Stuck Like Glue

March 18, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

I should not be allowed anywhere near Superglue. Remember the old TV commercial where the construction worker hangs by his hardhat from a support beam? That could so be me.

OK, so I was opening a new tube of Superglue the other day. My son had stepped on his Nintendo Gameboy and had broken off a piece of plastic. Supermom to the rescue, right? Sure.

Anyway, as I said, it was a new tube. That means you have to unscrew the lid, turn the pointy nozzle around, and jab it into the seal. Simple.

I managed steps one and two alright, but the seal refused to puncture. I jabbed and forced and contorted the tube all around until finally, clear, sticky gel oozed out. And oozed some more. And some more. I tried to catch it on a piece of cardboard, intending to then dip toothpicks for my fine, crafty Nintendo repair. But the ooze kept spewing out of the tube.

I tried to screw the nozzle back on, but gel squirted out around the edges and ran down the side. Keep in mind this is happening in a matter of seconds. So I got the lid in place and tossed the thing in the trash.

Except that it didn’t let go.

No, the tube was stuck to my forefinger and thumb. And my forefinger and thumb were secured to the middle and ring fingers. And the fingernails on the opposite hand were freshly coated with a new layer of nail strengthener.

I was tempted to panic but instead remembered my pediatrician’s warning that cooking oil dissolves Superglue. You see, two of my kids have had cuts sealed with glue instead of with stitches, so the doctor had told me to keep the glued area clear of oils. Time to ignore the doctor’s orders!

I pried open the olive oil and drenched my fingers over the sink. I rubbed and wiggled and scraped myself to freedom, then washed away the residue. The menacing tube dared me to touch it. It knew my fear as it challenged from the counter. In one fell swoop, I tore off a paper towel, scooped up the glue, and dropped both into the waste bin.

Ah, sweet freedom!

I think it may be what Jesus had in mind when He said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you…remain in the vine…remain in me…I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:4-5). Except that the opposite effect occurs. If I remain in Superglue, I can do nothing. However, if I remain in Christ, I can do all things. I am going to stick to Him like glue.

And I think maybe Duct tape will work fine on the Gameboy.

Pull the Wool Over Your Eyes

February 27, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

I relieved the nursery caregiver during the children’s naptime. For a few minutes, I rocked beside a little girl asleep on her mat. I glanced down to see one little eye peeking up at me. The other opened, and together they blinked away dazed confusion.

I smiled and kept rocking. The little girl’s eyelids heavied. She pulled her blanket up over her eyes, and returned to peaceful slumber.

I’ve done that before. I’ve believed, “If I can’t see the monster, it’s not really there!” And I have closed my mind to scary possibilities, believing if I shut my eyes and squeeze them tight, the danger disappears.

If I can’t see the monster, it’s not really there!

Obviously, in real danger, that way of thinking doesn’t work, but when it comes to writing for publication, it’s a downright good idea. Many times I’ve been on a roll, writing pages and pages and pages, when into my subconscious creeps a great big, ugly monster: Fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of acceptance. Fear of insignificance. Fear of importance. A dichotomy of desire and doubt that halts my progress and tempts me to hit DELETE.

Fear. In its grasp, a victim is paralyzed, bound by deception, held captive by miscues. Fear prohibits success.

So I close my eyes to the monster. Because you know what? It’s not really there! Fear is a perception. It’s an emotion. It’s a deceiver. It’s Satan’s trick to prevent me from accomplishing God’s goals. If I let fear scare me into quitting, I will make no impact on the world at all. I will not “go into all the world and make disciples” with my writing. I will not be a “good and faithful servant.” I will be serving the wrong master.

Next time that big, ugly Fear monster creeps up on you, do what I do. Go ahead and pull the wool up over your eyes!

Remember these words of the Lord and know there is nothing to fear:
I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish (Isaiah 41:9-11, NIV).

 

Yes, I Homeschool

December 22, 2019 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

I homeschool. OK, that’s not the funny part of this column. Then again, maybe it is!

I’ve been at this task since 2000, so you can say I’m no newbie. We’ve done many silly things in the name of learning. We’ve studied entomology while pulling weeds from the garden. We’ve made breadstick numbers to go with dinner. We’ve learned about the water cycle when filling the pool (again). But I never cease to be amazed at the crazy ways people object to what we do.

  • “Your kids won’t know how to socialize.”
  • “You kids will miss out on proms, football games, and dating.”
  • “Your kids won’t know how to stand in line.”
  • “Your kids won’t know to raise their hand to speak.”
  • “Your kids will be with you all day long.”

My children have never had trouble making friends or maintaining friendships. They hang out with kids of varying ages, even with some who go to regular school. Weird, huh?

My teen has attended Homecoming. There are area homeschool proms. We have several large athletic organizations where we live. In fact, the HSAA (Home School Athletic Association) Dallas Angels Varsity baseball team won the national Home School World Series this past spring!

