Problems? Try Pardon and Peace!

“Listen to his breathing! He’s wheezing! I just know he’s punctured a lung or something! He never sounds like that!” “If Mom would just calm down, I believe her son would also stop crying and start breathing normally.” Oh. I guess I was being a bit hysterical. But who could blame me? I had rushed our youngest to the emergency room, sure something serious had happened. Our “little climber” had really chosen the wrong object to conquer and had fallen quite hard onto the garage floor. I had just turned my back for that moment, that critical moment. My fears and self accusations only added to my state of mind. What if he was really hurt this time? Sure enough. After forcing myself to settle down

Practicing Praise

“I want you to write down ten things you aren’t good at that you’d like to improve or what you don’t especially like about yourself that you wish you could change.” We immediately got busy scribbling furiously our various faults and failures. In no time, the entire group of teachers was finished. “Now, I want you to write down ten things you are really good at or what you like about yourself.” There was a long pause and then carefully-pondered lists began to take shape… and end at about four or five items. It’s hard to say good things about ourselves. Sometimes it’s a real struggle to come up with our list. After all, doesn’t the writer of Proverbs (27:2 NIV) warn us to “Let someone else pra


“Just like Uncle Frank,” lisped our three-year-old daughter. “WHAT?” As her father dug the shreds out of her mouth, Carrie Anne couldn’t believe we were so alarmed at her choice of tobacco products. Apparently she’d been closely watching Bill’s elderly relative as he periodically would shove another bunch of brown into the pocket of his cheek. She also saw him spit into the coffee can, but thankfully that wasn’t the source of her supply. She had followed each bit of tobacco that floated to the floor from the pouch, leaving a trail of treasure. Within a day or two she had saved up enough for her experiment. Children are great imitators. Our son Jacob used a little plastic lawnmower to mimic h

Serious Skirts

“Getting a little short down south, don’t you think?” I was mortified! Our junior high assistant principal, the one in charge of school discipline, had singled me out in the hallway. I only hoped he wouldn’t make me kneel down in front of him to see if my hem touched the wooden floor boards. Giving him a wide-eyed “I don’t think so!” I quickly got lost in the crowd of teens changing classes. But I made a mental note to check that skirt in the mirror one more time when I got home. Dresses and skirts were the rule for girls my entire public school career. This was almost unhealthy at times during those frigid Northern Michigan winters, but we didn’t complain… much. In grade school, I had the c

Titles and Servants

“Mom! Dad! I got the job!” Our son proudly announced his first summer employment position. Because of his love for golf, he had decided to see what might be available at the nearby golf course. Of course we were thrilled for him and asked what his job would be. “Cart Relocation Technician!” was his reply. Now it didn’t take me too many seconds to realize this was a glorified title for “cart boy.” But if it made him feel important, I wasn’t going to step on his youthful pride. He was looking forward to moving those golf carts around for the next few weeks. Sometimes it’s important to give someone a title to go along with the job he or she has been given. Just saying they are “in charge of” so

Restoring the Joy

© 2020 by Restoring the Joy

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