Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Toddler, A Nativity, A Christmas Story

I'm not much for re-posting older posts, but, in this case, I'm making an exception. It is Christmas, after all, and there are some stories that are classic and timeless. So, if you will forgive me, here from a couple years back, a favorite Christmas story.

Wishing a very Merry Christmas to all my blogging peeps. I consider you friends and I keep you in my prayers.

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.

But 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 a dozen or so years ago, 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. Oh I loved everything about this. How wonderful it would have been to have been included in such a book. But the story itself is really something. Out of the mouth of babes...Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. I will never tire of this story!
    Mr. Dobson knew what he was doing, adding your story to his book!
    It's a message we all need to remember.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. I just happened upon your blog - the title of this post pulled me in. I clicked on the story to read it, and it had me in tears. Okay, more like sobbing. What a beautiful story and what a reminder to slow down and listen to Jesus. Thank you for sharing! May I, too, slow down and listen to Jesus - even when He's speaking to me through my children and I feel too rushed to listen.

  4. Dayle, I'm so glad I didn't miss this post! God has so much yet to teach us ... and often uses the children. I'm glad you listened -- and shared. Anna's wisdom continues... Merry Christmas to you and yours during this holy season and in the year ahead.

  5. I just read your story, my first time and it made me feel so good. Thank you so much for re-posting this. Merry Christmas! Kit

  6. Oh Dayle, now you did it. All my eye makeup is running down my cheeks.

    I cried the first time I read that story and cried again tonight.

    That little Anna Marie was such a beautiful little girl....and now she's a beautiful woman, too.

    Thanks for sharing and have a blessed, peaceful Christmas, my dear friend. Susan

  7. Perfect story that certainly reflects your amazing writing talent.

  8. What a beautiful post and book! Merry Christmas! ♥♥♥

  9. Oh! ... I'd not seen this before, Dayle, but feel sooooo blessed you elected to post once more. As we "speak", my eyes are leaking with happy tears.
    I hope you and your family experience abundant blessings and sweet laughter in the coming hours!


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