Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

For Sale

Looking through some of my recent e-mails from Mikey’s Funnies, I found a couple of short stories that I’d like to share with you today.  The first one is entitled “Touch of Wonder” by Arthur Gordon.

When I was about 13 and my brother 10, our father promised to take us to the circus.  But then at lunchtime there was a phone call - some urgent business that required his attention downtown - and we braced ourselves for disappointment. But then we heard him say, ‘No, I won't be able to come down.  It's going to have to wait.’”

”He came back to the table and mother smiled, ‘The circus keeps coming back, you know.’”

“‘I know,’ he said, ‘but childhood doesn't.’”

”After all these years I remember that moment.  And I knew from the sudden glow of warmth that no kindness is ever really wasted or completely lost because the only thing you take with you to heaven is your family.”

While I try to savor my kiddos’ childhood and bask in the joy of summer, I can’t help but think about what’s around the corner in late August.  While my kids really do enjoy school, the early mornings, homework, projects, and stricter bedtimes aren’t quite as welcomed.  After giving in to my urge to buy school supplies (I just adore a fresh box of crayons…are ya with me?!), I desperately still want to hang onto what’s left of this summer. 

I realize that there is more to life than increasing its speed, but it’s challenging to remember on a day to day basis.  “Hurry up and get in the car.  Hurry up and get out of the car.  Come on kids, I want to hurry up and get in and out of this grocery store.  Now, hurry up and get ready for bed. “  Does any of this sound remotely familiar?  I hope we’re not the only ones that this resonates with.

However, much to my enjoyment, we did have a wonderful “slow it on down” moment this past weekend and I am clinging onto it.  My mom and dad have an adorable little house by the beach.  They also happen to have a tree out back that produces the crunchiest little pears known to man.  This year they had some to keep, some to share, and then some more after that.

So, what do young entrepreneurial boys and girls do with an abundance of produce?  Yes.  They have a pear sale on the street corner.  My dad held the ladder while the kids picked the pears and my children took turns holding the money bag at the table (the highlight).  My daughter made a sign – “Crunchy Pears – 5 for $1.00” and they were ready!  They set up a table and chairs and presented the pears on an old blue towel (presentation makes ALL the difference…my dad assured me.)

My son absolutely did not care that it was 100 degrees with 200% humidity.  He was selling pears until the tree was bare.  The fact that someone pulled up within two minutes and bought 10 pears with a $5 bill and said, “Keep the change,” really revved up the excitement level on that street corner.  Of course when things got a little slow I hopped in the car and pulled up to their stand to buy some.  They didn’t hesitate to take my green – hee hee! 

Over the course of the weekend, they made $23 and could not have been more thrilled.  As pumped as my son was about the sale and how much money he might make overall, I was speechless when he said he was going to give Saturday’s profits to church.  (Insert my melted heart.)

The pear sale was a great time for me to sit back and marvel at the gifts of my children.  My heart could not have been more full.

Speaking of sales, the other short story from Mikey’s Funnies is written by Michael A. Halleen and is certainly thought-provoking.  It involves a sale…a tool sale…and I think you might find it as interesting as I did:

“An old story says that the Devil once held a sale of all the tools of his trade.  Everything was displayed—keen-edged daggers of jealousy, sledge-hammers of anger, manacles of greed, arrows of covetousness, and spears of deception—all available at bargain prices.  Nearby was a table holding the more subtle weapons of vanity, fear, envy, and pride.”

”But in a place of honor, framed and set apart from all the others, was a small wedge, marked and dented from frequent use.  The name on this wedge was Discouragement, and its price was higher by far than any other tool being sold.  Asked the reason for this surprising difference, the Devil explained, ‘It's because this is the tool I use when all the others fail.  Let me get that little wedge into a person's consciousness and it opens the way for everything else!  It's provided more opportunities for me than any other!’”

“The wedge of discouragement is still as effective a weapon as any the Enemy has in his arsenal.  There are shields, however, that offer protection:

~ Patience.  God's delays are not necessarily God's denials.
~ Responsibility.  Don't blame your lack of progress on others.  We are where we are through our choices alone.
~ Courage.  Be willing to do what you fear.
~ Wisdom.  Be open to reconsidering your goals and revising your plans.
~ A quiet heart.  Be at peace.  Put the burden down and rest until your heart is still.
~ Faithfulness.  Look up.  Hold simply to God and to the journey God has set you on.”

