Monday, December 8, 2014

#microblogmondays The Christmas Ball

Once upon a time there was this family. A woman, her husband, and their 8 month old baby girl were getting ready to celebrate their very first Christmas as a family. Even though there was little money, the daddy had gone into the woods behind their tiny home to cut down a small but pretty tree. Using spare blocks of cement, he built a tree stand so it would upright and they covered the cement blocks with a red tablecloth to make it look festive. The baby girl watched in awe as her parents worked magic with paper and tape, and created decorations that made the tree look even more amazing. They topped it with a Christmas tin that sparkled in the light of their single lamp. It was perfect. Almost. The Mommy felt her heart sadden when she saw that there was nothing, not a single present, under her tree for her baby’s very first Christmas ever. The mommy and daddy had agreed not to buy each other anything, as they didn’t have very high paying jobs and babies were expensive – but they just couldn’t let the babies first Christmas go by without anything to commemorate it.

The mommy went to store after store, trying to find just the right thing for her baby that wasn’t expensive and that she would love. Finally, when it felt like she would find nothing, something sparkly caught her eye from the cereal shelf. There, misplaced and forgotten, was a shiny ball with a sparkly butterfly inside that flipped around when you rolled it. She knew, instantly, that her baby would love this ball. She brought it home, put it into a box and wrapped it. She slid it under her tree and felt so happy that she had found something she knew her baby would love.

Christmas came, and the baby did love it, and even though they didn't have much - it became one of their most favourite Christmases. To this day, the Christmas Ball is still put up with the decorations even though it's not Christmasey at all - but that doesn't matter because it holds something more precious....it holds some of the very best Christmas memories.

See Mel's post for more on #microblogmondays.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Book Review- "My Story" - Elizabeth Smart

When I saw this book on the table at Walmart, I hesitated over it. I remembered when the young teenager went missing, and then was found. I remember the speculation over why she didn't run, how she could be kept so close, how she could even be questioned and not give herself up. I remember wishing the news would just leave her alone - she was just a young teenager. I was just one year older than her and I couldn't imagine what had happened to her happening to me. I remember people saying there was more to it than she was admitting, because she had been so close to home and not run. So, when I saw this book with a beautiful, classy looking woman on the front cover at the title depicting that it would be her story (not the newspaper, not the local gossip, not the online trolls) I decided to give it a try.

It didn't disappoint. While it was sad and painful sometimes to read - it was also beautiful. She talks about the manipulation and the abuse she suffered, all the while remaining strong to her faith and her family. And she has come out on top, determined not to allow her captors to continue to hurt her. It really is a story full of loss, abuse, desperation, and ends in hope and faith.

I think it is a perfect way to tell her side of the story, all these years after the whispers of her own role in her abduction have died down and been forgotten, rising from the embers of her trauma to stand, triumphant, on top.