Faithful Living: Appreciate God’s gifts

We’re rather nostalgic at the Klope house these days. With child number two preparing to move and our high school senior graduating in June, then moving away to attend college in the fall, there is a lot of sorting and packing going on. This week we ran across one of our all-time favorite children’s books: Fireman Small.

This is the book I read at bedtime in the early ‘90s to settle three little Klopes down. Must have read it a thousand times. Small is aptly named because he is height challenged but extremely good at fire rescue. He cares about each emergency situation and at the end of the book is honored by a public grateful for his dedication and skill.

While we all appreciate the message of tireless public service, it is the charming ordinariness of what Fireman Small does after each call that my kids remember, all these years later:

He pulls back into station number nine,

Walks upstairs one step at a time.

Closes the curtains, gets in bed

And pulls the covers over his head.

It’s the magic of children’s books. Their carefully penned words have the power to write themselves onto the hearts of readers, to be enjoyed at various times throughout our lives when life is busy and we need a way to relax and wind down, viewing life in simple and dignified ways as we go to sleep.

On a mission to find author Wong Herbert Yee and share my gratitude, I Googled and in one click found Mr. Yee. I read a charming bio he wrote about himself and liked him even more. I learned about the other books he’s written in recent years and how he enjoys spending time riding his bike and speaking in schools to early elementary-aged children.

How wonderful is that? I clicked on the link to his email and offered my small gift of gratitude.

It felt great to email Mr. Yee. I also made time to send a thought to Bellingham watercolorist Vicki Wickell. I have purchased two of her watercolors over the years, one most recently that hangs on a wall in my office right behind my computer screen. I wanted her to know that I daily gaze at her work with admiration, pleasure, and a bit of envy. Oh, to be able to paint. But how glad I am that this is God’s gift to her and I am able to share a small part of it. What she has done to harness her talents makes a difference in my life. She matters. Her art matters.

The wonderful giftings God has given each one of us—so colorful, so varied—are to be celebrated. Why not take time to express your gratitude as school and many activities come to a close? You will make a difference in someone’s life, perhaps at a time when they are needing a break and encouragement is welcomed. Then thank God for His artful ways, expressed in our life’s endeavors.

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