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We had the opportunity to visit with our daughter at our house this past weekend, who will soon be having a daughter of her very own. While she was here we happened to come across an old box with some of her papers from when she was younger that had something I had written about her when she was only about 3 or 4 years old. Here is the original paper I had hand written those so many years ago.
“She came into our lives as a blessing from above. So tiny, so beautiful. GOD blessed us with our little bundle of love. At first she barely crawled, and now look at her run. At first she could hardly talk. Now look at her; she hardly stops talking! Each day we grow to love her more. Thank you LORD for our little blessing. Thank you LORD for Valerie. Brown eyes, brown hair, and that special warm caring smile.
Each time I look at her, I hear GOD whispering in my ear. Be good to her, and raise her to learn of me. Teach her love, patience, kindness, goodness, mercy, forgiveness, and train her in the way she should go. Teach her right from wrong. Teach her to love others, to give unto others. Look at her now how big she is growing, changing every day. Thank you LORD for our gift from heaven above. May we love her and show her your ways each day. Thank you LORD for our Valerie.”
The picture above is of our daughter Valerie and her own grandfather, my wife’s dad. His name was “Papa” I can’t wait to have a photo taken with my own granddaughter. I know people say it often, but it does seem like only yesterday when our daughter was this age. As a matter of fact, it still seems like only yesterday that I was carrying her to her first bed to lay in after being born in the hospital. As the days pass, I pray that I will be able to be the grandfather that my granddaughter deserves me to be. I pray that I will be able to show her the right road to take too, and that we will have many good years together. If we are together, they can’t help but be good!
I promise again LORD that I will teach her just like I taught her own mother. I will teach her the road to take, right from wrong, to love others, and to give unto others….. and I promise you I will love her every single day!
According to Wikipedia, a paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, and sometimes provides an anticlimax.
Take a look at some of these and you can see what I mean….
– Change is inevitable except from a vending machine.
– A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
– You are never too old to learn something stupid.
– Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
– I used to be indecisive and now I’m not sure.
– Hospitality is making your guests feel like they’re at home even if you wish they were.
– The voices in my head may not be real; but, the have some good ideas!
– Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “if an emergency, notify:” I put DOCTOR.”
– Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
– You don’t need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
– I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
– Why does someone believe you when you say there are 4 billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?
– Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
– To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
“Once upon a time, there were four little girls, who had enough to eat and drink and wear, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents…. and yet they were not contented…. these girls…. made many excellent resolutions; but they… were constantly saying, “If we only had this,” or “If we could only do that”….So they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, and she said,, “When you feel discontented, think over your blessings, and be grateful.”
“They decided to try her advice, and soon were surprised to see how well off they were. One discovered that money couldn’t keep shame and sorrow out of rich people’s houses, another that she was a great deal happier with her youth. health, and good spirits than a certain fretful, feeble old lady, who couldn’t enjoy her comforts; a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to have to go begging for it; and the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior. So they agreed to stop complaining to enjoy the blessings already possessed.”
Written in the Book – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
True happiness is indeed something that comes from within and does not relate to what we have or don’t have. It relates to what we make of the day and the time we are given. I have found in my own life that I am happier when I choose to make the lives of others happier. Everything we have on this earth is a gift from GOD. The very breath we breathe is a gift.
This past weekend I was able to see my little grand baby on an ultra sound monitor at only 16 weeks old. The little baby is 4 1/2 inches long now and weighs in at a whopping 5 ounces. Yet, as small as our baby is – I saw tiny legs, arms, fingers, and toes moving around and legs kicking like a wild one already. Yes GOD breathes the very breath of life into each of us and what a precious gift a new life is. I am thankful, and happy I have lived long enough after my widow maker heart attack to be able to see my little grand baby before even coming out of the womb.
When I was youngster growing up on the south side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma we didn’t have much in the way of material things. My brother and I got school clothes once a year which consisted of 2 pairs of jeans, 2 shirts and 4 or 5 pairs of socks. That was supposed to last us the whole year. If we got holes in our jeans, Dad ironed on a patch or two to get us through until the next year. There were many days we went without lunch and breakfast simply because we didn’t have enough money to make it to the end of the week. I can remember being so hungry sometimes that I even thought about eating the crab grass in our front yard. Dad had an old Chevy that he paid $50 for that hardly ever ran. Not having much though didn’t seem to bother us. We were content with playing baseball, hide and seek, freeze tag, and enjoying time with our friends. Even if our stomachs were growling at us begging for food as we sat our desks in school, we were still happy for what we did have.
Sometimes when we start feeling down about ourselves, about what we don’t have, or how our life is going, it is best to start thinking about what we do have and in how many ways we have been blessed. It might be time to look for ways we can be a blessing to others who cross our path. That’s the path where true happiness can be found. It won’t be found covered up with things, but is waiting for you to find it where it’s been all along.
As a way of celebrating being a new grandpa this coming May I am giving away 8 of my ebooks for free for the next three days November 25th, 26th and 27th. Just click on the book link which takes you directly to Amazon and enjoy one or all of my books if you have not already picked up a copy. I hope they will help you in some meaningful way or make your children, or those you love laugh and smile. Of course any reviews would be appreciated.
They are available in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Blessing to you! I have been greatly blessed and I want to bless others. I can’t tell you how happy I am!
