Monday, September 8, 2014

Lock and Key Challenge (1st place out of 23 entries) :)

Love From Above

“Sweetheart, it’s time.” Sally Palmers gently took her daughter Rachel’s hand in hers and raised it to her lips as Rachel sleepily smiled.  “You’ve got a big day waiting for you, but first is something special.”

“What is it Mom?” Rachel groggily asked.

“Just trust me and come now.  I can attest you’re going to love it.” Sally walked out the door and shut it quietly behind her so as to not disturb the still sleeping guests gathered for Rachel’s big day. 

Now fully awake and curious Rachel grabbed the clothes set on her nightstand and dressed quickly to follow her mom, almost slamming the door.

“Sweetheart, your shirt is on backwards.”

“It is?” Rachel pulled her shirt forward and found the tag.  “So, it is.” Rachel and her mom laughed. 

“Well, never mind. No time to change it,” Sally replied as she sped down the stairs to the kitchen with Rachel in hot pursuit.

Over steaming cups of coffee Sally handed her only daughter a key. “You know that your father wanted to be a part of all the major milestones in your life and invented this game so he could, this being no exception.”

Turning the key over Rachel said, “Yes, I know Mom. My favorite was the advice he gave me for my first broken heart.”

“He really wanted to be a part of this day so he came up with something significant.  But first, you are going to have find the lock.”

“Where do I begin?” Rachel asked.

“Somewhere in this kitchen,” came the wistful reply.

Thirty minutes later Rachel and her mom reconvened over Rachel’s favorite breakfast, hot cinnamon buns and yogurt.    “I found it!” Rachel cried triumphantly turning the lock.  It was only when a little ballerina dancing to Rachel’s favorite song popped up that she realized it was the music box her father bought her when she was three, just before he was diagnosed with leukemia. “Where was this hiding and why now?” Rachel cried through her tears.

When she could control her own tears Sally answered, “Your father wanted to save this for your wedding day to let you know he is a part of it.  He loved his little girl very much.” Dabbing her tears with a tissue she continued,  “There should be a letter for you in the box. Why don’t you read it?”

Rachel tenderly removed the letter and began to read:

My dearest daughter Rachel,

I love you and always will.  This last gift I will bestow upon you is the most memorable.  Up until now your mom has been keeping the keys to locks with letters given to you upon momentous occasions. There was your first day of kindergarten, first day of junior high, first day of high school, your first broken heart, high school graduation, moving out on your own, your first job, and university graduation.  I tried my best to give you advice each time and I hope that you listened like you would have if I had not been taken from you so early.  But, the most important event I wished to be a part of was your wedding day and so I decided that this music box we chose together on your third birthday was just the gift for you.  I want nothing more than for you to share this with your husband and future children and let them know the love of their father/grandfather.  Please cherish the gift and most of all enjoy your day! 

In case you are wondering about my advice for this important day, no, I didn’t forget.  I Corinthians 1:25 “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (NKJV)  My interpretation is that if you know God has brought you two together then that is enough!  You don’t need to understand everything, because we can’t know what God is doing anyways.  HIS ways are different than the world’s so don’t try to put the world’s framework on a Godly marriage.  It won’t work! 

Love from above,
                        Your father Tim Palmers
Carefully replacing the letter Rachel embraced her mother and together they let the tears fall until they were exhausted. 
Sally spoke first.  “Are you ready?”

Slowly nodding her head Rachel said, “Is it alright if I wear the key as a necklace today?”

            “I think that is an excellent idea!” her mom replied.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Pick A Color (Pros and Cons Challenge)

Pick a Color

What color is your favorite?
My favorite is red.
Why is red your favorite?
Jesus died in my stead.

Jesus died in your stead?
What does that mean?
It means I am loved,
And I am clean.

You really believe that?
You know I do.
Why do you believe that?
Jesus made me new.

What color is your favorite?
My favorite is blue.
Why is blue your favorite?
It tells me each day is new.

Each day is new?
What does that mean?
It means blue skies,
And mistakes yet unseen. 

You really believe that?
You know I do.
Why do you believe that?
It’s just how I grew. 

