July 8, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

Some say life is like a roller coaster zooming full speed through loop-de-loops, up steep hills, then down and backward with herky jerks and lilting hills. And it can be. Often is, come to think of it. But I view life more like a game of football.

If you’re the offense, you control the game. Let’s say you’re the quarterback. You call the plays. You determine who’s open and able to catch what you throw their way. Or perhaps you hand what you carry to a teammate. You entrust valuable cargo to his sturdy grasp. You depend on him to carry it through a minefield of aggressors and across the goal line. Sometimes it takes several attempts to get where you aim to go. Sometimes you need to call an audible and change the play on the fly. You need referees to moderate sticky situations. You rely heavily on your pals to protect you. Yet often you’re knocked flat on your back. Sometimes you even lose your bearings or suffer injury. Some games find you victorious; others see you fail.

If you’re the defense, your job is to stop your opponent’s forward progress because their progress means your defeat. Whether you’re a solid, stable defensive tackle or a quick, fleet-footed cornerback, your goal is to keep the other team from achieving their goals, lest you meet destruction.

If you’re the ball, now that’s most like a roller coaster. You’re constantly tossed about, unstable. You may have direction but not always go the distance. Sometimes you’re fumbled, knocked around, fought over. For a while you head downfield one direction, then you’re handed over to the other team who runs you the opposite way. You’re kicked, batted, grabbed…held close, valued, celebrated. It’s a veritable storm of upheaval.

As rough and tumble as life’s game can be, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:7-9).

Be strong in the Lord. Remember He is on your side: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b). So call the audible, block the charge, catch the “hail Mary,” and run toward victory in Jesus.

Wavy Lines

June 7, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Jodi Whisenhunt –

Hemingway’s endearingly tragic infatuation with the sea was unavoidable given the parallels of its ebbs and flows with those of life. Not long ago I spent an entire week at the beach, and I developed a similar consuming respect.

Every day the water was different. One day, it was calm and soothing. The next, jellyfish swarmed. The day after, clear waves chopped. Our final day, rough storms threatened. I was cut by seashells, burned by the sun’s rays, stung by slimy, floating globs of “jelly,” and chased by tiny, translucent crabs. I shared a mother’s panic and prayers for her lost little boy and crumbled in tears of relief when he was found. I watched lightning spark the night sky and stars twinkle from afar. I was lulled to sleep by the steady breakers and laughed at by gulls.

Every day of life is different too. One day, everything flows easily and coherently. The next, nothing makes sense. The day after, choppy but fun! And, of course, some days are dark and dreary. Rejections wound my spirit. They cut, burn, sting, and pinch. Many times I have panicked and prayed over frustrations; others I have wept with joy of discovery. Every now and then, inspiration strikes with great electricity and incites my creative energy. At those moments, my jitters ease and my tensions release with a giggle.

After several days of yielding to the surf, my body adjusted to the habit, anticipating the next surge. I’d find myself swaying with the waves of the sea when I was standing on dry land. And so it is with life, a cohesive oscillation with God that in the end leaves me both exhausted and exhilarated.

And I rejoice that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

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.

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