Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. – Ephesians 3:20
When I was a kid, I wanted a Barbie Dream House. I asked Santa Claus for it every Christmas from the time I was six to at least eleven years old. I never got it. Any time my kids have asked for something totally out of the realm of possibility, like a real WWE sized wrestling ring to go in our living room or some thousand dollar pair of basketball shoes that might even tie themselves, I tell them that that will have to be their Barbie Dream House, because they are never gonna get it!
One day the boys and I were walking downtown and passed a children’s consignment store. Lo and behold, there in the window was a gently used Barbie Dream House! I actually didn’t even notice it. It was my youngest son who stopped in his tracks and called me back to ask if that was IT?! It was a little more modern than the one I wanted in the late 70’s, but it was definitely the toy I was evidently never nice enough for Santa to bring me. It brought back a flood of memories from my childhood and as I stood there staring and taking a stroll down memory lane, my kids began begging me to go in and buy it. They even offered to help me pay for it with their allowance money. They could not understand how I could let the opportunity of getting the thing I had always wanted pass me by.
As we walked on, I told them that I was actually sort of glad I didn’t get it because I ended up having so much fun making my own houses and furniture out of every day stuff with my best friend, Beth. And I also became really thankful for the things I did get, like teddy bears and the world’s biggest box of crayons with a built-in sharpener. Santa must have known that he was gifting me acceptance and the ability to see my blessings even through disappointment.
My life has seemed like one big Barbie Dream House ride. I have asked for one thing after another and that big Santa in the sky has seemed to keep me on the Naughty list. But today was one of those days when I saw many ways that God is blessing me by not giving me what I want. He’s giving me more than I could have ever asked or imagined in the love and acceptance I have felt from the people who are always here for me, from people I thought might never be here for me the way I needed them to be and from people I would never have expected anything from. Maybe best of all, they are all helping me to love myself whether I’m naughty, nice, right or wrong. And that could be God’s greatest gift of all.