Miracle Child

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A young, married couple plans to fill their Christian home with children.  Facing fertility issues, the husband and wife seek advice from doctors.

After months of trying the medical route and completing test after test, they retreat from doctors. As they decide to focus on their continuing journey of prayer, their dream of having a baby is left in God’s hands. 

A few more months run their course, and the couple is still waiting.  In God’s plan, an answer will eventually come, but it will be by His design and used for His glory.

Witnessing God’s lasting hope, peace, joy, and love, this Christian husband and wife discover their wish will be granted.  A baby will be born just after the New Year begins.  They are excited, but they take time to praise and show gratitude to their Heavenly Father.

Eventually, the baby boy arrives, but he has decided to enter the world too soon.  Born prematurely and much smaller than expected, the boy’s status concerns his parents.  Their “miracle” child is born, and the medical staff sees that he is well-taken care of.

Over the coming weeks and months, the couple care and love their little “Bubba” as they like to call him.  He may be undersized, but he is healthy and growing.  They feel so blessed and thankful.

For many couples, this scenario plays out around the world.  With God’s guidance and modern medical care, more and more families are experiencing the joy of children in their lives. 

Other families turn to adoption or foster care of children.  When choosing what path to take, bringing God into the equation helps to guide each decision.

In contrast, the world has its own “miracle” child . . . a babe born in a Bethlehem stable over 2,000 years ago.  God comes to earth as the incarnate Emmanuel.  His light continues to guide lives each and every day.

Quick Escape

Courtesy of Pinterest.

A supermarket can be one of life’s greatest adventures for a pair of boys, who are about a year or two away from starting elementary school.

Pete and James have been traveling with their parents on a short trip.  

Taking a break to buy a few items, the parents and the boys make a quick stop in a larger, nearby city.  The boys have never seen such a big store, and they are curious about what waits on the massive rows of different products neatly arranged on the endless shelves.

While their father and mother pause to have a conversation, the boys become quite curious with rows and rows of men’s shaving cream cans.  The shelf sits at their level with everything in easy reach.  They look at each other as if to say, “Who wants to push the button on the top of the can?” 

Pete, being the older of the two brothers, quite literally takes matters into his own hands.  He picks up one of the capless cans, and presses his finger down on the button. 

Suddenly, a huge ball of white foam erupts out of the can . . . right toward father’s pants!

With a quick look at the disaster they’ve made, the brothers make a quick escape as they dash around the corner of the aisle, without either of their parents having a clue about what has just happened. 

Just as the boys run around to the next door aisle, father notices something white on his pants, near his front pocket.  The foam just seems to keep growing as he touches it.  He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handkerchief to wipe up the damp, foamy mess.  He tells his wife, “Where did this shaving cream come from?”

Turning around, mother asks, “Where are the boys?”

Both of the parents scan one end of the aisle, then the other end.  Sure enough, they notice two familiar faces peeking back at them.  Their look says it all, “We’re busted, and now we’re in big trouble.”

Seeing that their quick escape has failed, the brotherly tandem walks slowly back toward their parents.  As Pete approaches with the shaving cream can in one hand, smiles and laughter quickly take over the scene.  Father’s handkerchief has just about cleaned up the white foam off of his pants.

Funny thing!  Father doesn’t even use shaving cream because he’s an electric razor guy.

Tender Mercies (Elfchen Series #89)

Overcoming

Challenges

Embrace them

Fearless, with courage

Taste life’s treasured gifts

Blessings

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Cherishing 

Maturing

Home alone

World grows smaller

Embrace family and friends

Love

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Trusting

Embers

Burning low

Embracing more hope

Blazing back to life

Rekindled

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This series of poems (written in the German-inspired style of Elfchen or Elevenie) shares a total of eleven words in each poem, with a sequence by line of one, two, three, four, and one words.

Richard Halverson Quote

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If I were starting my family over again, I would give first priority to my wife and children, not my work.

From Psalm 90:12:  “So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.”

