.  A Family Christmas was published in 2002 and is illustrated by the magnificent Texas artist, G. Harvey.

As much as I respect Dr. Dobson, having my work chosen for his Christmas book wasn't really the best part. The best part was that the story he chose was "Holy Awakenings at Christmas," my all-time favorite story about my precious daughter, when she was not yet three years old—a story about a very old cardboard nativity, and a toddler who would not leave it alone.

Here I am with my sweet Anna Marie in 1988—the year the events in "Holy Awakenings" took place.

And here is the fragile cardboard nativity that the story centers around; a nativity that has been in our family for almost 70 years. It's a bit tattered, but I never tire of it.

Every year at Christmas, I bring out Dr. Dobson’s book, thumb through its pages again.

And I thank God for His undeserved favor in so many areas of my life—and especially for giving me such a dear daughter.

Even though she’s all grown up now, her insights as a child sometimes left me breathless. 

To read this poignant Christmas story, as it appeared in The Dallas Morning News, please click on the image.

Gracious Father, a lot of water has run under the bridge since 1988, bringing with it a lot of changes. But one thing that will never change, and that is how proud I am to be Anna Marie's mother. She has taught me so much about life and love and all things beautiful. I cannot imagine my life playing out in any other fashion.


  1. Wonderful and inspiring, I know this was such an honor, your daughter is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Dayle, that was a beautiful story. It definitely touches the heart. Your daughter was adorable as a toddler and is still very attractive! Thanks for sharing such a lovely story. Sincerely, Susan from

  3. What an honor! And what a sweet relationship you have with your beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Merry Christmas...Kathy

  4. That is so wonderful! Daughters are truly a blessing from the Lord.Thank-you so much for sharing this story with us today.
    God Bless,

  5. This is so special; thank you for sharing.

  6. What a wonderful inspiring story. No wonder it was picked to include in the book. I'm so glad you shared this story with us.

  7. what wonderful christmas memories...and your daughter is beautiful...a true blessing! Love your trug filled with christmas pretties on your table.

  8. Dayle,
    First, Thank you for stopping by my blog. I read your post today and felt a wonderful stir. It reminds me so much of my constant encounter with the drummer boy song. Each and every time I hear the song I weep, for I often feel I have so little to give to such a magnificent King. Just as your dear daughter gave her best to the Lord so do you with each writing you offer. Be blessed and continue to walk in the gift of our Father in heaven. Much much love to you! Cherie

  9. P.S. In my last weeks Spiritual Sunday post I gave links to crechemania. You may want to take a look at this. I play to make some for gifts as well as print some out to give as crafts for others to make. May I include your story with the gifts? Please let me know.

  10. HI, Dayle, thanks for stopping by & congrats on getting published in Dr. Dobson's book. What an honor!!

    And just wanted to tell you the color of my kitchen is Laura Ashley Olive 4, you can find it at Lowes.

  11. Hi, I have that book & have read the story many times . It always touches my heart & the beauty of it brings tears to my eyes. It is such a wonderful story .
    Merry Christmas !

  12. Dayle,
    Such a beautiful story! It made me cry just thinking of your sweet daughter giving her dearst possesion to Jesus as her gift to Him. Wow! As they say, "from the lips of babes..." You are very talented and I thank you for sharing this with us.


  13. Beautiful post! You are such a gifted writer ~ we are blessed that you share it with all of us.
    Merry Christmas!

  14. What a sweet sweet story! Thank you for sharing with us. And your Nativity is indeed beautiful! So wonderful to have things that have been in our family so long & to have the treasured memories of past Christmas's. You are indeed blessed to have Anna Marie but, I think she is blessed to have you too.

    I am so glad you liked the home I showed from the Fredericksburg Home Tour. It was a once in a lifetime treat to have seen it. This is the 4th year I have been to the tour & they choose different homes each year. IT IS WONDERFUL! If you ever have a chance grab it & go. It's the 2nd weekend in December. Hugs! Charlene

  15. That was a beautiful story. The book is just beautiful too.



Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle