Great or Small, We All Have a Purpose in Life

Have you ever encountered someone in your life that you hardly knew but have never forgotten? Several people come to my mind, but Mrs. Slack shines like a beacon above everyone else.

I was thirteen. She was thirty-something, pretty and kind and extremely shy. She came to church one Sunday wearing a yellow corsage. I told her how beautiful it was, never expecting her to take it off and pin it on me. But, in spite of my protests, that’s exactly what she did.

Tears still fill my eyes seeing her frail, trembling hands struggling to pin her beautiful flower onto my plain and simple dress. I can see her ashen face, her eyes shadowed with sorrow and pain . . . her small frame frail and weak.

 Mrs. Slack was dying of cancer. And as heart-broken as I felt for her and as much as I wanted to say the right thing . . . that magical something, a humble thank you is all I could muster.

What does an awkward, shy thirteen-year-old say to a dying young woman? What does she say to her husband and six small children?

I still don’t know.

Mrs. Slack died only weeks after pinning her beautiful corsage on me. I remember the sadness I felt and wondering what became of her grieving husband and how he was coping raising his children alone. Did he have help? Did he give them away?

There were no answers to my questions, only visions of a tall, thin, handsome, grief-stricken young  man with a family to raise without his beloved wife.

Today, nearly sixty years later, I don’t remember Mrs. Slack as a frail, dying young woman. I can’t even remember the sound of her voice or the words she said to me that day. I just remember her act of kindness and making a lonely troubled teen feel valued and appreciated. It’s as if God Himself had reached down and pinned that beautiful corsage on me.

Eventually, the corsage died and withered away. But Mrs. Slack will live forever in my heart.

Mrs. Slack taught me many things that day: To look beyond myself and see the needs of others and to see and hear with my heart and to trust God through the storms of life and to walk with strength and courage through the shadow of death.

To Mrs. Slack, it was just a yellow corsage. But to me, it was a humble act of kindness; a brave surrender to her life on earth. Rather than a dying young woman clutching her flowers to the grave, she freely gave them away to be treasured by the living.

So often I go through life questing God why I was born and how I can possibly be a blessing to others when at times my life is so emotionally screwed up. When I’m drowning in a sea of loneliness and depression. When I’m feeling like yesterday’s trash.

Then I think of  Mrs. Slack and the impact that her short life had on me and then I know. I know that with God’s help I can be a light on someone’s dark path even when I’m feeling lost and alone.

We all have a purpose in life no matter how long or short it may be or regardless of the struggles we face. We all have a corsage to pin on someone else without ever knowing the tremendous impact we have on their life.

But they will never forget.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Granny Turned Action Figure Hero


I’m always thinking about stuff like the good old days, the movie I watched last night, the devotional I read, some of the stupid things I did as a kid.

Today I was thinking about Brandon, my first grandchild and had to laugh because instead of calling me grandma or maw maw or any of the typical granny names, he called me Dee Dee. Maybe, because I was the youngest, in his mind I didn’t fit the typical granny image. Maybe He was confused about the role I played in his world, I don’t know. Whatever his reasons, he didn’t have an endearing, grandmotherly name for me. Just Dee Dee.

Brandon loved for me to tell him stories. In the car, at the mall, in the grocery store, on the porch swing . . . everywhere! All I’d hear is, “Tell me a story, Dee Dee! Tell me a story!”

Now, there’s just so many stories a granny can make up about the two of us riding on Mrs. Eagle’s back over the highest mountains or talking to Mr. Tree in the enchanted forest or creeping into a really dark, really spooky house looming deep in the woods. But if I didn’t come up with something he’d drive me crazy until I did. That’s the way it works for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet. 

His most favorite story was when the two of us teamed up with Voltron and battled all the bad guys. We’d wield our shiny swords, conjure up our magic powers and fight till the bitter end. Then, we’d crawl into a cave where we’d regroup and plan out our next sneak attack.

Suddenly, in Brandon’s eyes, Voltron was no longer a plastic action figure. Voltron was his hero, the one who came to his rescue, who bandaged his wounds and killed all the bad guys. Never again would I be just plain old Dee Dee. I was Immortal. I was invincible. I was Dee Dee Voltron!