Go Long!

The Ohio State University Buckeyes’ official mascot is waiting for the “Big Game.” Say hello to Brutus Buckeye. (courtesy of Pinterest)

Mema scurries around the house.  She’s looking for something very important on this Game Day.  Her beloved Ohio State Buckeyes are facing that team up north (aka Michigan Wolverines) in the “Big Game.”

Kick-off is about 20 minutes away, and she needs to be holding on to her lucky pigskin.  She calls out, “Has anyone seen my football?”

No one responds.  Her husband is in the kitchen cooking up some game time snacks, and her two young grandchildren are playing in the backyard.

Hearing a commotion coming from the yard, Mema looks out to see a quick improvisation of the “Big Game.”  Some of the neighborhood kids are dressed in the Buckeyes’ scarlet and gray.  A few others are decked out in their Wolverines’ blue and maize. 

As her eyes scan the game field, she notices her beloved pigskin.  For right now, it is “the” game ball for this sandlot contest. 

Kick-off for the real “Big Game” is just minutes away, and this backyard, gridiron classic needs to wrap up its final play . . . pronto!

With time running out, Mema steps out into the yard.  She huddles up with her tandem of receivers (grandson and granddaughter).  Few know that she possesses a pretty darn good arm herself. 

In the huddle, Mema is holding her precious football.  She diagrams the final play with two simple, dynamic words . . . “Go Long!”

Here is the real Mema’s game ball. When she isn’t seated in front of the television to watch her Buckeyes, the ball also doubles as a flashy purse.

Family’s Love

From 1 John 4:7:  “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

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Vulnerable and broken

Young lives scattering like chaff

Fractured, alone in darkness

Story needs new paragraph

 

Emulating Jesus’ love

Family opens their home

One lost child, then another

Spirit reaches out, love roams

 

Called by Christ, door swings open

Wrapping His love around each

Two daughters bond as sisters

New lessons waken to teach

 

Family’s love grows daily

Centered around faith and trust

Christ’s joy filling each new page

Four lives together, robust

 

Future looking brighter now

Surrounded by parents’ love

Sisters linking together

Jesus smiles from above

 

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In the United States, the month of November recognizes the significance of adoption.  When a family reaches out to provide foster care for a deserving child, this is one of life’s most unselfish, blessed tasks.  As in the case of our family, this story opens life’s new chapter for our granddaughters, both adopted into our family.  

Autumn’s Imagination

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Taking a peek from the kitchen window, an eager three-year old girl watches her Dad and older brother working in the backyard.  With the final, late autumn rush of fallen leaves completed, they are raking up the annual harvest.

Bursting with excitement, Lydia enjoys the pile of colorful leaves growing wider and deeper.  She asks her Mom, “May I go out in the backyard to play?”

In the meantime, Dad and brother have moved to the front yard to clean up the few remaining leaves hiding under some bushes.  The enormous leaf pile is waiting for a little princess to share her imagination. 

With permission granted, Mom makes sure her precious daughter is wearing a jacket.  There is a subtle crispness to the autumn afternoon’s air.  The jacket’s collage of color will make a pretty complement to the orange, red, yellow, and rust colors of the leaves.

Dashing out the back door, Lydia sprints as fast as her three-year old legs will allow.  Upon reaching the mountain of leaves, she dives right into the middle.  Quickly, she begins swimming, and her helicopter arms swish the leaves away. 

Sitting in her newly formed crater, she feels like a captain of a ship.  Surrounded by a protective ring of color, she looks to be quite in charge.

Suddenly, she is joined by her older sister.  Now Lydia can enjoy her autumn paradise even more.  The two girls, several years apart in age, create their own universe in the backyard.

Swimming and thrashing about, the leaves begin to scatter.  What could make this even more fun?

Mom arrives with her answer, as she jumps right into the middle of the playful scene.  Now the trio of ladies has fully taken over the once mountainous pile of leaves. With each animated action, the depth of the pile shrinks as it scatters wider and wider. 

