The Day Uncle Larry Became a Hero

All of a sudden, my two sisters and my brother were yelling wildly! I had no idea why. We were exploring the woods behind our house with Uncle Larry. He was only a little older than us, actually, but we all looked up to him. Whenever he came to visit, he told the most exciting, funny stories, and he was always ready for an adventure.

On this particular day, Mom had agreed to let us go on a hike with Uncle Larry leading the way. I was about 7 years old at the time. We had been traveling through the woods for a while, when suddenly we came upon a fallen tree blocking our path. There was no way around it. Uncle Larry easily scrambled over; then one by one, we followed his example. It was my turn, and I was only partly over when the others started yelling.

I looked all around to find out why, and then I saw it. It was a snake, and it was slithering right next to me! Before I knew what was happening, Uncle Larry grabbed that snake by the tail, whirled it around his head like a lasso, and threw it far away! I stared in amazement. We all did. He had rescued us all! We continued on our hike, afraid of nothing, because Uncle Larry, our hero, was with us.

Thinking back on this happy memory makes me glad that more memories are ahead, just waiting to be made. This past weekend, Mike and I had a bunch of adventures with our granddaughters. We went bear hunting, were chased by lions, and built a whole town with an ice cream store in it, all right in our house. What adventure will you have today? What memories will you make? As the message from Australia goes: Life. Be in it.

“Sing to God, sing praise to His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds – His name is the Lord – rejoice before Him.” Psalm 68:4

More memories are ahead, just waiting to be made.

Don’t Forget Your Please

The command came from the backseat, and it came in a rather whiny, demanding tone. “I don’t WANT music!”, exclaimed my 2 ½ year old granddaughter, Adina. We were driving to my house for a play day, and I had the radio on. I explained to her that we talk to each other in a nice way, because we love each other. “Don’t forget your please” is something that I remind both my granddaughters (and myself) at times.

This made me think of an extremely demanding patient I once cared for. Did I mention that I’m a nurse? Anyway, this particular patient kept requesting things in a brusque, rude manner. It seemed each time I entered the room, I was met with commands. I was thankful that his condition was improving, but honestly, this was getting tiresome. At one point after he made yet another demand, I automatically responded, “Don’t forget your please”. After laughing, I explained that I often babysit my granddaughters and that is what I say to remind them that good manners matter. After a moment of silence, my patient actually apologized. The rest of my shift that day became much more pleasant.

As for Adina, later that day I was humming when I heard her nicely ask me to “please turn the music off”. How she makes me laugh! The reason I share this is because we all have the opportunity every day to show kindness, even in the way we speak to each other. Even God exercises kindness! Kindness counts and really does make a difference.

“’…I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:24

  Kindness counts.

What is a Bebes?

Since you are reading this, I figured you might like to know who is writing it. If things had gone according to Grandad’s plan, I would be Jim. That didn’t happen. Jim (my little brother) did come along about 1 ½ years later, though. My mom was very pregnant with me, about 9 months’ worth, when Grandad said to her, “Well, I guess Jim will be here tomorrow.” Perhaps he thought that after two baby girls it was certain that this next baby would be a boy. Instead of Jim, they got me. Sarah Eileen Willis. That was my first name.  My next official name was and still is Sarah Eileen Riddle. I gained that by meeting and marrying the love of my life, Mike Riddle.

I’ve collected many more unofficial names along the way, as we all do. My latest name is Bebes (pronounced Beebees). This is the name given to me by my two sweet granddaughters. My older granddaughter, Senna, used to call me G-mom. Then Adina, her little sister came along. Somehow Adina pronounced G-mom as Bebes, and so that is me. Senna is the one who came up with the spelling. I love being their Bebes!

Each name we have carries its own significance. Each name characterizes a special part of our life – mom, daughter, friend, employee, co-worker, and on and on. I think that your name does not define you as much as you define your name. What are your names associated with? What do they make people think of? You determine that, and you can change it! As for me, I aim to be the best Bebes possible, making happy memories every chance I get.

“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10

Sweet Senna and Dear Adina, the joys I get to babysit.

Your name doesn’t define you as much as you define your name.