Tag Archives: Christmas

Lessons Learned from Adele


spilled milkThis is Adele. She is the daughter of my friends Adam and Emily and she is also Graham’s little sister. Adele is a beautiful child. She has big brown eyes and a happy smile on her face most of the time. Her mom posted this picture on Facebook this morning, the post was titled “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk.” I laughed out loud and immediately asked Emily for permission to use it on the Pensees blog.

Look closely at the photo. I learned several lessons as I giggled at Adele’s predicament.

Lesson One: Let your child learn lessons on her own, even if you have to clean up their messes while they are young. Mess ups are more expensive when they are teenagers.

Lesson Two:  Look over by the door, there is a neat mat with children’s shoes that are removed. Excellent habits are encouraged by parents but seldom is perfection achieved.

Lesson Three: See the puddle of milk behind her, it didn’t take her long to realize that she blew it. She went looking for help. When children mess up they know it, they are looking for understanding not ridicule.

Lesson Four: Notice she is still holding the cup. Don’t let your child hold on to  evidence of the failure and don’t bring it up their entire life. Encourage them to let go of the mistake. Allow them to forget. Lavish them with your love and mercy. There is not a person in the world who makes only one mistake in their life. Everyone needs a do over from time to time.

Lesson Five: Don’t cry over spilled milk. Unless Adele gets on her knees and licks up the milk there is no way to change the circumstance. Emily can’t get the milk back in the cup, even if she wrings out the shirt. Why not simply say, “Oooopppsss, it’s okay.”

Lesson Six: Knowing my friends Adam and Emily, I am sure they quickly cleaned her up and gave her more milk. Restoring her quickly and gently will change her view of mistakes. Restoration rebuilds healthy self-esteem and frees the child from a fear of failure.

As adults we mess up, too. But we have a heavenly Father who meets us in the middle of the messy parts of life. This is January 1, 2014. Let’s learn from Adele and from God’s Word. Nehemiah 9:31, speaks of God’s character and care of His people, “But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.” Don’t cry over spilled milk this year. Move on and do like Adele pour yourself another cup and simply start over.


Start Over


Remember me?  I’m back and I look forward to spending 2012 with you! Happy New Year! Or is it? 

When we were last together, we were getting ready for Christmas 2011 and now it’s long gone. We survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Hopefully you survived Blue Monday.

If you don’t know about Blue Monday, it’s the third Monday in January and it ‘s known to be the saddest bluest day of the year.  Why? Psychologists say Christmas is over and about the time the decorations and tree come down, the Christmas bills start piling up.  The days are short, there is less sunshine and Spring is still weeks away. I guess to sum it up, “Reality Bites.”

Maybe you find yourself a little down this month. Things aren’t going the way you had hoped for 2012 and we are only three weeks into the year. Maybe you’ve already broken your New Year’s resolution and your daily reality really hasn’t changed.

I want to “share” something with you that my friend Karen B. read for several years to her large BSF class in Tulsa.  The first class day in January she encouraged us with this poem. I don’t know who gets the credit for writing it. So for now, I will say Miss Anony Mous wrote it. I know it will encourage you, too!  Thanks Karen B.!


When you’ve trusted Jesus and walked His way,

When you’ve felt His hand lead you day by day,

But your steps now take you another way,

Start over.

When you’ve made your plans and they’ve gone awry,

When you’ve tried your best ’till there’s no more try,

When you’ve failed yourself and you don’t know why,

Start over.

When you’ve told your friends what you plan to do,

When you’ve trusted them but they didn’t come through,

Now you’re all alone and it’s up to you,

Start over.

When you’ve failed your kids and they’re grown and gone,

When you’ve done your best but it turned out wrong,

And now your grandchildren have come along,

Start over.

When you’ve prayed to God so you’ll know His will,

When you’ve prayed and prayed but you don’t know still,

When you want to stop ’cause you’ve had your fill,

Start over.

When you think you’re finished and want to quit,

When you’ve bottomed out of life’s deepest pit,

When you’ve tried and tried to get out of it,

Start over.

When the year’s been long and successes few,

When December comes and you’re feeling blue,

God gives a January just so you’ll,

Start over.

Starting over means victories won,

Starting over means a race well run,

Starting over means the Lord’s “well done”

…so don’t just sit there, start over.

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Can Christmas Be Found in a Box of Chocolate Covered Cherries?


I pray this story from my life will touch and change your life. Hallmark could say it better but please accept my words as your Christmas card this year. Merry Christmas!


While I have received wonderful Christmas presents in the past, there have been several gifts I will never forget. This week I walked through the local drugstore and I saw a box of chocolate covered cherries. That box took me back to a time when I first learned the meaning of Christmas.

When I was in 7th grade, there was a tall, African-American girl who sat behind me in home room class. She was the star basketball player on the Jr. High team. Her name was Sybil and she lived with her grandmother in one of the smallest houses in the poorest section of town. Other girls whispered about her and I overheard that she had already had a baby.  Sybil smelled of grease and wood smoke. Her clothes were threadbare and her shoes had holes. Each day when she arrived we said hello and smiled at one another. I was a small, quiet, studious girl and definitely not one in the popular crowd. She was shy like me so we didn’t really talk.

The last day of school before Christmas break,  I noticed other kids were exchanging gifts with their friends but I wasn’t one of them. Sybil came to home room class with a small gift in her hand. It was simply wrapped and topped with a stick on bow. I thought to myself, “I am so glad poor Sybil has a friend to exchange a gift with.” But she walked past everyone else and stopped at my desk. She put the box on my desktop and said, “I got you a Christmas present.”

Of course I was caught so off-guard I asked, “why?” She said, “Because you’re my friend.” She made me open the gift and it was a box of chocolate covered cherries! Sybil and I sat right there in home room, right in front of everyone and shared that delicious box of candy. We ate every piece. She smiled and smiled as she bit off the tops, sucked out the juice, picked out the cream and then chewed up the cherry. We had our own private Christmas celebration!

I can’t imagine how much she and her family sacrificed to buy the candy. I can’t figure out how or why the Lord put Sybil and me on a collision course that led us to an unexpected friendship.  But this much I did figure out, Christmas can be found in a box of chocolate covered cherries.

In what unexpected places will you find Christmas this year? 

Heavenly Father,  give us unexpected joy in unexpected places this Christmas. Slow us down and enlighten us so we might find and experience the true meaning of Christmas. In Jesus Name, Amen   John 1:9, John 1:14 and Matthew 1:21