And after all those stories I had to conjure up, and all those battles I had to fight, I earned that title and wore it well . . . at least in Brandon’s eyes.

Brandon’s now grown with three kids of his own. And, although he no longer begs me to tell him stories, he remembers them all so well. Sometimes I even catch him singing songs to his children that I once sang to him when I couldn’t think of any stories to make up.

To me, grand parenting is not about spoiling children rotten then sending them home. It’s about loving them. It’s about listening to them. It’s about getting eye ball to eye ball on your hands and knees in their little world with them. It’s about hugging and kissing them, holding them close to your beating heart and telling them how smart and brave and special they are. It’s about teaching them to love themselves just the way they are so that they can learn to love others the same way.

Parenting and grand parenting go hand in hand. We are our children’s foundation, their tribe, their school of knowledge and wisdom and understanding. They look up to us. They depend on us. They want and need guidance and protection from us. If we fail in those areas, we fail them. Our broken world is living proof of that.

So, regardless of what your grand-children call you, be the best grandparent you can possibly be. They may not always remember, but you will never forget.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6


Butterfly Story . . . our struggles make us stronger!


A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

–Author Unknown

Where Are Your Treasures Stored?

While pulling the garbage container up our long, narrow driveway, I pried my eyes open to see the unraked leaves, the cracks, the moss clinging to the edges, and the gradual chipping away due to heavy rains and poor drainage system. More reasons why I want to stick a for sale sign in the yard and let someone else deal with it.

Before buying this house, I asked my husband if he was sure he wanted this much yard to keep up. In spite of my doubts and trying to get him to envision us thirty years down the road, I couldn’t change his mind.

So, here we are, thirty years down the road, old and feeble and too weary to fulfill the constant demands of keeping up our house and the property it sits on.

Not that we haven’t done any renovations. A few years ago we had a metal roof and new windows installed. And last year, we took up the ratty old carpet and installed vinyl plank flooring. Just the two of us.

I like things neat and sparkling clean. When stuff breaks down, I want it fixed . . .  yesterday. I want a place for everything and everything in its place . . . all the time. No pealing paint. No crooked pictures on the wall. No cracks in the driveway.

But my neat and tidy little world has crumbled to the ground. Because I can no longer do the things I once could, I’m slowly losing control and my house is swiftly taking over. And that makes me very sad. Very angry. And very frustrated and depressed.

I never dreamed when we moved into this house that it would one day get the best of me. That today I would find myself tearfully longing to move into my brand new dream house and start over.

But my dream house will never be built on this earth. It’s being built in heaven by the Master Builder Himself. It will never get dirty. It will never need painting. It will never get old and dilapidated. It’s splendor will last forever.

So, I’m trying to focus more on eternal things in heaven and less on temporal things on earth. This house is not my maintenance-free-forever home. It’s just a little tent pitched in the wilderness and slowly fading into the sunset.

We all have certain expectations of what our lives should look like: the person we marry, the house we buy, the car we drive, the clothes we wear. And we work hard to have those things and sometimes cling to those things as if they were our greatest treasures. But those things are only temporal and can be taken away in the blink of an eye.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).

To see our renovations, click on the following links:









From Damnation to Redemption

The Cross

Sugar and spice and everything nice

That’s what Eve was made of

And placed in the Garden of beauty and charm

To bask in the warmth of God’s love

Then along came a serpent so charming and sweet

With a hellish mission in mind

To crush and destroy the apple of God’s eye

And to rob her trusting soul blind

How foolish was she that fateful day

When she ate from the forbidden tree

And lost the cloak of God’s righteousness

For all eternity

But even before He formed the clay

God had a plan for man-kind

To redeem and restore our broken souls

And give us life sublime

He sent to earth His only Son

To die on a rugged tree

To wash away sin’s ugly stain

And to set our spirits free

Mary’s Little Lamb

Straight from the Heart

Mary had a little Lamb

His heart was pure as gold

And everywhere that Mary went

Her Lamb was sure to go

Then before her very eyes

Her little Lamb grew up

The hour had come to make the climb

And drink His bitter cup

How Mary mourned for her little Lamb

She once cradled in her arms

And kissed away His hurts and fears

And protected Him from harm

But in her heart she always knew

Her Lamb was born to die

To save the wretched world from sin

And give it eternal life

~ Sandi

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