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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ordinarily Special

Photo Credit:  Jusben from
Just the other morning, I noticed something ordinarily...special.  The sun was certainly up for the day, but the damp night had left much dew on God's great canvas.  As my children and I were driving through the countryside, we noticed something ordinary that really grabbed our attention.

The sun's arms hadn't yet gathered up the droplets of moisture that tenderly clung onto every intricately woven spider web along the road.  There were hundreds of them.  Some webs were swaying gently like a hammock between two tall blades of grass.  Some were hanging on by a single strand like a rope swing from a tree branch.  Some dangled dangerously between two rows of barbed wire fencing.  Each one of them so different…so detailed.

We tried to count them all, but that quickly proved to be impossible.  Squeals of delight came from the back seat as the kiddos saw another one and another one and another one.  Surely, the spider webs are there every morning, but this particular morning we were given the gift of "seeing" them.  (I don’t care much for the spiders, but I do find their artwork very intriguing!)

Many times, the most ordinary of things can make us smile.  There was a wonderful story from Mikey's Funnies last week that might get your grin muscles working.

Does anyone remember their grandma's apron?  The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few.  It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material.  But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion, was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.  From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.  When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.  And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms. 

Those big ole aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.  Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.  From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.  After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.  In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. 

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.  When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields for dinner. 

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.  People would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.  But, I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron...but love.

A simple, ordinary apron...until we "see" it in a different light.  I love it! 

My Uncle Erol also sent me an e-mail that reminded me of something ordinarily...special.

Some years ago at a social function in England, a great actor was asked to recite something for the pleasure of his fellow guests.  He consented.  He asked if there was anything special that his audience would like to hear.  An aged minister who was present arose and said, “Could you, sir, recite the twenty-third psalm?”  The great actor replied, “I can, and I will if you, my friend, after I have finished, will do the same.”

The minister reluctantly consented.  Impressively, the great actor recited the psalm.  His voice was perfect.  His intonation was flawless.  The audience was spellbound.  As he finished, the guests applauded.

Then, the aged minister arose and began to recite the psalm.  His voice was not remarkable.  His intonation was not faultless.  When he finished, there was no applause.  There was silence.  There was not a dry eye in the room.  Many heads were bowed in reverence.

The great actor arose again to his feet and, with great emotion, he said, “My friends, I have reached your eyes and ears, but the minister has reached your hearts.  The difference is this: I know the psalm, but he knows the Shepherd!”

What are some of the ordinarily special things in our life?  What are some of the mundane things we take for granted each and every day?

Is it fields full of spider webs heavy with night's droplets?  Is it appreciating the love behind a simple apron?  Is it a psalm that we've either read or heard numerous times?  Or maybe it’s something else?  The ability to hear our alarm clock.  The hum of an air conditioner that’s working properly.  Clean water to drink.  The fact that our children are healthy enough to pick on each other day in and day out.  Arms to hug our family.  Legs to dance.  The ability to smell roses (or a poopy diaper a mile away for you new moms out there!)

Countless ordinary things in our day can be appreciated in a special way if we remember Who sent us the gift.  Let's carve some time out of our summer to get to know the Shepherd.  We can see things in a different light when we have the Lord to guide our sight.

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!  No Sips next week!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Woman I Am Today (Part 2)

Photo Credit:  Kenn W. Kiser from
I'm the woman I am because of your love,
For that, I am grateful to God up above.
For all that you are and all that you do,
On this Father's Day, I want to thank you.
Thank you, dear Daddy, for working each day,
For food, clothes, a home, and bills that you'd pay.
Fixing on cars for neighbors in need,
Ready and willing to do a good deed.
Hours of shift work must’ve been tough,
Year after year, that must’ve been rough.
You did it for us, night after night,
Doing your best - you did what was right.
Lots of hard work paid for my education,
To earn my degrees in ole College Station.
You and Momma were quite the team,
So proud of us - your eyes would gleam.
Thank you for teaching me how to fish,
Not afraid to help out or wash a dish.
You taught me to throw the cast net too,
Perch, shrimp, and mullet - we caught a few!
You helped with the projects I did for school,
And boy did I magnetize many a tool!
Afternoons of playing backyard baseball,
Being there for me always, a soft place to fall.
As a child, I tugged on your brown, shaggy beard,
How exciting it was when vacations, they neared.
Traveling meant making memories to treasure,
Thanks for teaching me fractions and just how to measure.
Thank you for showing that real men do pray,
They trust and have faith, thanking God every day.
I’m sure that we did not always agree,
Thank God for hugs and that they are free!
For teaching me how to drive my first car,
Especially the standard!  Those rocks flew so far!
That hill was so scary and boy did I stall,
Your patience prevented a sad, sobbing bawl.
For your humor and laughter, I’ll never forget,
Your hot dogs and burgers fresh off the pit.
Thank you for loving my mother so much,
Remembering birthdays with flowers and such.
Forty-two years is amazing to me,
A marriage of true love for people to see.
For showing me just how real heroes look,
To fight for our country – what courage that took!
For bravery, honesty, hope, and the truth,
For helping me pull that very first tooth.
I’m the woman I am because of your love,
And because I was raised with help from above.
Thank you for guiding me gently with care,
For teaching me always that love is to share.
Thank you for all that you gave up for me,
As I grow older, it’s easy to see.
The love you gave along the way,
Made me the woman I am today.

I thought it was only fair that I write a part two to this poem to honor my dad.  Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful dad and to all of those special men out there who share their fatherly love with others.  I love you, Dad!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Angels Without Wings

Photo Credit:  jdurham from
I thank the Lord for teachers and here’s the story why,
They’re a different kind of angel.  They don’t have wings to fly.
God needed special angels for His hands and feet on earth,
He picked them each out carefully - the day of their birth.

He gave them gifts and talents for teaching and for caring,
He blessed them with a heaping dose of patience just for sharing.
He knew they’d be important to the little lives they’d touch,
He knew each year their students would love them very much.

He made their eyes so sparkly - their smiles so bright and wide,
So children would feel welcomed to let them be their guide.
For all the teachers that I know, teaching is a calling,
It is not for everyone.  (Ain’t that the truth, my dahling?!)

It’s not just a job or paycheck or a place to go each day,
Teaching is their heart and soul, a passion I would say.
They cheer their students on and motivate them to succeed,
They are angels without wings, yes, they are indeed.

They bandage knees and tie some laces, missing not a beat,
They kneel and sit on classroom floors, without a cushy seat.
They excitedly jump up and down when information clicks,
Then they pray at testing time, that all that teaching sticks.

They make learning come alive for children every day,
After school, on weekends – grading papers until May.
I’ve seen the way the students tug their shirts so they can share,
A story, tattle, random thought – a loose tooth, if they dare.

They’re angels without wings.  They laugh and sometimes cry,
Using words of inspiration, they encourage kids to try.
Teachers have a place reserved, deep down in my heart,
Because each child that journeys through, forever they’re a part.

I admire them for loving kids as if they were their own,
For taking time to nurture all the seeds that they have sown.
I thank God for teachers, the angels without wings,
But what I’ll tell you now is why my heart just sings.

When school begins, God gives a teacher brand new wings to share,
With every single student - each one gets a pair.
Teachers don’t have wings because they give them all away,
They give them to their students each year on school’s last day.

All year they’ve spent preparing them for this special flight,
Sometimes it’s hard to let them go – they hug with all their might.
Their students use those wings to fly and soar to greater things,
And THAT’S why awesome teachers are angels without wings.

*  This poem is dedicated to all of the wonderful educators who have touched our lives and hearts!  We thank God for you! *