Christian insprirational

Story of the Hummingbird

Hummingbird Story-Pot

Shared with me by Kori Guy

       This is a story-pot about how the hummingbird saved the humans. In the Navajo way, as told by my clan (To’ Aheed Lii’ni) there was a miss-use of powers by the humans that the Holy People gave them.  They were abusing their women, and abusing their children, and the use of the water that they were given to bless themselves with and a miss-use of spiritual gifts as well.

       Because of the Holy People’s discouragement towards the Humans, the Holy People decided to remove all water.  Soon there was a great draught, and Humans began to be sorry for their miss-use of the gifts the Holy People had given them and prayed for forgiveness, and for the return of the water.  Eagle heard them and tried to fly to the Sun to ask for water to be returned. As he tried to fly too close to the sun, Eagle got burned in the process, and being discouraged, sadly returned to Earth, unable to find the water.  Hummingbird was touched by Eagle’s attempt to help the humans, so she decided to do what she could.  Though she was so small, she knew about water and Rainbow Woman being the main bringer of water, and, though the trip seemed impossible, she wanted to help the Humans. After all, they planted and cultivated the flowers Hummingbird loved so much, and because the humans loved flowers, Hummingbird could see they had some good in them still.

Hummingbird went to Eagle, helped him heal, and in return, asked for help to ride to the Sun.  Maybe if they worked together, they could find the water and save the Humans.  So Eagle offered his back for Hummingbird to ride on, to save her strength, and to take her as far as he could. When they got close to the Sun, Hummingbird took off, flying as hard as she could.  She wanted to do this herself, and knew just what she needed to say to the Holy People to show them that the humans were worth saving.

       Hummingbird flew into the Rainbow, took on the colors of the rainbow dewdrops and talked to Rainbow Woman. She promised that as long as there were Humans, she would fly to them, reminding them of the beauty that was within each of them, by showing them the colors of the rainbow, how water was precious, and how even though Hummingbird was the smallest of all creatures,  she could do the impossible. 

        Hummingbird was charged with teaching Humans that miracles are possible if only they believe and act is if it is done.  Rainbow Woman loved Hummingbird for her valiant heart and great self-less love, so she gave Hummingbird the gift of water to take back to Humans. Hummingbird and Eagle flew back to Earth with the water, plunging the crystal back into the Earth where it belonged, and warned Humans to always be careful with how they used water.  They were told to keep it pure and use it only for the most precious of uses.  Ever since that time, Hummingbird and Eagle have always been special messengers for Humans, giving us life and hope  and a special connection to the Spirit World.  They also remind us that we are to take care of one another, showing love and thoughtfulness, so we don’t lose the water again.

       This help they can give us only if we learn to ask for help from them, and learn to listen to the answers.  So are we listening to the Holy People?

Ahe’hee’ (Thank you),

Kori Guy- Dine’ Woolchoo’n (Navajo Quilt),

www.koriguy.com, www.HeartlineRanch.com

P.O Box 287, Chiloquin, OR 97624, 541-887-9013

In a time when we are being taught to fear others on all levels who are different from us, I find myself in frustration and spiritual dispair. Then recently, I ran across this story I was given years ago by my dear friend and Sister in the Lord, Kori Guy, Navajo/Cherokee To’ Aheed Lii’ni (Where the Water FlowsTogether Clan). Kori wrote this story down and presented it to me along with the hummingbird pot. I have never forgotten it. I wept as I revisited this story, held this pot close to my heart and prayed, “Father can we please remember that we are all precious in your site and should be precious in the site of each other. Please turn us from our wicked me-ness and return us to a heart of loving as you love, caring for as you care for, and respecting because you love and care for us so deeply. May we dare to work for the good of all no matter how small we see ourselves. Amen”

Connect with me, Laura Padgett, on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

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The Next Right Step

“I’ve spent most of my life behind bars. Many people see me as hard and scary.  In some ways I guess I am. Others see me as an unfortunate member of society who fell on hard luck. Still others feel I’m just lazy and find life easier by living off taxpayers’ money in prison.  In all honesty, I can’t say I ever met anyone who woke up one day and decided it would be a blessing to spend part of their life in jail.

