Happy Birthday PunkinDoodle

IMG_4906.jpgDear PunkinDoodle…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You are 3 years old today (8/21). That’s unbelievable to me. Three years ago, Nanna and I came to Raleigh, NC and on the day you were born there was a total eclipse of the sun. I knew right then that you were going to be a special little girl. I WAS RIGHT! You light up the room just by walking in. You love to snuggle (and Poppo loves that), you love to read (and Poppo loves that), and you LOVE Rosie (and Poppo loves that)! We have a lot in common.

I don’t like that you live so far away and I don’t get to see you as often as I would like, BUT you love to call me and Nanna on Facetime and that makes the distance seem not quite so far away. I love how you always take the phone and show me all your toys. I love it when you put the phone on the table and I get to watch you eat your supper.

The bigger you get…the more like your momma you become. Your strong-willed personality is in full display and I giggle every time you try and assert your dominance with your parents. It reminds me of the days when your momma would do that to me and I would think to myself — “I sure hope you have a little girl JUST LIKE YOU one day.” I’m convinced that your personality is going to help you be a success in whatever you do.

2020 has been an interesting year to say the least. It has made me think a great deal about what is really important in life. People can’t go to work or church and children aren’t able to go to school right now. It’s been pretty depressing! So I thought about what I might say to a 3-year-old that would help you (and Poppo) feel better about this crummy year. So…here’s three things this almost 58-year-old would like you (the 3-year-old) to know.

  1. Enjoy being 3! Seriously…if you feel like dropping down and taking a nap — DO IT! If you want a waffle and peanut butter for supper — DO IT! Grownups think way too much about working long hours and having to eat certain foods so we don’t get “too fat.” We struggle with stress and headaches and worries. We spend too much time worrying about what other people think. I often wish I could just say, “Hey…I’m going to eat a half-gallon of Blue Bell and take a nap. The work will be here when I wake up!” At 3, you can do that — so DO IT!
  2. Get messy! You want to jump in the mud puddle? DO IT! Somebody else is going to wash your clothes anyway. You want to spend the afternoon finger-painting? DO IT! Make a mess. As an adult, I’m way to concerned about keeping things clean and tidy. Making a mess is fun and it helps relieve stress.
  3. Work on your hand-eye coordination. I wish somebody had told me that at 3. If I had spent more time on that, maybe I could have succeeded at sports. Work on it now so you can play hockey or soccer or baseball or whatever you want to play!

Here’s my point PunkinDoodle. I don’t want you to get to 58-years-old and look back and wish you had done things differently. Enjoy life — every day, every minute. Treat your time as a gift, because that’s exactly what it is — it’s a gift from God. He has created everything (waffles, peanut butter, ice cream, mud puddles and sports) — and He created it to bring JOY to your life. So enjoy it. Make it a habit now to enjoy life and then grow that habit as you grow older.

I know 2020 hasn’t been what we might have wanted it to be, but we aren’t going to concentrate on the past. We are going to look to the future! God is in charge. The Bible says that God knows everything and He is in charge of everything. That means you and I don’t need to worry about that. Let Him take care of those things and we will just enjoy life — snuggles, reading, Rosie and ice cream. I’m going to try and do a better job of doing that myself. I’m going to try and take lessons from you, Benny, Hudson and Harper. Let’s have FUN. Let’s enjoy life and most of all let’s thank God for the time He is giving us.

From a 58-year-old to a 3-year-old — life is shorter than you think so make the most of the time God gives to you.

Remember this…no matter what happens in your life — Poppo and Nanna will ALWAYS love you — unconditionally. I may not always agree with the choices you make, but I will NEVER EVER stop loving you.

Happy birthday PunkinDoodle. Let’s go get some birthday DONUTS! We can do that and get away with it because IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY and YOU ARE 3!!!!!

Go Home and TELL Somebody!

“And He did not let him, but He said to him, ‘Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.'” (Mark 5:19)

This verse occurs at the end of the story about the demon possessed man from the land of the Gerasenes. You remember the story? This man was living in a graveyard and no one could control him — even with chains. When he saw Jesus, the demons who possessed the man confronted Jesus. Jesus sent the demons into a herd of pigs who immediately rushed down the hill into the sea and drowned. You see, there are just some things that even pigs don’t want to be associated with!

I want to call your attention to what happened AFTER the demoniac was healed. In Mark 5:18, the Bible says the now healed man “kept begging Him to be with Him.” He wanted to follow Jesus and go with Him wherever He went. Then comes our verse for today. Jesus basically said to him, “Nope, I want you to go home to your people and tell them what God has done in your life.”

I am convinced that the reason many Christians are not living in the joy that God intended for them is because they have never told anyone about the great things the Lord has done for them. We can never really be completely happy until we begin to witness to others — especially members of our own family. As a born-again, child of God, I want all my loved ones to meet the Savior and experience forgiveness of sins and have fellowship with Christ.

Our salvation cannot be fully enjoyed until and unless it is shared. We will be forever unhappy as long as a father or mother, brother or sister are not Christians.

I don’t know who wrote this, but I’ve saved it in my files for many years and it speaks to what I’m talking about today. It’s called “Forgive me God, I had no time.”

“The year slipped by and time was spent, and all the good things that I meant to do were left undone because…

I had no time to stop and pause; but rushed about, went here and there, did this and that, was everywhere. I had no time to meditate on things worthwhile. No time to wait upon the Lord and hear Him say, ‘Well done, My child, you have shown the way.’

And so I wonder, after all, when life is o’er and I am called to meet my Savior in the sky, where saints live on and never die, if I can find one soul I have won to Christ by some small deed I have done. Or will I hang my head and whine, ‘Forgive me, God, I had no time’?”

Stop buying all those self-help, pop-phychology, false-prophet books that tell you joy is found in obtaining more and more stuff you don’t need. Your “best life” is NOT NOW — unless you are lost. As a Christian, YOUR best life comes when we get to heaven and hear the words of our Savior — “Well done…good and faithful servant.” 

You want JOY? Then go home and tell somebody what the Lord has done for you!