Hello, it's me again (I can hear those groans). Remember last email how I mentioned that I had a Christmas story already? If you don't it's probably because you're one of 'those' people who don't actually read my brilliant work in its entirety. I don't take it personally; my own husband doesn't even read the whole thing! That last one was pretty long though.
Anyway, on with the show...
So, Christmas is less than a month away (insert screams and shrieks of panic here) and the hunt for that perfect gift is on. Well, for like 2 weeks now Danny has been bragging about having found the most perfect present ever. Every day I hear him teasing me with his little sing song heckling, "I got you the best present! The best present ever!" He'll sing and prance around non-stop. It makes me want to beat his little secret out of him. But he's just so gosh-darn cute. So I satisfy myself by imagining that I pie him in the face instead.
The other night we were at a friend's house to use their phone. Not only to use their phone, but also so Danny could watch NFL football (the real motive). I'd been on the phone for some time talking with Danny's mom, when he came in for his turn to chat with her. A few minutes into the conversation I was informed I had to leave the room because he wanted to tell his mother what he had bought me for Christmas. Well, I pouted and whined for a moment, but then left the room to join the others watching football in the living room. But as I left, the funniest thing happened. I was passing through the kitchen when all of a sudden a little devil popped up on my shoulder. He was dressed in red and had horns, a pointy tail, and even a tiny triton in his hand.
The little devil said to me, "Hey, you could totally listen in and find out what that great Christmas present is. Danny wouldn't even know and you could just lie about it if he brings it up!"
Yeah, I could! I made a small u-turn in the kitchen and headed back towards the door to the room. I could hear Danny's voice clearly from inside.
Just then a little angel appeared on my other shoulder and said, "No, Alycia, don't do that! You don't want to wreck Danny's surprise for both of you. And you certainly don't want to deceive your wonderful husband!"
Of course not. That is definitely true. What a brat I am! Why, shame on me for...
"Awww, what's the big deal?" the little devil piped up. "Besides, you'll be doing you both a favour by finding out. The suspense is going to drive you crazy! And then you'll drive him crazy!"
Definitely a good point. In fact, it's already driving me crazy! I suppose it's really not that big of a deal if I just hear a bit about it...
"Alycia Rae Stephens!" Uh oh. My full maiden name. This little angel meant business. "You know happy it makes Danny to surprise you! And how he's taken the time, the energy, and the money - going out of his way to do something special for you this Christmas - and you want to take that away from him? Shame on you indeed! Now, you turn yourself around and march straight out of here NOW!"
What was I thinking? Of course I don't want to spoil Danny's fun and I especially don't want to lie to him about it! What am I? Five years old? How ridiculous am I being...
The little devil gave his final argument. "Awwww, come on!"
I snuck around the door and crouched down behind the cupboard so I could hear but not be seen. As I huddled there, totally still, ears alert and tuned into every sound I could hear Danny:
"I got Alycia the greatest gift! She's going to love it! I saw it last week but only picked it up the other day..."
Blah blah blah! Get to the point!!!!!
"Oh dear," said the little angel. "Looks like I'm going to have to call in some Divine intervention." Producing a tiny trumpet, the angel lifted it to his lips and gave it a loud blast.
Danny continued. "This Christmas, I got Alycia..."
"DANNY! COME QUICK!" Our friend Matt boomed as he burst through the kitchen doors and ran towards the room my ear was glued to. He had scared the living daylights out of me (to put it politely), but in that split second I jumped to my feet from my suspicsious position by the door.
"Shhhhh!" I hushed him angrily.
"But the football scores are on!" said Matt, defending his overwhelming entrance.
"Not now!" I continued scolding him, "He's talking to his mother!" I was on a mission here! Matt huffed and returned to the TV, and I returned to my espionage...
"Anyway, that's what I got her," Danny finished up. Pause. "I know! It is the perfect present!" End of conversation.
I missed it?!? I MISSED IT!?!?!? Why, of all the unfair, stupid, bad timing... This was all Matt's fault! If he hadn't been so rude and selfish...
Wait a minute. Who's the bad guy here again?
'What's gotten into me?' I thought. I left the kitchen and sat down on the couch in front of the TV with Matt and the others there.
You know, I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do and what I hate I do. And if I do the wrong thing even though I admit it's wrong and I don't want to do it, I'm still guilty because I do it anyway. As it is it is no longer I myself who does it but it is sin living in me (a.k.a. the little devil). I know that nothing good lives in me that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out.
Know what I mean? I think Paul in the Bible can relate. After all, he wrote about it too in Romans 7.
Thankfully, I was rescued from my fall into temptation by God's divine intervention. I suppose it shouldn't really surprise me. Since Jesus himself suffered when he was being tempted (in Matthew 4) so can he help us when we are being tempted (see Hebrews 2).
Finally to wrap it all up here, I just have to say that looking back at my shameful, pathetic behaviour - it was by grace that I was saved! (Ephesians 2)
With that, take care, God bless and try not to peek under the bed or snoop through the closets!