But for me it was a gift because it was there I became a believer in the risen Christ. Today I live in joy and hope. And I am free in more ways than I can count,” he said.

He was a member of our adult Sunday school class and up to this point no one knew of his past. That day, we were studying forgiveness and gratitude. It was then he chose to share his story.

“You see,” he told us, “as a kid I learned that stealing was okay and using whatever means I could to eat was just a matter of survival.”

No one in the room spoke. I hoped our silence would encourage him to continue speaking. It did.

“The first time I was in jail, I learned very little except how to stay alive and perfect my criminal techniques for when I got outside. I was young and hung on every word uttered by the seasoned offenders.”

He let the hush hang in the room. When he continued, it was his audience hanging on his every word.

 “The second time I was imprisoned, for the same type of crime, I was introduced to Jesus Christ and His forgiveness. As I studied and learned of His mercies and promise of a new way to live, I felt something I had never known – gratitude.

Every day when I awoke, I made my way across five feet of cold floor to the small stool and basin in my cell. I began to speak with each step. When I put my right foot down, I said ‘Thank’ and when I put my left foot down I uttered ‘You’.

Soon it became a ritual for me to walk with those two words in my mind and feet throughout my day.  ‘Thank you. Thank you.’

This simple act allowed me to weather the harsh prison environment until my release. And today when I get up, I still walk to the bathroom, in my small apartment, with those same steps of gratitude. “

I asked him how he finds life on the outside. He said most days are good, even though he has challenges and roadblocks because of his past decisions. He confessed that many times he is not sure what he needs to do, and is tempted to return to what he once knew as existence options.

“But,” he said, “One thing is for sure. When I remember the sacrifice Jesus made for me so I could live hopeful and free, I can’t help but start my day thanking and praising Him. I’m assured that no matter what or who I meet, if I walk in thankfulness, I’m taking the next right step.”           

Copyright January 2020 by Laura L. Padgett

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

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It is for everyone

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”

—Tom Bodett

šOne would think a seasoned member of Santa’s helpers, and captain of the Golden, Colorado Elves, could answer any Christmas-related question thrown her way. That was not the case this time, however. My inability to construct, let alone articulate, an answer was not because it was a difficult question. It was due to the setting, and what appeared to be the reason, behind the child’s query.

A few years ago, at Christmastime, my lieutenant elves and I were helping Santa in a church-based homeless shelter. We were attempting to keep the excited children in line while awaiting their one-on-one time with St. Nick. I was distracted from my duties by a tug at the bottom of my red and green tunic. A young boy, whose head came only to the middle of my five-foot frame, stood looking up at me. His twinkling brown eyes and wide, gap-toothed grin greeted me. He motioned for me to bring an elf ear closer to his mouth.

“Miss Elf, is Christmas for me too this year?”

His expectant expression punctured my soul. I was taken by surprise and trying to understand his need for clarification on this issue. I slowly raised up, hoping to buy time to come up with an appropriate answer. Somehow, a simple “yes” just didn’t seem to be enough.

“Yes. Yes, sweetest child,” I said. “Christmas is for everyone. And it’s especially for you this year.”

The twinkle in his eyes grew brighter as he received the answer. He nodded his head as if I had confirmed what he already knew and then moved in the direction of the big guy in red.

I was pretty sure there was a twinkle in my eyes as well. But my glimmer was due to tears bubbling up from a heart stung by his simple, sad question. I wondered how many times he had asked that question and what answers he may have received.

The boy and Santa were soon engaged in quiet, animated conversation. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him until I heard a soft voice in my left ear, “Thank you. May I give you a hug?”

I turned to face a woman in perhaps her mid-twenties. Her eyes were as misty as mine, but she was smiling much like the young man I had spoken with a few seconds earlier. Their similarities were unmistakable. I smiled and nodded my head. Her arms wrapped around me before I could blink. Then stepping back, she asked permission to tell me her story. I nodded again.

Her hand rested on my red, velvet-clad arm. “These last four years, my two children and I have lived on the streets after I ran from an abusive relationship, trying to keep us safe. In summer months we sleep under bridges. In winter we’re housed overnight in shelters, when there’s room for us.”