Eventually the laughter and fun invite Dad and brother.  As they approach the backyard to see what’s up, they stop and smile.  True, their hard work has been strewn about, but family fun like this only comes along once a year.

They both join in with the others.  Leaves are being thrown in the air, and bits and pieces cling to hair and clothes.  In the middle of it all, smiles an innocent-looking three-year old.  Her precious expression says it all, “Can we do this tomorrow?”

Here’s the star of the show!

Big Sky Treasures #5

Gracing the Treasure State with a magical oasis, Columbia Gardens will always reign as one of Montana’s past gems.  Now forgotten along with the “richest hill on earth,” Butte’s utopian paradise hearkens back to its mining past.

Copper ruled Montana from the underground mines of Butte to the State Capitol in Helena.  The ore from copper-rich veins even reached across America to influence the nation’s capital.  Many knew of Butte, America (the city liked to say). 

Businessman and mining magnate, William A. Clark, welcomed an opportunity to gift the mining families of Butte as well as to pave the way to his election as U.S. Senator.  He bestowed a magnificent park with every imaginable attraction; while at the same time, he purchased a significant vote in the Montana legislature (U.S. Senators back in the day were elected by each state’s legislature until the 17th Amendment allowed for their direct election).

Built in 1899, Columbia Gardens would eventually grow to cover 68 acres in the city of Butte.  Admission would always be free, and concessions and rides could be purchased for a small price.  Over its lifetime, the park would never generate a profit.  The “richest hill on earth” always paid the bills.

The park became well-known outside of the Treasure State when President Theodore Roosevelt visited in 1903.  Thousands would continue to enjoy Columbia Gardens for almost eight decades.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the major Columbia Gardens’ attractions:

Grand Pavilion:  Big band music and dancing

Sports Stadium:  Baseball home for minor league’s Butte Miners

Roller Coaster:  Multiple stories high (built in 1906)

Zoo:  Featuring Montana’s wildlife

Various Rides:  Ferris wheel, mini train, carousel, bi-planes

Visitors also enjoyed walking the well-maintained grounds.  The immaculate park shined as a garden for the ages.  Every week one day was set aside as a “Children’s Day” with the emphasis on just plain ol’ fun.

Butte’s slow demise from its greatness as the “richest hill on earth” caved in as the 1970s approached.  In 1973, Columbia Gardens closed for good.  No longer would summers be filled with the excitement of another season at the park.  Copper’s riches had built the park, and now they would take it away.

Ain’t Broke Yet!

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Papa had always been sort of set in his ways.  Some might even say he’d become much too old-fashioned, but he took pride in being thrifty with a dollar.

My brother, Nick, walked up to Papa one afternoon and explained his dilemma, “My old, worn-out phone needs to be replaced.  All of the guys at school own a way better one than mine.”

Looking up from his magazine, Papa firmly replied, “Ain’t broke yet!”

A few days later, Mama called out to her husband in a voice filled with distress.  Her washing machine was on the fritz . . . again.  Papa made a couple of quick fixes, and then told Mama, “Ain’t broke yet!”

Mama always told me, “Papa has always been a penny pincher, just like his dear ol’ Papa.” 

A couple of weeks later, the zipper on my outdated winter coat was stuck.  Running to Papa, I tried to convince him to buy me a new coat, “Papa, this old coat is just worn out.  Don’t you think it’s time to buy me a new one?”

Papa took my coat.  After fiddling with the zipper for a couple of minutes, he brought it back to me with a proud smile on his face, “Ain’t broke yet!”

The next morning, Papa was sitting at the breakfast table, and he was looking over the advertisements in the newspaper.  A dashing, new pick-up truck caught his eye, and he imagined himself driving it down the street for everyone to see.  With his usual humble confidence, he announced to the rest of us, “I am thinking of trading in the ol’ truck for a brand new one.  She has quite a few miles on her.”

In unison, we all shouted, “Ain’t broke yet!”