“The wedge of discouragement can slow — but need not stop — the progress of the people of God.”

All of these sales got me to thinking.  While I was eager to buy the pears, I certainly need to think before I feel tempted to purchase any of the Enemy’s tools.  How quick am I to pull out the ole wallet for those hurtful tools and weapons?  I pray for the wisdom to always look on the table of shields first before I am lured by the bargain basement store prices of any dagger, sledge-hammer, shackle, spear, or wedge of his.

Let us all especially look out for that nasty wedge of discouragement…

No Sips next week!  Be sure to spread some sunshine in your corner of the world!  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I was a lucky girl this past weekend.  My Aunt Jeanne sent me a birthday card with one scratch-off ticket tucked neatly inside.  I was giddy.  It was my birthday and I was feeling extra lucky.

My children are always the ones who get to do the scratchin’.  Not this time.  It was MY ticket.  MY birthday.  (Bwaahaahaa!)  So, when my husband took the kiddos to take a bath, I got my ticket out from my secret hiding place. (Hey!  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!)

There I was – just me and my ticket.  Alone.  All I needed was three matching numbers.  I started scratching.  I uncovered the top left and bottom left numbers - $25 and $5,000.  While $25 would be fun, how cool would $5,000 be?  I was in a zone.  A scratch-off zone.  The next two amounts were $10 and $5.  Hmmm…didn’t look too promising, but I was still feelin’ the birthday luck.

I got to the third and final column…I scratched off the top right corner…$5,000.  I scratched off the bottom right corner…$5,000.  My eyes grew to the size of watermelons.  I tried to focus.  I read the instructions on the front twenty times – “Match any three amounts to win.”  I looked at the three $5,000 amounts and counted the zeroes a billion times.  A $50 and a $500 and a $5,000 can look mighty similar when your eyes are crossing with glee.  Could it be true?  Could I have really won?!

I gained some semblance of composure and marched my confident birthday self right back to that bathroom where my family was.  I had news to share!  I was a WINNER, WINNER, WINNER!

As calmly as I could, I opened the bathroom door and stated, “I just won a little cash on that scratch-off.  Guess how much?”

My husband started guessing.  “Twenty?”

“Nope,” I responded with my gig ‘em Aggie thumb in the air as to direct him to keep going higher.

“Fifty?”  he guessed again.

“Nope.  Higher,” I replied with my thumb still in the air like a hitch-hiker.

“Nah.  No way,”  he responded with a bit of disbelief.

“One hundred?  (my thumb going higher) Two hundred? (higher)  Five hundred? (higher)  One thousand?”  He was starting to show some signs of enthusiasm and my six-year-old daughter was now requesting a lap top with my winnings.

“Five thousand dollars!” I finally interrupted to end the guessing game.

NO WAY!” my husband answered.

YES WAY!” I proudly said.  “This is gonna be a lucky, lucky year for me!  Woo-hoo!” (Insert scratch-off-ticket-winner-boogie-dance here…)

Then, I proceeded to look at the back of the ticket.  I had to know where to mail this sucker.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to just take it to a convenient store.  I never buy scratch-offs, but I knew this HAD to be an extra special event.

I proceeded to read the back of the ticket to my husband.  “Winning prizes of $1, $5, $25, and $50 may be claimed wherever lottery tickets are sold. (blah, blah, blah…I was a WINNER…a BIG WINNER!!!)  Winning tickets of $100 or more (ME!) must be sent to the…Money Fairy…123 NoWhere Drive…in Make-Believe Land.”  (What?!  My heart sank and still in disbelief, I noticed the odds of winning were 0 in 10,000.  But, I was a WINNER…they must have made a mistake printing these tickets!)

I continued reading as the adrenaline started to fade away down my arms and legs and settle into my fingers and toes.  “Valid only in your dreams.  Any resemblance to a real or implied lottery ticket is what makes it fun.  (Insert small heart palpitation)  This ticket is for entertainment purposes only.  Thanks for being a good sport.”

I sat there looking at the ticket for what seemed like two hours.  Time stood still.  I looked at my husband.  I looked at the ticket.  I looked at my children.  I looked at the ticket.