She dropped her head as she continued. “I never completed high school, you see. So I’ve only been able to find temporary and part-time work.”

When she looked back up, a smile accompanied the rest of her tale. “After I passed my GED a few weeks ago, I was accepted into a training program for a career I think will provide a livable income for us. This is the first real Christmas my children will remember. And at last I see light at the end of what has been a dark road for us. I have hope now for a brighter future. For the first time in years, I believe we will be okay.”

As she shared her journey, I gained an understanding into why her son asked the question. Having wrapped up his conference with Santa, her young child joined her. They moved to a table spread with roasted turkeys, hams, sweet potatoes, and a variety of freshly baked pies. The little guy pulled his mother toward the celebratory feast then stopped and turned to look at me. I smiled and winked at him. He smiled back, waved, and attempted a wink by blinking both eyes twice.

I left the church that night with elf bells jingling and pointed green shoes plodding along in a snow-covered parking lot. I thanked God for His mercies and for that little family. I felt gratitude for being able to witness that moment in their transitional season.

As I considered what had happened, I asked myself if I had ever really understood the true meaning of Christmas before then. Had I ever been such a close witness to hope offered to the hopeless? Had I ever really taken time from my busy schedule to observe others experiencing new life and another chance? Wasn’t that really what Christmas was supposed to be about?

While sitting in my car, under a city street light, I watched the snowflakes fall upon my windshield. I mulled over the numerous times I’d celebrated in decorated churches, sang carols, opened presents, and enjoyed delicious food. Yet, I could not remember ever feeling the peace and joy I unwrapped that night as I answered the simple question of a child who knows homelessness and street life firsthand but refuses to relinquish his precious sense of hopefulness.

I can honestly testify that in an old church, on a wintery Denver night, in the presence of a child-angel who relied on a secular elf to answer a sacred question, I was the recipient of the true Christmas blessing. I understood that every year, in the busyness of the worldly holiday season, there is one question that must never go unanswered: “Is the true promise of Christmas for me too this year?”

Even the Captain bows at the cradle of the King

This post originally appeared on my blog December of 2013. It also has been published by Chicken Soup for the Soul in one of their “Merry Christmas” editions. And it appears in my latest book, “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Short Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments.”

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

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Exacly as instructed

“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”

—Laura Ingalls Wilderš

“These years don’t last forever. When you look back, you’ll see I am right about that.” These words came from my friend and mentor, Dolores, when my small son and I were visiting her one afternoon.

Dolores’ children were grown and living their own lives when I met her. She taught hundreds of young people as an educator, prior to retiring. She was my “go-to” person for advice on how to parent, especially when the waters got deep or murky. I was never shy about asking Dolores for help when needed. She offered those words that day because I related events of the previous week that were particularly frustrating due to multiple power struggles with my three-year-old.

After listening to her advice, I said, “I know. Everyone says that. But honestly there are times when I’m so tired I feel like I could sleep until the middle of next year. I love my son more than anything in this world, but some days I just don’t know how to cope with the challenges, not to mention the exhaustion.” As I spoke those words I felt like anything but a candidate for “Mother of the Year.”

“We have all been there, Honey. Most parents have thought their kids would be small forever and they’d never be able to keep up with the stresses that accompany the joys of childrearing. I always found it best in the tough times to remain calm, pray, and keep a sense of humor. The sweet, funny things are among the biggest blessings in parenting, and in life,” she told me. “And most circumstances have a funny side you know.”

I sighed and thanked her for the wise counsel. I was comforted by knowing at least I wasn’t a bad parent who was losing control. I reasoned that perhaps I could try seeing life’s events with a little more humor. I had no idea I would be called upon to put this new approach into practice a few weeks after our conversation.

One day my son, Gabe, was following me around with continuous chatter and requests. It seemed like every other minute he called, “Mom, Mom?”

His dad was out of town and his grandmother was visiting for the day. Although he loved his grandparents, it was his mother’s attention he wanted that day.