My wife Denise and I just found out we are going to be grandparents this summer. This has been the best Thanksgiving gift we could have ever received. GOD is great and we can’t wait to see the new little blessing that is on the way.
This is our first one on both sides of the family so I am sure the little one will get an avalanche of spoiling. I am not quite sure I can wait until summertime though! There are so many things running through my mind about what I want to tell, teach, and do with our new grand baby.
Whether it’s a girl, or whether it’s a boy it makes no difference to me. We are supposed to have some sort of a reveal party where that information, I guess is revealed? Something about blue or pink balloons popping out of a box. I know GOD has great things planned for this little one!
Someone asked me what I want to be called? I don’t know, but I have a few months to think about that one. I suppose I’ll be called whatever the grand baby ends up calling me. They say the grand babies end up calling the grand parents whatever the first one starts calling them. That’s what happened with our daughter too. Whatever happens, is fine with me.
We are looking forward to this new adventure in our lives. I am sure it will be a great ride!
The smell of fresh baby powder
The smile of a newborn baby
Mom seeing her daughter for the first time in her wedding dress
A dad seeing his son graduate from high school
A red rose in full bloom
Lush fresh-cut green grass
A baby’s first steps
Bright orange sunrises and purple sunsets
Rainbows after a rain
Letter from a friend
Breakfast in bed
A cat playing with a shoestring
Playing my favorite songs on the radio and singing along in the car
Eating a full plate of spaghetti with my favorite homemade sauce
Cherry cheese cake
Popcorn and a movie at home
Talking to old friends on the phone about our days of childhood
Going barefoot in the summertime
Jumping in the pool on the first day of summer and making a big splash with a cannonball
Someone who says thank you
Raindrops on an umbrella
Cloudy days that make me stop and think
Tears that heal and cleanse after it rains in life
Chocolate chip cookies
Flying kites on a sunny and windy day
Mexican food with lots of hot peppers
A day at the beach and feeling the cold sand squish between my toes in the heat of the day with gulls flying high above
Colored water fountains at night dancing to music
The smell of hot dogs, mustard, and relish at a baseball game
Hearing the announcer at a pro baseball game say “Let’s Play Ball”
Birds singing in the morning to each other
Closing my eyes and feeling the gentle warm breeze brush against my face as I hear the leaves of the trees rubbing against each other nearby
Seeing the pinpoints of bright light against GOD’s black blanket on a clear night
Blowing soap bubbles with an entire bottle of liquid soap to see how big I can make the bubbles
Spending time with my best friend
Salsa and chips
Hope of heaven and what is yet to come
A glass of cold ice tea on a hot humid day as droplets of moisture run down all along the outside of the glass
Reading a good book I love
Making someone else happy
Building a snowman and making angels in the snow
Listening to the waves crash along the shoreline at the beach and then wait for them to return with reinforcements
Sound of silence after someone has stated something of profound truth
Being alone if I want to be and with people if I want to be
Those moments of calm after a storm and just before
The learning that results in the storms of life
Knowing GOD is with us always and will never leave us or forsake us
Knowing the answer to a question
Relaxing after a long week
Today I had the pleasure of stopping in at a local Taco Bell here in Oklahoma for a quick lunch. I say pleasure because that’s exactly what it was! The whole experience today was superb.
When I first entered the door a gentleman welcomed me to Taco Bell. He was probably 19 or 20 years old, rather tall and had wire rim glasses on. “Welcome to Taco Bell” he said. I thought to myself – “wow”. That’s how every business should greet a customer that first enters the door. It’s nice to have a welcome mat thrown down for you. I then approached the counter area and he had the biggest grin on his face I have ever seen. It’s like he was welcoming me into his home.
He asked “How can I help you sir?” I told him I just wanted a bean burrito and a small Pepsi. He asked me if that would be all, and then told me how much my order would be. He then just blurted out to me. “I love my job”, “I love working for Taco Bell, especially with such nice customers like Mrs. Thomas who is here today too.” The lady next to me smiles. “What are you having today Mrs. Thomas?”, he asks. I pulled out some change and a few dollar bills and he inspects each piece of money in jest as he holds it up to the overhead lights and says, “Yep, it looks like it’s real money.” I just laughed and smiled at him. He completes my order and looks me square in the face and says – “My name is JT if you need anything else, just let me know okay?” He then said before I walked away “I love my job so much I think I am getting cavities from smiling so much.”
I filled up my Pepsi cup and had a seat in a booth nearby. Within a few minutes someone else called my name which JT had put on the order. As I approached the counter I noticed that JT had scooted from behind the counter and was busy in the seating area cleaning up a few tables. He still had that big smile on his face. Just then, another customer walked in the door and said “Hello JT , how’s it going?” Once again, he called the person by name and was very happy to see them.
I left Taco Bell today very happy myself. I was happy that I had met someone like JT that made me feel important. Will I come back to Taco Bell? You bet, and you can bet it will be the one where JT is working. We need more people in the world like JT. People that make us feel like they really want to help us and people who love their jobs. I have had way to many experiences with people behind the counters that act like they really just do not want to be there. It’s as if I am imposing on them in some way. It’s amazing what a sincere smile and a little kindness can do for others and for a business.
A little kindness goes a long way in this world. Thanks again JT for making my day!