You Are Special

You Are Special by Max Lucado introduced the world to the Wemmicks.  For those of you who don’t know these delightful kids’ stories, I shall summarize.  They are about a group of wooded people called the Wemmicks who all live in a village overlooked by a house on the hill where the a woodworker named Eli lives (Eli carved all the Wemmicks).  We follow one in particular named Punchinello as he struggles through his daily life.

This story is about Wemmicks who either give you a star or a dot, a star being they approve of you; a dot being otherwise.  Punchinello always receives dots so he’s depressed. He meets another Wemmick named Lucia who has no dots and he wonders why.  She tells him to go and see Eli.

Eli explains:  “I don’t care what the other Wemmicks think.  What they think doesn’t matter, Punchinello.  All that matters is what I think.  And I think you are pretty special.”

Punchinello says he doesn’t understand.

“You will,” Eli says.  “Just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care.  And remember you are special because I made you.  And I don’t make mistakes.”

It’s not hard to see the analogy to God here.

This is so what I needed to hear.  It doesn’t matter what others think (my concern with others judging my writing).  It only matters what God thinks and what God wants.  And if you come to Him, you will know and understand.

Powerful story brought to a kids level that even adults get life truths from.

“I Don’t Know What to Pray, Lord, But I Love You…”

Have you ever just been so overwhelmed with life’s events that this is all you can pray?

This has been my prayer for many days now.  I lay down at night and this is all that comes out.

Yet, somehow, I feel this is enough.  I don’t feel like anything else need be said.

God knows my heart.  He knows my thoughts.  He knows where I’m at right now in life’s journey.

And sometimes simple is better.

The Impudent Rooster

The Impudent Rooster is an adaptation of a traditional Romanian tale by Sabina Rascol.

Frustrated at being poor, an old man yells at his rooster one day for not laying eggs.  Crushed, the rooster leaves his best friend and master.

The rooster then finds a money pouch he desires to take back to his master so he can eat but along the way it’s stolen by a greedy nobleman.  The rooster enters a series of tests as the nobleman tries to rid himself of this impudent rooster.

In the end, the rooster succeeds at outsmarting the nobleman and ends up bringing back riches to his master.

The best part of this story is the emphasis on forgiveness:

“The old man asked the rooster’s forgiveness for his ill-tempered words, and the rooster rubbed his head against the old man’s hand.  He had long since forgiven his master.”

The old man uses his wealth in the end to provide for the poor and help others.

The pictures by Holly Berry are bright, cheery, and fun.

Wonderful, uplifting story kids (and adults) of all ages need to hear.

Stone Soup

Stone Soup by Jon J Muth illustrates beautifully what can happen when people work together.

It tells the tale of three monks who visit a town and are turned away by all when they knock on their door for charity.

So, they begin to cook stone soup in the middle of the town square.  The villagers, curious as to what they are doing, all begin to ask them questions.  Soon enough they are all pitching in items “needed” to make the soup better.

They have a huge town feast and everyone shares the town soup. The monks are lodged that night and the whole town turns out in the morning as they depart, saying “You have shown us that sharing makes us all richer.”

Great version of a timeless tale about sharing and working together to make something better.  Also, how something wonderful can be made from nothing.

Jon J Muth also wrote one of my favorite kids books, The Three Questions, which is the story of a boy trying to figure out the answer to three questions about life.

What Do You Do if You are Awakened by Your 200-lb Baby?

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

My chest suddenly felt weighed down.  I opened my eyes and didn’t see anything.  I moved my hand to rub the area that hurt and then I felt it:  fur.

Suddenly, the room lit up, a BOOM resounded in my ear, and hail was hitting the roof with a steady pounding.

I began to pet my 200-lb male English Mastiff who was lying across my chest and shivering in fear.

The room continued to be intermittently lit up.  Thunder roared. The rain continued.

I forced my dog off of me and he followed me into the kitchen where I have the best view of the night sky.  Yep, definitely a lightning storm.  The kind of lightning storm you only see once every 3-4 years.  Lightning was zig-zagging everywhere, lighting up the Heavens.  Thunder was almost constant.  Hail would mix with periods of just rain.

I went back to bed, my baby close behind.  He jumped back up, stepping on my foot in the process, and laid right next to me, his massive head on my side.

Then he jumped down, stepping over me once again and this time missing me somehow, and after a minute was back with his head in my face.

He jumped up again (after nuzzling me for a moment) and laid back down again.

This repeated itself for the entire length of the storm (about an hour).

I couldn’t yell at my poor dog.  After all, he didn’t understand.  I often wonder what goes through his mind when he hears those loud booms from Heaven.  I know he doesn’t have a concept of dying so it’s not that.  But what does drive him to seek me out? Maybe it’s like Chicken Little–The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!

Maybe it’s pure instinct; instinct that drives him to his leader and protector (me) when he’s scared, confused, or befuddled.

If he could, he would have climbed up into my body and cowered until he deemed it safe to emerge.

I did the only thing I could do:  tried to sleep in-between his antics.

Poor thing.  This is my dog whom we got at age 4 months from a breeder and when we got him he had a huge gash on his ear.  So, I’ve always inferred he was either abused or left outside with other dogs.  He’s also afraid of people.  Most find this amusing as he does weigh 200 pounds.

He’s a big dog with just a big of heart.  But you have to earn his love.  He stays away from everyone excepting those in his inner circle.

He’s a big lump of fur who’s precious when he’s scared and needs his mama.

Just like my other human babies.  But he’s my baby too.