Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Charlie's Costume

My three-year-old granddaughter Charlie will be in her first dance recital, and she is so excited. She couldn’t wait to try on her beautiful yellow costume; however, her joy was short-lived.
            “It itches,” Charlie cried. And by ‘cried’ I mean she clutched at her costume, screamed, and had a full-blown meltdown.
            I examined the inside of the costume, cut away excess material, and even sewed a soft fabric over some of the seams. I tried to fix her costume three times, but nothing helped. Charlie continued to complain.
            Someone suggested numbing cream. Although tempted to try that route, instead Charlie’s mom Monique said, “You’re just going to have to suck it up, wear the costume, and do your dance.”
            The recital is still a few days away, but I attended the dress rehearsal. By the time I got there, Charlie was already fully dressed and happy. She led her line, tapped her foot, and smiled throughout the entire dance.
            “Charlie, I’m so proud of you! Your dance is just beautiful!” I said.
            “And, Lolli, I didn’t even cry. But my costume is still itchy!”
            Charlie taught me an important lesson that day. Even when my circumstances don’t change, I can.
            In Philippians 4:6,7, we are told to present our requests to God and His peace, the peace that transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds.
            I want to be like Charlie. After handing my problem to God through prayer, even if the circumstances never change, I know that I can change. I can have God’s grace and peace to walk through challenging times, move in obedience to His Word, and smile through it all.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Ann's Radiation Graduation

            If you ever see someone who looks exactly like me, but doesn’t seem to recognize you, it’s my sister Ann. She and I have confused people for years, and our parents are unable to identify our voices on the phone. Forget about our baby pictures. My mom didn’t write our names on the back and we have given up trying to guess who’s who.
            Whenever Ann tells me of a mix-up, I have the same response.
            “Ann, it’s a compliment for me! You’re younger and thinner and nicer!”
            It’s true, and it’s her sweet personality that helps us to overlook the fact that she is known for placing an order for food and showing up at a different location to pick it up. (I’ve only done this once.) I guess that’s another way we are similar. Neither of us likes to cook.
            However, my family wasn’t confused about the focus of our recent Girls Night. We gathered to celebrate Ann’s completion of radiation.
            In January, we found out that her yearly mammogram revealed a small lump which was soon diagnosed as breast cancer. Surgery was followed by radiation, and she handled it all with faith and strength. I’ve never been more proud of my little sister.
            Our celebration included a Happy Radiation Graduation cake and a special edition of the board game Guess Who. My daughter Monique replaced the pictures on the game with photos of the girls in our family. As I stared at the pictures on the game pieces, I realized how much we all resemble each other. Guess I’ll spend today writing names on photos.

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