As colors, red and blue represent so much more.
To like them is to open up the door. 
The door to your heart is open wide,
Please let Jesus step inside. 

Today if you are weighing your choices,
Stop listening to the other voices.
The voices that tell you, “You are worthless”,
That your life will always be a mess. 

The benefits to living a life with Jesus, 
Far outweigh a life with missing pieces.
When following Jesus the pros will always win,
While the cons, well, they will always do you in!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nap Time Is Over (Husband and Wife Challenge)

Naptime is Over 

Adam, you went down a man and rose a husband.
Your wife from your ribs HE did mend.
Can you handle it?

Adam, what sort of helper will she be?
She will from her father and mother flee.
Can you handle it? 

Adam, she is “bone of your bones, flesh of your flesh”.* 
Her life with yours will mesh.
Can you handle it?

Eve, you were created while he slept.
From your husband’s ribs you leapt.
Can you handle it?

Eve, what sort of helper will you be?
You will from your father and mother flee.
Can you handle it?

Eve, you are “bone of his bones, flesh of his flesh”.
Your life with his will mesh.
Can you handle it?

Yes, you can. 
Our Father above,
Rained down HIS love,
When He created husband – and wife.   

Yes, you can. 
Helpers come in all shapes and sizes,
United a new family arises,
When two join as husband – and wife.

Yes, you can.
It is unique and amazing,
That with a certificate and a ring,
Couples can build a new life together – as husband and wife.

* Genesis 2:21-24 (NKJV)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Poetry coming soon!

Through the Faithwriters challenge I am trying new things and my most recent experiment is poetry.  Will post it soon.  Thanks.


Angels and Baristas (Right and Left Challenge)

Angels and Baristas

            “I’m sorry Brent but I just can’t marry you.” Emphasizing her point Laura took his ring off her finger and gave it back to him. 
            “Is there a reason Laura?” a concerned Brent asked dipping his bread stick in the marinara sauce.
            “Your proposal didn’t leave me room to refuse but that is exactly what I wanted to do.  In fact, I was working up the courage to break-up when you threw your surprise in.  Another few days and we wouldn’t have been a couple anymore.”
            “I see. “
            “No, I don’t think you ‘see’.” Trying to stay calm Laura leaned in and whispered,  “Our relationship has damaged my relationship with God and I am choosing now to go back to my first love.” Gathering momentum Laura pleaded “Please don’t call me, text me or e-mail me ever again.  I don’t want to hear from you.”  With that Laura stood up from the table, adjusted her purse strap and left the restaurant not even bothering to look back at Brent’s stunned expression. 

            Several hours later, after taking care of business, Laura sprinted into the mall and made a beeline for the communication kiosk in the middle of the mall.  Reaching her destination moments before closing she managed to gasp out her intentions for changing her phone number.  “I need to do this now,“ she said with a sense of urgency. 
            “I’m sorry ma’am but you are just going to have to come back tomorrow morning.  We don’t have time to change a number tonight.”
            “You don’t understand.  I am leaving town in a few hours and I can’t be traveling with the same number,” a desperate Laura pleaded.
            “There is nothing we can do. Sorry.”
            With nothing else to do and nowhere to go Laura picked up her bags and dragged herself to the bus stop.  Scoping out the area she spotted a cafĂ© with a friendly window display and decided to pass the time there where at least she could cool down from the intense July heat.  Her stomach rumbled, reminding her that she had not eaten since her lunch break earlier.  Having no money for anything other than her bus ticket and something to drink she settled down into the cracked blue vinyl seat and ordered an iced tea. 
            The urge to sob came upon her so suddenly Laura gasped for air and let the tears flow.  The years of pain melted away as the healing touch of an angel soothed her hurting soul.  Fifteen minutes later Laura finally looked up and realized it was an older woman who was comforting her. 
            “Just let it flow honey, let it flow,” the kind woman soothed. 
            It was in that cradled position Laura found herself at morning’s light.  Extracting herself carefully from the stranger’s sleeping embrace proved to be more difficult than imagined.   Just when she thought she couldn’t handle it anymore the chirping of her cell phone awakened the now smiling woman.  Figuring it was Brent wanting her to reconsider she let it go to voice mail.  At least he wouldn’t find her at her apartment or her job. 
            “Good morning sugar.  My name is Angel and I own this establishment.  What’s yours and why the tears?” Angel asked.
            “I’m Laura.” Before she could stop herself Laura poured out her story.  Not revealing too many details she told Angel about her dream three nights before and her visit from an angelic being with a warning.  The crossroads in her life could take her two different directions.  Right would bring her closer to knowing her Savior better and his plans for her life.  Left was her current path with Brent the manipulator and abuser.  Wrestling all night with the decision led her to break up with Brent the day before and try to leave town after quitting her job. 
            Angel listened sympathetically until Laura was finished.  “It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. “  Inspired, Angel asked, “Why don’t you come home with me and rest for a few days?  I will take care of you.” 
            “You are too kind.  How can I ever repay you?” Laura yawned.
            “Well, I am always on the lookout for baristas with great service skills.  Does that sound like something you could do?” Angel asked her crystal blue eyes focused on Laura. 
            “I was the best barista at my shop,” Laura answered proudly. 
            “Perfect.  Your new life down the right path starts now.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Salt and Pepper Challenge

