Do Your Clock Wook?

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Recently I had the distinct privilege of caring for two of my daughter’s six foster children who call me Grandma. Heading into town to have some fun, in the car with me were two year-old Cody and four year-old Hannah.* They are true siblings and both very bright.

Hannah could not see the digital clock on my car dashboard and asked what the time was. I told her it was 9:42. We would get to the mall about the time the stores would open. About ten seconds later, she asked again about the time. I looked and responded again, “9:42,” thinking she didn’t hear me the first time.

She replied, “Do your clock wook?”

I laughed out loud, “Yes, darlin’ it works.”

I realized she had heard me and this precious child’s time frames are different than mine. Ten seconds to her computes to at least a minute or more and in her mind the clock should have changed.

Waiting is not fun. She was ready to get there, get out of the car seat, and enjoy herself in the mall.

How often have I wanted to ask God, “Do your clock wook?”

* not their real names.


Stay Calm and Do Your Best

Failed test

Tad* was upset. A quiet kid, he uttered no sound and bit his lip to maintain his composure. He had failed a test. The second one in as many weeks. Not used to that, it caught him off guard. He sat there, stunned.

I was heartbroken. Here is a kid who is as pure as the new-fallen snow, always gives his best, and looks dumb-founded when someone has the gall to be disrespectful or unkind. (He just doesn’t get why someone would act that way.) He is a well-rounded kid from a good home.

It was only a couple of minutes before the bell. I told the class to clean up. I didn’t want him to dwell on it. He quietly put his books away and adjusted his backpack.

When I dismissed the class, I motioned for him to stop by my desk and talk to me. Not really knowing what to say, I tried to encourage him by telling him that these tests were difficult. (Also, he tends to over-analyze questions and sometimes the answer is the obvious. He second-guesses himself and sometimes chooses the wrong answer.)

I assured him he would do better, and I would do all I could to help him achieve his goals. He smiled and thanked me. (What a great kid!) He asked me about the impact the test scores had had on his grade. I looked and told him he had a B in my class. His lip trembled again. He forced a smile, thanked me again and went to lunch.

The following Friday was mid-term progress report day. The grades had all been entered into the computer and reports printed. The last grade entered was the at-home reading grade for books they read at home and tested on at school. This grade was totally their responsibility.

As I handed out the progress reports to Tad’s class, I couldn’t wait to give him his. The reading grade had bumped him back up to an A. When I put the report on his desk, he looked at the grade, then at me. His face lit up like a Christmas tree. Made my day.

I said to him, “You did it. All that reading you did paid off! Well done!”

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Then he just smiled. A satisfied smile.

After the class left, it dawned on me. Tad never complained, never cast blame, spouted off, or any of the things I do when I fail. He did his best in the face of failure. He continued to do right, to give his all, even when he thought it wouldn’t matter.

On that day, he was the teacher and I, the student.

*not his real name

The You Others See

Fireweed in AK

Is this a picture of you?

Just a little bit of brightness in a vast sea

of cold, busy crowdedness?

You dress your best and scurry

around doing your job.

You blend into the scenery, pretty much.


That may be you from your perspective.

But for some people

you are…

Jackie's flowers in AK

A bright, beautiful, fragrant part of their day.

Don’t forget that.

Speak wisdom, hope, and encouragement to them.

You may be the only one who does.


Penicillin: Breakfast of Champions

Penicillin on a plateWoke up with an abscessed tooth. Pain and swelling. I’ve experienced this before. I know the feel, the look, the process. My first thought: Ain’t nobody got time for this! This does not fit into my plan, my schedule.

I swallowed acetaminophen and intended go to work anyway, but the increasing pain and one look in the mirror at the chipmunk-cheek now adorning the left side of my face nixed that idea. Dealing with 130 thirteen year-olds seemed overwhelming at that point.

After I called in for a substitute teacher, and proceeded to wait for the dentist office to open, I began to ruminate on my situation.

My pastor recently taught that life has distractions and interruptions. One way to tell the difference is that a distraction is a way to get us off course, sidetracked from God’s plan. An interruption is a way to keep us on track, following God’s plan.  God’s plan is to grow me to be the best I can be, so my question is: Where does an abscessed tooth fit in?  Is it a distraction or an interruption?

God often uses natural occurrences to teach a lesson or build our character, similar to an earthly father using a normal everyday occurance as a teachable moment, bringing up his child to be strong and successful. When I  find myself in a difficult situation, I have learned to avoid assuming the enemy of my soul had anything to do with it. Sometimes my situation is a direct result of a stupid decision I made. Other times it is a natural part of living on this planet, its elements taking a toll on my body or my possessions. Either way, might I grow from it? I say, “Yes.”

I release myself into Your hands, Lord, and when all is back to normal, I’ll be stronger and wiser. I hope.

…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭3-4‬ NKJV)

P.S.  Penicillin was prescribed, with a dental appointment scheduled.  I will relax and let it do it’s work. ( I hope it hurries, though.)  Yes, I still need patience.