Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gracie's Nativity

This was a post from two years ago.
I am sharing it again today on Stephanie's Roses of Inspiration.

I think it has been probably over twenty-five years since she first gave it to us as a family Christmas present. My husband's two sister's families received one as well. The gifts I am referring to were the hand-painted ceramic nativities that Gracie made for all of us that year. Gracie was my husband's sweet mother. Ever since she presented to us, it became a Christmas tradition that it was always the first decoration that went in it's place. When my boys were just little guys, they always helped unwrap and place the individual figurines carefully in the wooden manger. Once the nativity was all set up, it was on to decking the halls and trimming the tree.

I was totally in awe of the beautiful work and the many hours that Gracie put into making these nativities for her three children. The fine detail of the faces was far better than anything I could have done...and I prided myself as a pretty good artsy-crafty kinda girl! The set included all the regulars—right down to a couple of shepherds and their sheep...


...the shepherd boy...and a cow....


...the ever important donkey...



...the Three Wise Men...
 (although we know they weren't actually there when Baby Jesus was a tiny infant)



...and their three camels...



...oh, and the angel hovering above...we can't forget the angel!



I raved and raved to Gracie about what a wonderful job she did  on this. It never failed, she would pretty much blow off my compliment by saying something like "Oh, Debby, you could have done much better" or "Don't look too closely at it!" As hard as I tried to compliment her on her beautiful handy-work, she just couldn't accept my praise. Year after year whenever I would get it out and comment on it to her, it started to become more about her rejecting my compliment rather than me giving her one...so one day, I stopped.

Is it hard for you to accept a compliment? I have to admit that sometimes it is for me too. At times, I am guilty of saying things like Gracie did. I don't ever want to seem conceited and often I really don't know how to react to a certain compliment given to me. Sometimes, I think we get it confused with flattery. But how are we making the person giving the compliment feel when we don't accept it graciously? Not only are we rejecting their kindness, but we could also be making them feel just as uncomfortable by not receiving it with graceI am learning that I am actually robbing the person giving the praise of a blessing. Accepting a compliment is not a sin...it is a form of encouragement.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Gracie has been with Jesus since 2001. She suffered from Alzheimer's the last few years of  her life and when it finally robbed her completely of her spirited, witty personality along with the twinkle that was always in her eye, a fall resulting in a broken hip was all it took to take her out of this world and into the next. In a couple of short months she was gone.

I'm starting my Christmas decorating today and have been thinking a lot about Gracie as I was putting out the nativity. It's all carefully arranged, although I'm pretty sure that every year it's probably just a little different from the year before. One thing that remains constant, of course, is Jesus...He never changes. He wants us to praise Him and give Him compliments of all kinds.


After all, that's why He created us, isn't it? 

Have a lovely week ahead... giving and receiving those compliments!


Sharing at:

http://bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/2013/11/onward.html
http://www.deidrariggs.com/2013/11/30/sunday-75/
http://www.sunnysimplelife.com/2013/11/revised-from-farm-blog-hop.html
http://sundayview.blogspot.com/2013/12/inspired-sunday-30-days-of-christmas.html
http://www.create-with-joy.com/2013/12/inspire-me-monday-celebrating-100-weeks.html
http://www.thebeautyinhisgrip.com/2013/12/sharing-his-beauty-advent.html
http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2013/12/193rd-inspire-me-tuesday.html
http://whatjoyismine.net/mondays-musings-89/#sthash.KIwkSl7E.dpbs
http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2013/12/make-it-pretty-monday-week-78.html
http://www.flusterbuster.com/2013/12/flusters-creative-muster-linky-party-49.html
http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com/2013/12/cut-mustard.html
http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/2013/12/wow-us-wednesdays-147.html













42 comments:

  1. This was a beautiful tribute as well as a reminder to accept a compliment when one is given, while we praise our Savior for all he has done for us!

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  2. This is such a beautiful post on so many levels. Truly. What a special gift Gracie has left for your family - both in the nativity that she made & in her legacy. You are blessed! Thank you for sharing this most sweet post. May you & your family experience Christmas in a fresh & meaningful way this year as well. Blessings!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind comments. Yes, we certainly do cherish this gift and it is a wonderful way to remember her!

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  3. What a very treasured gift so beautifully done. And yes, it is often in receiving that we give back.

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    1. Thank you, Susan....and yes, you are so right!

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  4. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Your words and the Nativity!

