“Let me help you with that.” “Oh, that’s okay. I’ve got it.” Newly graduated from high school, I was going to spend ten days in New York City visiting my sister. She had been adamant in her warning NOT to let anyone help me with my suitcase when I arrived because they would expect a tip. There I was struggling with a load that was at least half my weight, lugging it down the sidewalk to the waiting bus. Of course this was long before the day when any luggage had wheels. The inventor of “wheeled suitcases” has changed travelers' mobility forever. We have come to depend on the ease of gliding down the street or through the airport or train station. But when the wheels come off, it changes ever

Abiding in Me

“Now if everyone agrees to abide by these rules, we should get along just fine this year.” I smiled at the class, at the same time making sure they understood my expectations for their behavior. As one former student said, “I don’t know why some kids have a problem with Mrs. V. She tells us what she expects and she follows through.” Indeed, I made it clear I would not tolerate, abide blatant misbehavior. This kind of “abiding” is not often expressed these days. Yet the meaning is clear: Don’t do it! I won’t put up with it! Compliance is expected. There is another abiding that is less clear and is rarely used in today’s world. Even some versions of the Bible don’t use the word “abide” these d

Sowing Seeds

“Look, Mom! Look what I got in my Happy Meal from McDonald’s! Seeds! Radish seeds! Do I like radishes? Can I grow them? Please?” I wasn’t sure what quality those seeds were or how long they’d been sitting around in that packet. But I wasn’t about to disappoint my youngest. I just hoped the seeds wouldn’t be the ones to disappoint him. I showed Noah a small, out-of-the-way spot where he could cultivate his crop and then helped him prepare the soil to welcome those tiny, tiny seeds. Carefully he patted down the rich Arkansas dirt and began the long process of waiting. To our delight, it wasn’t long before the tiny plants began to poke their heads to the sunlight. Within a few weeks the harvest

The Power of Greetings

“It’s the Vogelsangs!” With that announcement, the receptionist hurried to the back room of the Wawona Hotel and called out the rest of the staff to meet us. Well, this was an unexpected greeting! We discovered that our last name was also the name of a nearby trailhead leading to Vogelsang Lake, Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, Vogelsang Pass and even Vogelsang Peak. Were we related to the famous Vogelsang for whom these Yosemite Park locations were named? We hated to disappoint those eager faces, but no we weren’t. That didn’t spoil our welcome, however, and it was fun to be a part of the celebrity experience, however brief the moment. The word “greet” includes the idea of welcoming, that it is

The Royal Cure

“So, are you having any difficulties or problems we can address?” My more-than-kind obstetrician was wrapping up what I hoped would be my last prenatal visit with my soon-to-be-delivered third child. After giving a short list of the usual late-term pregnancy issues, I smiled while assuring him: “Nothing that birth won’t cure!” Some things just have to run their course. There is no other “cure” available. This was so true in the days before antibiotics. When I read about people in the past who died from infectious diseases, I wonder at the miracle drugs the Lord has blessed us with. But the search for cures goes on. Cancer still eludes the scientists who dedicate their lives to finding the an

Restoring the Joy

© 2020 by Restoring the Joy

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