Saltines and Pepper-Jack Cheese

            “Sir, can you describe the perpetrator?” Sally, the police officer, kindly asked Peter about the hit and run accident.
            “Gray mini-van, female driver about 60 with short salt and pepper hair, wearing sunglasses.  Washington license plate started with a Z.” 
            Satisfied with Peter’s response Sally thanked him and turned to the victim of the crime, Peter’s 16-year old nephew Matthew.  “Is there anything else I can help you with today Matthew?”
            Leaning against his recently purchased red clunker Matthew crossed his arms and winked.  “Just make sure you catch her. Thanks.”
            Taken aback by the wink from a teenager Sally couldn’t get away fast enough.  She sprinted to her waiting patrol car and sped off. 
            “Did you have to be such a tease Matthew? After all she was only trying to help,” Uncle Peter scolded his oldest nephew. 
            Humbled now, with his head held low, Matthew muttered, “Sorry Uncle Peter”. 
Seated in the tow truck’s cab on their way to the mechanic Matthew asked his uncle, “What is salt and pepper hair?”
            “My hair is salt and pepper,” came the quick reply.
            “You mean there is an actual name for your hair color?” the teenager asked with a bit of a squeak.  “I thought people just called it black and white. Why do they call it salt and pepper anyways?”
            “Well, I don’t know where the name originated from but in our family we start going white early.  When my first white hairs arrived I found a way to make a joke of it.  I call it saltines and pepper-jack cheese.”
Matthew’s quizzical look encouraged him to continue. 
“At first glance those two foods seem to be from different worlds.  And really they are.  But, and this is the good part, you put them together and they make a delicious snack.  Have you ever tried it?”
            “Are we talking about food or your hair?” asked Matthew.
 “Are you sure it is not your personality showing through?”
            This time it was Uncle Peter’s turn to share a quizzical look with his nephew.
            Matthew continued, “I have noticed that as you get older you mellow out more and it seems to correspond with the amount of white hairs you grow.  Mom told me stories of you in your younger days and how you caused a lot of trouble for Grandma and Grandpa.  I like to think of it as a spicy personality.”  Matthew laughed nervously at his own joke about spices.  “This morning is a good example of the change.  There was nothing spicy about you scolding me.”
            “In other words, saltines are a lot more boring than pepper-jack cheese and I am a lot more boring than I used to be.  Is that it?” Peter asked teasingly giving Matthew a playful punch on the arm.
            “No, it means that you have both of those characteristics and they blend well together.  Just like your salt and pepper hair.  Salt and pepper together speak of maturity. Matthew paused for effect before continuing, “In my opinion at least.”
             “Matthew, those are some profound thoughts for someone who just a moment ago hadn’t heard of salt and pepper hair.”
            Trying to shrug off his uncle’s praise Matthew said, “Yeah, well, . . . So, when do I get to try your favorite snack?“
            “How about as soon as we reach your grandparent’s place?”

            “Sounds like a plan to me,” Matthew said with a wink.