It was a pleasant day filled with activities aimed at keeping a toddler busy. There were no power struggles or tantrums disrupting our time together. Still, about mid-afternoon, I began to feel weary. That’s when Gabe’s grandmother offered a suggestion. “Laura, why don’t you go enjoy a hot bath and relax? Sometimes you just need to do something for you and not feel guilty about it. Explain to Gabe that you’re going to be in the big bathroom for a little bit, but you are still close. He and I can take care of each other for that time.”

I agreed, swept Gabe onto my lap and explained, “Gabriel, Mom is going to take a bath. When I get out of the tub, we’ll help Grammy make dinner. Then we’ll all play later tonight. I’m going into the big bathroom now. I won’t be far away. And I need you to do something for me.”

He nodded his head with such enthusiasm I was encouraged to continue. “Now, for the time I’m in the bathroom, which is just going to be a little while, I need you to stay with Grammy. And you know how you like to call ‘Mom’ when you want me? Well, while in I’m in there I don’t want you calling ‘Mom’ okay?”

He smiled, nodded again, kissed my cheek, wiggled down from my lap, and went happily on his way with his favorite action figure. I smiled, feeling confident he took the instructions quite well. I was overjoyed, guilt-free, and already feeling renewed by the prospect of taking care of me.

I filled the bathtub with warm water and fragrant lavender bubbles. After pouring a steaming cup of herbal tea, I settled into what I thought would be a luscious half-hour without my little one requiring my attention. About ten minutes into my bliss I was marveling at how well my son was behaving. I knew Dolores had been right. A kind and clear explanation, while inwardly praying, was all that was needed.

Then I heard a knock on the bathroom door accompanied by Gabe’s little voice. “Laura, Laura, you still in there?”

I took a deep breath, submerged into the bubbles. Blew out all the air and came up laughing. The little guy literally followed my exact instructions. I could almost hear Dolores giggling.

Just a few short months before I wrote this story, my handsome, thirty-two-year-old son took a bride. He walked into a journey that will include new adventures and challenges. I don’t offer advice to him or his lovely wife other than to, on occasion, work in some words from my mentor and friend. “Keep a sense of humor. The sweet, funny things are among the biggest blessings in life. And almost all circumstances have a funny side.”

Like most mothers I often reflect on the fact that, indeed, the years flew by without me being conscious of how fast time was moving. While my son was growing up, I treasured my few small patches of alone time. But today, in a season where my life has an abundance of alone time, I rejoice when I answer a ringing telephone and hear, “Mom?”

I am posting this piece originally published on my blog several years ago, to honor my son on his 36th birthday. Happy Birthday Gabriel. This piece can also be found in my latest collection of short stories, “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Short Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments.”

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

The Wisdom of Youth

One of the biggest perks of being a professional author is that it has given me opportunity to mentor younger writers like my friend Esther Sexton. Earlier this year, Esther wrote a piece that I found wise beyond the years of the author. It is my great pleasure to feature Esther as a guest blogger today and to share her perspective on this timely topic as she celebrates her twelth birthday on November 28, 2019. Here, in her own words, Esther shares with us her perspective on God’s truth and the world’s.

Artwork by Esther Sexton

Trying to Fit In by Esther Sexton

Have you ever tried to fit in? I know I have, lots of times. I’ve tried with clothes, looks, shoes or accessories…and I can go on.

God says, in the Bible, that charm can fool you. Beauty fades, but a woman who has respect for the Lord should be praised. This means you can be as charming as you possibly can be, but the truth is that looks can be deceiving. He also says beauty fades and goes away. We will get old.

He says that a woman who has respect for the Lord should be praised and that won’t go away no matter how old you get, how charming you want to be, or are, because God won’t go away. That is the truth.

So, no matter how much you want to “fit in” it’s really best if you stand out. I know this is easier said than done. But either you can stand with the world (a.k.a. the crowd) and be judged by God. Or you can stand with God and be judged by the world.

All those worries about what to wear and how to wear it will be gone one day. The choice is yours. What will it be?

A note from Esther: I’m Esther. I’m almost twelve years old. I have been writing for almost four years. I love writing with my BFF Laura. I want to be a nurse practitioner when I grow up. If you want to know more about God, let me know.

