Little Things

Posted on: December 12, 2012 Written by
Little Things
      Photography by: Daniel Hale from iStock    

Being far from home when the holidays roll around can be pretty emotional. One year in particular, we were all feeling nostalgic, lonely, and pretty low on the excitement scale, until we received a care package full of home-baked goodies. That is not the best part, though.

Let me take you back, over a decade ago, to when my second child was born. As a baby, she became really attached to our couch throw—the style that usually has a sports logo or a poem about being a grandmother. Mine had little hearts and ducks, a gift from a friend who earned it selling Avon. My daughter preferred to sleep with her “keebie” every night for the next 14 years. It was one of the very few non-clothing, non-homeschooling items to make the move to the mission field.

Over the years, I had stitched and re-stitched the “keebie” more times than I can count, adding a backing and a satin border, but no amount of stitching would make those strings hold on once they began to unravel.

The summer she was 12, my daughter came to me almost in tears, pointing out bigger and bigger holes in the “keebie.” She admitted it was time to put it in a safe place so that it would not be totally destroyed, but she was unsure she could sleep without it.

Enter eBay. I figured you can find ANYTHING on eBay, right? Did I mention that this was a limited-edition blanket from Avon?

I started praying, because this was going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. I looked everywhere, once eBay let me down. I sent emails to anyone I could think of. I searched through online Avon catalogs and collection houses. Desperation set in, and it seemed hopeless to find this out-of-circulation blanket.

I assured my daughter I would keep repairing it, but that she might need to make a decision soon about trying to get used to either sleeping without the “keebie” or trying a towel in its place. As you might imagine, she was not thrilled with either idea.

On December 23, something told me we should make an unscheduled trip to the post office, though it was a long way from where we lived. We found that my old Avon-selling friend had mailed us a box full of her vacuum-sealed Christmas baking. What did she use to pad the neatly-packed bread and cookies and peanut butter balls? Yep, you guessed it—a “keebie” exactly like the one she had given me 15 years before. She just happened to have an extra in her closet!

So that Christmas, my teen-aged “baby girl” got the gift of a lifetime, and the whole family snacked on homemade baked goods that made us feel closer to the traditions of home.

How good to know that God is concerned with the little things, which make a such a big difference in daily life!

 

© 2012 Women of the Harvest.

Question to Consider: How have you seen God’s concern for you in “little” things?

 



About the author

Christie Hagerman works in Paraguay alongside her husband, Ken, in youth ministry. When she's not visiting neighbors, involved in youth work, homeschooling their two teen daughters, blogging about mission life (www.hagermans.blogspot.com), reviewing Christian books (www.hammocklibrarian.blogspot.com), or learning the Guarani language, you'll find her in the hammock under the mango tree with her flute and some terere."

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  • Elizabeth Givens

    Over 30 years ago we were moving out of the Philippines. My middle daughter, then 5, had a favorite yellow dog — a rather ratty stuffed one that was much loved. The day we left the house it somehow got left behind. To no avail did our landlord and her daughter search the box of stuffed animals we’d left to be given away. “But,” they said, “We suspect one of the borders next door might have taken it.” I pondered the cultural implications of confrontation, and the personal implications of moving a little girl halfway around the world to a place she didn’t remember without the one treasure she thought was important. I went back to our house the next day and visited the neighbor who took borders, and who loved my little girl. I explained my predicament as gently as I could, all the while holding another much newer stuffed dog. “We will go see,” she said, leading me to the back of her property. She knocked and then opened the door on a grandmother, a young woman holding a small child, who was holding the yellow dog. My sweet neighbor snatched Yellow Dog out of the child’s hands, quickly replacing it with the dog in my hands before the little guy could cry. “You took something that wasn’t yours,” she said, turning on her heel and leading me out the door. Yellow Dog was huge comfort in the next years as that little one of mine navigated changing countries, losing both her grandfathers, and two of her teachers to death in two years. Culturally inappropriate as it was, I think the Lord knew that a Yellow Dog was important. (Yellow Dog still survives, tattered, and his little owner, long grown, now is raising her own children in Asia. As she packed their carry-on bags recently I saw her tuck in a small stuffed animal for each child — insurance for change and stress.

    • I love this story, Elizabeth! I’m so glad Yellow Dog made it back to his rightful owner, and that your neighbor was the one who did the confronting to retrieve him. Phwew!

      I’ve had a few moments of inner conflict where I’m wondering if the cultural appropriateness of what I’m about to do is worth the damage it could do to my child’s feelings, and if, as a mother, I should choose the other option and hurt my reputation in the community rather than my child. Does that make sense? It’s no wonder these MK’s come out so resilient!

  • What a special gift. So thankful God cares about even the smallest details. … Mr. “Barba” sent me this direction today! 🙂

    • Thanks, Barba! Yes, I’m so glad that God sees and knows our hearts. I say it practically every day, but I honestly don’t know how I’d live without Him!

  • Katie

    Oh, Christie! I’m SO happy to see a story of yours up here! What a delightful thing to know that God sees, knows, and even cares about the little details! Thank you for sharing your story with us and for the encouragement that comes with it!