Then, we all started laughing.  “Oh, I am SO gonna get Aunt Jeanne!  She hosed me big time!  She got me bad!  BAD!”  I said.  I called her immediately.  “Please tell me that YOU are the Money Fairy, because I am mailing this ticket to YOU to cash in!”

The moral of this story is that no, I am not a lucky scratch-off winner of $5,000, but I do still feel lucky.  Over the course of my birthday weekend, I received special wishes by phone, e-mail, facebook, mailed cards, and in person.  I got to spend time with friends and family and I even received a birthday blessing at church.

I am indeed feeling very lucky.  Lucky to have a roof over my head.  Lucky to have food on the table.  Lucky to have clothes on my back.  Lucky to have family, friends, and an Almighty God who love me for me.  Lucky to have my wonderful husband and children.  Lucky to have an aunt who gave me the perfect opportunity to laugh at myself.  Lucky.

And, I thank each and every one of you for being a special part of my life!  Here’s to another year of sippin’ sunshine!  And, remember, however old you are is the new 30!  That’s right.  Yippee!

I’ll leave you with a great quote about money:  “Measure your wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.”

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

You Sent Me More

Photo Credit:  Rools from
Quite a few years ago, my hands folded in prayer,
I asked the Lord, “Is there a man just for me out there?
If I can get picky…can he love me just like You?
Can he forgive and start with me each day all fresh and new?”

“I wonder could he laugh with me…be quiet with me too?
Could he overlook my faults?  Cause, Lord knows there are a few!
Could he listen to my worries, my senseless fears and such?
I know it’s quite a lot dear Lord, my wish is slightly much.”

“But, I want a man to stand beside, through good times and the bad,
To share the happy days with and even all the sad.
To raise children with, to be our rock, to love you Lord the most,
To be humble, Lord, to teach our kids it’s never good to boast.”

“Could he help me with the dishes?  It’s much more fun with two,
Could he go to church with me?  I'd love him in my pew.
Could he be honest, strong, and faithful?  A man that I’d admire.
Could he be patient, Lord?  And set my heart on fire."

“Is it too much to want a man I’d trust with heart and soul?
A gentle man whose eyes are fixed on heaven as his goal.
A man who loves his family more than any earthly thing,
Who’d be proud to every day put on his wedding ring.”

“A respectable and virtuous man who dearly loves Your land,
A man who builds his house on rock and not on fleeting sand.
A loving man whose eyes can spot his wife across a room,
A man who isn’t scared of laundry…a vacuum, or a broom.”

“Could he be a man that loves to dance and twirl me round the floor?
That when I say, ‘I love you,’ he says, ‘I love you more.’
Is it possible that all these things be found in just one man?
If anyone can find him…Lord, I know YOU can!”

Time went by and marched right on and much to my surprise,
It wasn’t long before I saw it all in someone’s eyes.
A man that today I call my husband and best friend,
Some years ago, I said, “I do.”  My search came to an end.

“Lord, I prayed for all these things and You sent me more,
A man that words cannot express just how I adore.
You sent me more than I could’ve dreamed of, thought, or prayed for,
My wish list was extremely long and Lord…You sent me more.”

“I’m forever grateful to you, Lord, for giving me this gift,
A man I’ll always treasure…thanksgiving prayers I lift.
I never doubt Your love for me, I feel it in my core,
I asked You for a miracle, and Lord, You sent me more!”

Happy 13th Anniversary, Russell!  
I love you!  
July 8, 2000

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Sneak Peek

Photo Credit:  bosela from
Every now and then, I take a peek on Pinterest to see what my friends have pinned.  A few nights ago, I happened to look and saw some of my sister-in-law’s recent pins.  Boy, was I excited! 

Why the enthusiasm?  Because as a labor of love, my husband’s sister, Sandra, makes me a dozen handmade greeting cards for a Christmas gift each year. AND…through her pins, I happened to get an unexpected glance at some of the ones I might perhaps be getting this December.  Oh yea, and they were so stinkin’ cute, I tell ya!  (So I guess the spoiler alert here is that now you know who actually makes the cute cards that you receive from me in your mailbox.  Poo!)

As a child, I was never one to hunt around the house looking for hidden presents nor did I shake the boxes to see if I could guess what they were before I opened them.  So, this Pinterest sneak peek wasn’t planned or intentional.