Connect with me, Laura Padgett, on Twitter @lauraleepadgett or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Short Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

Some gave all

This entry is a repost of an entry originally done on my father’s birthday in February 2018. I repost it today as a way of honoring him and all of our brave men and women in uniform. We must never forget.


“He was  a hero you know.”

A stranger announced this while I sat at my father’s grave in Ft. Logan National Cemetery. It was Memorial Day Weekend. She was moving from grave to grave, placing small American flags in front of each headstone.

“Was he?” I asked.

She put a flag at my dad’s headstone, and then turned to face me.

“Why yes. All these men and women were heroes.” She swept an arm around the immediate vicinity.

“They paid a high price for our freedom. Some paid with their physical and
mental health; and some with their lives. We must never forget or dishonor
their sacrifices, or that of their families,” she said as she resumed her
journey.

I stared at my father’s tombstone. I hadn’t made many visits to this site
during the forty plus years since his passing. When I did visit, it was out of
obligation. Over the years, I practiced keeping thoughts and feelings about my dad far from my mind. That morning, however, I felt compelled to make an appearance at the cemetery.

“Here we go, water for the flowers and a screwdriver to dig out the metal
vase.” My husband, Keith, had dropped me at the graveside, parked the car and brought the necessary equipment to decorate the grave.

“What’s wrong?” Keith asked when I made no acknowledgement of his return.

“I thought you wanted to come here today.”

“I thought I did too. But when I got here, all the old feelings of resentment and fear of this man I barely knew came flooding back. Then some
woman in a red dress declared him a hero,” I snorted.

Keith went about adorning the grave with multi-colored irises. I watched him in silence until he finished.

“Do you want to go now?” he asked.

“No, I want to just sit here for a few minutes.”

It was a warm day with a slight breeze moving shadows of leaves from the
massive tree that grew a few feet from my father’s grave. I watched the lady in red walking among graves and placing flags. I thought about what she said, wondered why she spoke to me and how she knew anything about my father. I didn’t even know very much about him.

“Maybe it was a mistake to come here, Keith. I didn’t know much about this
man other than he had a bad temper that erupted at the slightest provocation.”

I directed my remarks to my husband but kept my eyes on the grave.

“Maybe you just don’t remember the good things about him. Maybe it’s time
you stopped hating your father and made peace with the past. What did she say?”

He nodded in the direction of the red-clad stranger.

“She said these men and women sacrificed their health, even mental health…” I trailed off and grasped.

“Where did your dad serve, Laura?”

I whispered the answer as I let out my breath. “Northern Africa. He was a
munitions expert on the front lines. He always said his hearing wasn’t right
because of explosions and yells from his fellow soldiers that were injured or…” again words failed me.

“Keith, do you think my dad had PTSD and that was why he had such erratic
and violent outbursts? I know he died from a service-connected disability in
his fifties, after decades of suffering. But do you think what they once called
“shell shock” was the major factor in Papa’s mental instability?”

“I don’t know, Honey. I think it’s very likely. What else to you remember
about him, besides his temper? Papa. Is that what you called him?” Keith asked. I nodded.

I sat for several minutes allowing the warm breeze and sunshine breaking
through the tree’s shelter to form a safe place for unpacking memories. I shook my head to clear almost fifty years of mental cobwebs laced with resentment.

“Well, he had a great sense of humor and quick wit. He loved music and Ed
Sullivan. He fancied himself quite the dancer. He and my mother went dancing a lot at the old Elitch’s Tracadero Ballroom. They won quite a few contests, you know. He was passionate about gardening too and particularly loved his trees and flowers.”

“He loved baseball and even though he completed school only through the
fifth grade, he had a photographic memory that allowed him to tell you who won most World Series contests and who was on the pitching mound at the time. One of his happiest days was when he could afford to take his family to see the New York Yankees play an exhibition game at Mile High Stadium. All his favorites were there – Mickey Mantle, Roger Marris and Yogi Berra. Papa smiled and stuck his chest out like those men were his personal friends.”