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  5. Beautiful post Debby ... and a beautiful Nativity with such precious memories.
    May your family be especially blessed with the love and joy that Christmas brings.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

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    1. Audrey...thank you for your kind words. I hope your Christmas season is filled with many blessings :)

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  6. WOW,there is so much in this post. Yes,Jesus is the Reason for the season.Gracie reminds me of my mother-in-law. She could never accept a compliment.I'm afraid that at times I am like that as well.Thanks for sharing your heart in this post.

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    1. I guess many of us find this a hard thing to do. It's funny how getting the nativity out yesterday sparked that memory of her. Have a wonderful week!

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  7. Beautiful post! What a special nativity you have there, so glad you all have one and consider it a family tradition. Amen when you say Jesus never changes. Happy first week of December.
    Gina

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    1. Thank you, Gina...have a blessed week!

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  8. What a treasure and lovely memory. I've not found my Nativity yet, I do enjoy it so much.
    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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  9. beautiful and inspiring post,hope you can visit my Inspire me Monday

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  10. Such a beautiful Nativity and a lovely post. Thanks so much for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

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    1. Thank YOU, Marty...and as always, for hosting!

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  11. Hi Debby! There is nothing like a family keepsake, and this one is just beautiful. All that close work! And she made multiples? Amazing...what a talent.
    I LOVE YOUR BLOG HEADER!!! How did you get text to fit under it? I have been looking and looking at how to get that done, and I can't figure it out. (I am completely lame at computer stuff!) I would consider it a Christmas present if you could tell me :)
    Have a wonderful Tuesday :)
    Ceil

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    1. Yes, the nativity scene is very special to our family, that's for sure. Thanks you so much for admiring my new header. I will do my best to tell you how...if you use Picmonkey. I started with with background pic taken last year of the candle and Christmas tree in the background. I made 6 copies of the pic and cropped each one in six different places...one for each pane of the window.. then I created a collage on picmonkey with 6 panes and added each cropped piece (which actually a pic of their own) to the panes and matched them up the right way. Then I added the snow overlay on picmonkey which had a thick white bottom that looked like built-up snow on a window sill....overtop of my window-pane collage. The white part is where I added my title...so...it only looks like it is BELOW the header...it actually on ON the header in the "snow" part of the overlay. I then added a few extra random snowflakes and the holly. I hope this helps you! If you have more questions, I will be glad to help you further...just email me if you like!

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  12. What a special gift of love! It is one of the prettiest nativity scenes I have ever seen.

    -Sarah

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    1. Thanks so much, Sarah!

      Blessings,
      Debby

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  13. Such gifts just keep on giving as this one does. It is very special and truly lovely.

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  14. What a precious post. I loved your Nativity. Gracie did a lovely job - and even if she hadn't, the fact that she used her own hands to paint, THAT is what made this gift so special.

    We should learn to accept compliments - and acknowledge the good things we do with proper humility, of course - but also with joy!

    As far as being or doing everything perfect - well, only One person was able to do that. And He loves to see His children's work!

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Thank you, Sharon for your sweet comments and encouragement! Have a blessed week!

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  15. Debby, what a precious gift! I love the details in the piece also. I'm sure Gracie is smiling down from heaven and accepting your compliment now. I agree, it is hard; but we need to accept them graciously. What would Jesus do? Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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    1. Jann...Jesus would tell us to say "thank you" and go on, right! I appreciate your sweet comments :)

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  16. You have me all teary eyed with your post worthy of her beautiful work...

    A very sweet post and this is one of the loveliest nativity sets that I have ever seen.

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    1. Awww, thanks, Deb...what a lovely thing to say...thank you :)

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  17. Absolutely beautiful! I love this post, Debby. What a treasure you have--in the nativity set, but mostly in your memories!

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    1. Yes, Richella...you are right about that...both are something that my family and I will always cherish :)

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  18. oh, my, what a beautiful set! and to give it away--such a special gift:) have a blessed holiday season, debby!

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    1. Thank you, Lynn...Christmas blessings to you as well!

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  19. What a lovely remembrance of a very special person. It's so nice to have things that keep our loved ones with us in some way. Hope you are having a great week!

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    1. Thank you, Laura...I will always cherish it :)

      Blessings,
      Debby

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  20. It is pure delight. What a wonderful nativity. Such things only grow more special each year. I have a nativity made of cardboard (colors are just gorgeous) that belonged to my mother as a child. It's so fragile I don't always bring it out.

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    1. Thank you...and yes, you are right, it is precious to our family, just like that cardboard one of yours. I am pretty sure we had one of those in my family too. I don't particularly remember it but found and old black & white pic from long ago of a cardboard nativity. I wish I knew where it was today.

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  21. Thanks so much for sharing with Adorned From Above’s Link Party. Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com

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Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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