Sneak peeks can say a great deal in a short amount of time.  For movies, a trailer gives us a chance to decide if we even want to go see the whole thing.  For schools, sneak peek nights allow students the chance to meet their teacher, drop off supplies, and can actually set the tone for the entire school year.  As for books, a few teaser lines can make or break a book sale.

We often don’t realize it, but on a day-to-day basis, we too send out a “sneak peek” of who we truly are.  There is a great little poem that my mother-in-law found in a magazine and cut out to share with her five grandkids. The 1970’s poem explains more about this “sneak peek” of ourselves and it’s called “You Tell on Yourself:”

You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
By the very manner in which you speak.
By the way you employ your leisure time,
By the use you make of dollar and dime.
You tell on yourself by the things you wear,
By the spirit in which your burdens you bear.
By the type of things at which you laugh,
By the records you play on your phonograph.
You tell what you are by the way you walk,
By the things of which you delight to talk.
By the manner in which you can bear defeat,
By so simple a thing as how you eat.
By the books you choose from the library shelf,
By these things and more, you tell on yourself.
~ Author Unknown ~

If we can get past the phonograph line, I think we’ll find that it all rings pretty darn true.  Think about this for a second…if we were a movie, what would our trailer look like?  Would people want to invest their time in the whole movie (getting to know us) or call it quits after the preview?  Hmmmm… for thought at least. 

If you live in Texas, you might have experienced a sneak peek this past week.  Temperature-wise, I think we got a little preview of hell.  I mean, every other facebook post was a picture of an outdoor thermometer that read 110 degrees or more.  Texas was roasting, folks, and I remember thinking, I do NOT want any part of that heat when my time on earth is up.  Yikes!

On the flip side, I’m also certain that we can get a sneak peek of heaven each day, if we just open our eyes.  My Aunt Edie picked out a few books for me from my friend Melissa’s library the other day.  She chose four equally wonderful books, so I didn’t know which one to start with.  However, Janice T. Connell’s book, “Angel Power” captivated my attention.  Only forty-five pages into it and I know I’m going to love it!

I often think about guardian angels, especially each night as we pray with the kiddos:  “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.  Amen.”

There are countless stories out there about angels and their power in our lives.  In my reading thus far, it says that one of the jobs of angels is to bring order out of chaos.  (Do I hear an AMEN, Moms?!)

A few paragraphs of Connell’s book have hollered out to me:

“Angels are quite aware that our time on earth is short.  Eternity is forever.  Angels constantly seek to prepare us for our journey into eternity.  They inspire us to pray in whatever way we can.  They encourage us to abandon ourselves to God’s Providence in their care.  They want us to allow ourselves to belong totally to God.  His Love for us is unconditional and unchanging.  The angels know that it is we who run from God.  God never abandons us:  we abandon God – His Angels, His Ways, His Will.”

“Angels constantly warn us not to worry about anything but God’s Will, for they know that God’s Will is a personal path of peace, joy, and love that He has uniquely designed for each of us.  They always inspire us to pray more, to sacrifice fleeting things.  They want us to simplify our lives and eliminate needless things, especially worry.  Worry is lack of trust in Angel Power and in God’s Ability to make all things well.  His Will for us is perfect happiness.  The angels want us to hear God and see God.”

“God has empowered angels to lead us away from deceptions that would ensnare us, that would steal our peace, joy, love, and tranquility.  Angels are a gift to us from God.  No one has to accept a gift.  We have the choice to allow holy angels to lead us or not.  We give the angels great pleasure when we recognize them and follow their gentle inspirations.  Angels desire to draw us into the very Heart of God.”

If the angels can help provide a sneak peek of what’s beyond the Pearly Gates, then I’m all in.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the book.  My Aunt Jeanne told me several years ago to name my guardian angel and I did.  However, I don’t think I realize the power that Faith (that’s what I named her) has in my life.  But with each page, I hope to learn more and more.

If you haven’t already, think about naming your guardian angel this week.  Angels empower us to see God in our world.  And, isn’t that so hard to do at times?  I’m eager to tap into the amazing power of angels so that when I open my eyes, I can actually appreciate what I see…especially if it’s a sneak peek of Heaven.