A Christmas Story!

Weekly Sabbath  Survey
A Christmas Story   —  12-14-13
Years ago, in my hometown of Del Rio, Texas (yes, it  really is a real town!), I was a full time Mom and leader in a small  church. I cooked and cleaned, did Mom’s Taxi Service for kids who didn’t drive  yet — the life of a busy young family. We lived in the country with  chickens, 4-H sheep, and Appaloosa horses. We rode for pleasure, went  to kid rodeos, and once a year (in February!) we spent three days on  an annual trial ride over  the countryside, camping each night, eating from  the chuck wagon around the fire, under the stars. We had a real blast.  Great memories. (I was a real cowgirl in those days!)
I  was young and running full steam until one day, I wasn’t. I was weeping at times  from exhaustion and sometimes had to have help to get up the stairs at the end  of the day. I was beginning to have health problems that were eventually  identified as Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue and other issues, but we  had no idea what it was then. I was not anemic or low BP, so we decided I had  too much on my plate and my husband hired a Mexican woman to come once a  week to help me. Her name was Maria. My name was Senora. She was a  widow, older than me, had a grown and married daughter, but was left  alone to raise two sons about the age of my boys. She rode the bus from Mexico  each day to clean for someone and then rode back home. I picked her up at the  bus station downtown each Tuesday after I took the kids to school, then  dropped her off when I came back to town to get them in the afternoon.  Maria was a sweet little woman, belonged to a Pentecostal Church in  Mexico. She was a hard worker. She sang choruses and hymns in Spanish as she  worked. Some of the songs I knew from the tune. She was a blessing. She  challenged me to remember Spanish words I had forgotten from not using  them,  
Eventually she moved to Del Rio, got her boys in our school  where they learned English. They lived in a small house across the street  from her brother and his family. The year of this story, the last Christmas  Maria worked for us before she moved away, she got sick in early December  and missed several days of work. I always gave her a bonus, which I  did that last Tuesday before Christmas. But after I took her home, I began to  think about how much money she lost when she was sick. I wondered if she  had anything for her kids’ Christmas. I talked to my husband about it and  we decided to help more. I had only a little time to do it, but we had  it all together the day before Christmas Eve. My boys helped me wrap and  tag the gifts for each one, and we all went to deliver take it to  them. We got to her house and knocked but there was no one home. I tried  the door and it opened. I called out. No answer.
I went across the street and see if they might be over  there. The woman I assumed was her sister in law spoke English and told me  she didn’t know where they were, but that they would probably be home  soon because they were walking and would want to get home before  dark. I told her what we were doing, leaving gifts for them, and she nodded  and smiled. So, the boys and I took our treasures into Maria’s  little house. It was clean (no surprise there) with a true Charlie Brown  Christmas tree on a table in the corner. Decorations were made from colored  paper. There were no gifts in sight. The fridge was working on “bare.” I  put into it, two chickens, a package of hamburger meat, a gallon of milk, a  big block of cheese, and other cold items. We left sacks of  flour, corn meal, sugar, rice, pinto beans; some luxury items  like candy, bananas, roasted peanuts, and fruit cocktail that I  knew the boys loved. All this on the kitchen table.  We piled all the gifts on the couch. We felt very satisfied that  our surprise would be a huge success. My oldest boy asked me how they would know  who did this. I told him, it didn’t matter that they know who, just that someone  cares about them. We said a quick prayer for blessing on this little family, and  left.
We hadn’t been home but a few minutes when the phone rang. I  answered and nobody said a word. I said, “Hello” again. Still no answer. Then I  heard a sound like a little whimper.  I said, “Maria, es usted?”  And  I heard a loud wail saying “Oh, Senora!” then sobbing. “Muchas gracias,  Senora! Gloria a Dios, Oh, Senora, Senora,” and more Spanish that got faster and  much harder to understand with the crying. I started sobbing myself. The boys  had figured out who it was and were standing by me, all of us putting our ears  to the phone listening to this humble saint of God thank Him and us  over and over for what was such a small thing for our family to  do. I finally managed to say in probably horrible Spanish, knowing she  would understand, “Es toda en de nombre Jesus (Hay -soos). (All in the name  of Jesus). Toda por El Senor ” (all for the Lord.) My boys and I  shouted into the phone “Feliz Navidad, Maria, y muchachos!”  (Merry  Christmas Maria and boys!)  And they shouted it back to us.
It’s the BEST Christmas present we ever gave  ourselves. My husband cried when we told him all about it. I still cry  when myself when I think about it.  
Charlene Reams  Manning
Believer  in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any  WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please)  
Comments are welcome. Subscribe or contact me at: RedHen1944@aol.com 

2 thoughts on “A Christmas Story!

  1. Linda Sue Turner Chamberlain (Susie Chamberlain on Facebook)

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story! It is the truth from God, Himself, – it is more blessed to give than to receive. And by casting your bread upon the waters, it will come back to you in more ways than your mind can ever conceive! Blessings during our CHRISTMAS season!

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