Dating varies by family, of course, but my son does have an active social life. He is also a leader in his church youth group and writes his own devotional blog for teens, with some posts directed specifically at dating and relationship topics.

I’m really not sure the relevance of learning to stand in line or to raise your hand to speak, but I’m pretty confident that if my kids were in a situation that required either of those activities, they’d be able to follow the rules.

Now, as for my kids being with me all day long…why is that a bad thing? A well-meaning neighbor whose kids attend public school (and who thinks summer break is excruciatingly long) told me, “I don’t know how you homeschool and stay home with your kids 24/7!” One time all three of my children caught swine flu on a week we were to have a family gathering. When I called to cancel plans with my sister-in-law, whose kids attend private school, she said, “It’s weird how y’all caught that. You homeschool!”

Um, we do leave the house. We do go out into the world. We do take classes. We attend coops, museums, performances. We—gasp—grocery shop! We even eat out and vacation too. Some of that is done together, and yes, some is done apart. We look upon the time we have together as priceless, precious moments. My husband and I choose to be the ones to guide our children into adulthood, to be the ones responsible for their upbringing. We choose to fulfill our God-given duty to “train a child in the way he should go.” And we also choose to continue to walk this path as long as the Lord allows.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And this is how.

I Don’t Want to Get Married!

November 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

My niece Chelsea will marry the love of her life on August 14, 2011. Chelsea was barely an adult when she and Rob met. He was more mature, with a bit more life experience. The couple dated a few months and sought the blessing of Chelsea’s parents before growing their relationship. Wonderful, loving ties have been established, and together they are planting a firm foundation for marriage.

Chelsea has asked all three of my children to participate in the ceremony. My eldest will usher, my daughter will scatter flower petals, and my youngest will bear the rings. The thought of Chelsea wedding warms my soul…and makes me feel really old! Chelsea was my flower girl back in 1993.

Back then, she was cute and confident (still is!). She said at the time that it was she who was getting married. After all, she was wearing a beautiful gown and walking down the aisle on the arm of a handsome young man donning a tuxedo. It would have been alright, except that right before they headed toward the alter, my ring bearer announced, “I don’t want to get married!”

I suppose the breakup was all for the best.

The Bible tells us that when a man and a woman marry, two become one. Seems like a crazy math problem: 1+1=1? But sometimes God’s wisdom makes more sense than it appears on the surface.

Genesis 2:24 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” For what reason? Eve was made from a rib taken from Adam; a marriage reconnects what had been separated.

As the 14th of August approaches, my prayer for my niece and almost nephew-in-law is a simple one. I pray that as they unite in this special bond, that they will be unified as one in Christ, that they would always place Him in proper position above all else—especially above each other and above their own desires. For it is only what God has joined together that “no man can put asunder.”

You Are Here

October 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

A woman approached a Cast Member at Walt Disney World’s Epcot with a map of Seaworld. (You see where this is going, don’t you?) She happened to be standing just under the monorail there and asked where to get on it to get to, yes, Epcot.

The Cast Member was tempted to tell the woman to close her eyes, click her heels three times and say, “There’s no place like Epcot,” and POOF she would be there, but instead she chose to replace the woman’s map, turn her around and let her know, “You are here.”

I get the feeling the visitor likely thanked her host profusely and was relieved she didn’t have to walk much further. I have been to Walt Disney World many times, and my feet sing praise and hallelujah when I let them take a break! It’s been estimated that Park Guests walk an average of 8 to 10 miles per day, per Park, and there are four separate Parks on the property. With Epcot’s World Showcase being more than a mile long itself, I’m thinking that’s a low estimate. Walt Disney World is called The Most Magical Place on Earth. As wonderful as it is, though, by the end of a week’s stay, it can become The Most Exhausting Place on Earth. Perhaps this woman was hoping the monorail meandered throughout Epcot. Now there’s a suggestion I should pitch to Disney!

Have you ever stood right in the middle of God’s will yet not recognized you were at your destination? Where the settings were right but looked all wrong? Or have you ever arrived at a station in life, worn and weary from the journey, holding a map to a different destiny? Have you ever asked God for direction only to hear Him say, “You are here”?

It’s times like those when we find we do not have as much control over this life as we thought we had. It’s times like those when we learn our best laid plans can still be trumped by God’s Master Plan. It’s times like those when we realize the Lord ordains each step we take, and He has “plans to prosper [us] and not to harm [us], plans to give [us] hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I read of a man who was gravely ill and hospitalized. In extreme pain he beckoned the nurse to his side. She checked his vitals, adjusted tubes, fluffed his pillow, and said, “I bet you wish you were somewhere else.”

He replied, “No, not at all.”

The nurse thought surely the man’s mind had failed and reached to page the psych ward when the patient explained, “If this is where God wants me, then here I should remain.”

Next time you think you may be off the grid, stop and pray the Lord will “Direct [you] in the path of [His] command, for there [you will] find delight” (Psalm 119:35). Then open your eyes to see you are right where God wants you: You are here.

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