Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Hug

I received this story in my email today and it really touched me. There are a lot of things going around email these days, most of which I don't read. I felt this was worthy of saving...

Hope you enjoy it too...


"We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking.
Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.
I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out ofwould-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.
We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.
My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?' Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.'
Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed.
As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be
breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik ha propelled himself from my arms to the man.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.
I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'
Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'
I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'
I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.'

Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important.

We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Easter Story Cookies

This is a favorite Easter activity around our house, and I hope you enjoy it!
1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar3 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman Soldeirs. John 19:1-3
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. John 19:28-30
Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. John 10:10-11
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus's followers and the bitterness of our own sin. Luke 23:27
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.... Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
Beat with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
Fold in broken nuts
Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper- covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was lain. Matthew 27:57-60
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF!
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Matthew 27:65-66
GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave them in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers felt dispair when the tomb was sealed. John 16:20 and 22
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Matthew 28:1-9

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2007 New Year's Resolutions~

Well, I am just now sitting down to think about it!

I guess number one on my list would be to slow down a little. We seem to be overscheduled a lot lately, so I am going to try to slow down.

As usual, I want to loose weight. I have lost almost 9 pounds since Thanksgiving, so hopefully I can keep that going!

I need to exercise more.

Stay on track with school

Be more consistent in my business. I am really working towards Senior Director and hope to acheive that by December... Then my husband could work somewhere else if he wanted because I would be making around $50,000 a year. That ain't gonna happend by itself though!!!

Make Circle of Influence every month

Pay off some bills. I would like to have at least 3 credit cards paid off by the end of the year..

Have some money in Savings. We really need an emergency fund set up

Keep my house clean! It's so easy to step over the mess, but I really need to stay on top of it!

Teach my kids about finances

Learn Spanish before our trip to Cancun in July!

Go back to ironing my husband's uniforms for him. I used to do this for him, and I don't know why I stopped, but I think I should start it back up!

Plant a garden... Flowers and Vegetables this year! We ate tomatoes all last summer and it was great, I have planted bell peppers and cucumbers too, but with no luck. I also want to grow fresh herbs...

Eat more healthy

Do Random acts of kindness

Be more empathetic

Try to mend the washed out bridge with my mom.

Figure out a way to get my dad to move

Buy a house in the country..

That's probably enough!