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Sunday, May 26, 2013

How to Live with An Unfair Advantage


Afternoon sunshine warmed Sparta Day’s festivities. The one-mile kid’s race drew a handful of red-shirted 5 through 7-year-olds. Parents busied themselves at forming kids’ wiggling bodies into a straight line.

A shrill whistle signaled the runners and spiked adrenalin. Starry-eyed winners, every one of them, were including John Jr., our 5-year-old son, with spindly, over-long legs. Suddenly, I wanted to scoop him into my safe arms. “Never mind.” I pushed away nervousness. “Let him run.”

 “Get ready, get set…” Bang!

Parents began chiming, “Run fast!”  “Don’t slow down.” “Run faster!”

My husband leapt onto the cinder track about 2 feet from John Jr.’s side, jog-trotting. Just close enough to link hearts.

“Pace yourself. Slow down.” Wise words spoken by a Father experienced at running life’s race.  

This man knows full well about starting too fast, full of optimism. Then bam. Everyday pressures, family problems, unemployment, financial difficulties and health issues take their toll. Weariness and discouragement knock him windless.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

5 Words That Could Change Your Life

  “Look! The water’s rising above the street curb. I’ll call Skip and ask if this is normal.”  Our native California neighbor chuckled at my husband’s inquiry.


“The rainy season is here. Relax!”

Our four children, then ages 8, 6, 4, and 2, peered out our living room window, intrigued by nature’s water show. Within minutes, water covered the brick John had placed in the middle of our driveway.

With rain still pounding, John called again. “Skip, are you sure this is normal?”

Strong winds pushed waves of hungry water half way up our front yard. Skip’s car bobbled down the street like a water toy. Fear gripped us.

“Let’s move as much furniture upstairs as possible,” John ordered. Our feverish efforts paled compared to forceful, fast rising flood waters.

“Let’s pray,” I said. Prayer empowers me to keep fear from dominating.

Knees to the carpet, I suddenly didn’t know what to pray. That God save our lives? That our house is not destroyed? Booming thunder mocked my puny faith.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Heartaches Can Be Healed


I peeked into the third-grade classroom and panicked. Every chair was neatly stacked on top its desk, except for one. My daughter slumped in her chair with her face buried in her hands.

Miss Maney, Bonnie’s teacher, softly confirmed my nightmarish suspicion. “You missed the Mother’s Day Tea.”

I rushed to Bonnie’s side and pulled her close. Gentle tears trickled down her flushed cheeks.

“Oh Bonnie, I’m sooo sorry. I thought the Mother’s Day Tea was after school.”

The peach terry cloth bunny perched on her desk stared at me with beady eyes.  For days Bonnie offered whimsical hints of this Mother’s Day gift she had crafted. I squeezed it close to my heart.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Cure for Criticism


I whisked through the airport lobby toward my car. I had parked my Hyundai at the curbside because my mother clearly needed help pulling her luggage to check-in. My impulsive good deed framed me a criminal.
     
When the airport door slid open, I froze. A monstrous, heavy metal chain hooked to my car’s front bumper slowly tugged my car onto the tow truck’s ramp.

Another accelerated “vroom” sent me running toward the woman police officer.

“This is my car! What are you doing?” I panted; my face red with embarrassment.

She stood stoically silent. Then the white-bearded tow truck driver confronted me.

“You’re illegally parked. We’re towing your car away.” For him, it was a done deal.

I turned to the police woman, pleading and mildly demanding. “You can’t tow my car away. I’m here!”