For the next two hours, we sat under the big tree as shadows shifted on and
around us while I told Keith about my dad. I alternated laughter with tears and silence until I realized why I felt compelled to visit his grave.

Keith was right. It was time to begin the healing and understand that my
father was not an angry, brutal monster. He had something no one diagnosed in those days – one of the effects of war – PTSD. He had no way of understanding or controlling it. As we strolled through my childhood there were as many, or more, good memories than bad. Those memories were buried under years of anger,  resentment, lack of understanding and even unprocessed grief.

As evening approached Keith reminded me we had a dinner commitment. I
reluctantly agreed to leave, but not before cleaning off my father’s headstone and rearranging the irises. I stood for a few minutes searching the massive cemetery for the lady in red but couldn’t spot her.

“Keith, did I tell you Papa’s favorite flower was the iris? He grew them you
know.”

“No I didn’t know that, Laura. “ Keith took my hand and with tenderness,
guided me toward the car. I turned to look back at the grave of Albert
Carvallo, Tech 5 U.S. Army WWII Veteran. Through tears of new-found recognition, I thanked him for the gift of my freedom that cost him his sanity, his health and ultimately his life. For the first time, I saw my father as a true war hero.

I’ve since cried many tears of loss and released my resentment toward my
dad. I’ve processed where our country would be without the brave men and women in uniform who selflessly sacrifice to protect and defend our freedom. And I’ve acknowledged that even from his grave that day, Papa gave me a new kind of freedom – that only found in the reconciliation of forgiveness.

There are still many things I don’t and probably will never know about the
man I called, “Papa.” This I know for sure: future visits to the final resting place of my father will no longer be out of obligation.

Original post February 2018. Repost November 2019

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

No Two Alike

“What shall I get them, Lord? I want to take something home that will be important to them for a long time.”

I repeated this question at every port we stopped at during our cruise in the Baltic Sea. I ruled out toys as they would grow out of those. I could not see getting books in languages they don’t speak or read. Some of the clothing would be nice but again not long-lasting. So I searched at every shop, even the tourist traps, along my journey.

The two precious young ladies I was shopping for are my granddaughter, Sophia, in Wisconsin and my friend/mentee/mentor Esther who lives near my home in the Denver suburbs.

Then in Helsinki, Finland I found my answer. Beautiful scarves that could serve as fashion accessories for a long time. But now a new question, “Which color?” There were so many to pick from – blue, pink, purple, wine, yellow or a combination of colors.

“Keith, which one do you think they will like?” I asked my husband.

“Are you getting them the same one?” he asked me.

“Yes, I would like them to have scarves just alike. But I can’t find two that match identically.”

We continued looking through the scarves as the shop clerk ran back and forth to the stock room in search of two scarves that matched. No luck. Some were similar but not exactly alike. The shopkeeper told us that often the crafters who make the scarves enjoy making diverse garments.

Then it occurred to me, these two young ladies are similar in many ways, but not exactly alike. Was God telling me something? He does not make two people exactly alike so why was I trying to find something that would be identical for the girls? He too enjoys creating and celebrating diversity. Each of God’s children is created from a unique model. And He loves all of us equally.

“Do you think they will like the blue ones or the mauve ones or the…?” I started.

“I think they will be pleased if you pick out something that you like. Then the scarves will remind them of who you are. And when they wear them, they will be reminded of you and how much they mean to you.” The wise and gentle words of my husband answered the incomplete question.

I settled on two scarves with the colors wine, purple and mauve in a delicate but sturdy lacey pattern – similar but not identical.

I pondered Keith’s words as we left the shop and thought that it would be great if when each girl wore the scarf she would remember me and how fond I am of her.

Then I asked God if He could arrange for them to meet someday and wear their scarves to show each other. And maybe, if I am not still on this earth, they will reflect on who I was in this world and in their lives.

On the bus ride back from the shops, I caressed each scarf and ran my hand over the fine workmanship of each garment.

“Do you think they’ll like them Keith?” I asked.

He took my hand, kissed my fingers and said, “Yes. I think they will love them.”

Now all that was left was to deliver the scarves wrapped in love.

Connect with me, Laura Padgett, on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Short Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.