Tell Me a Story about … a Flashlight

Every child remembers his first flashlight. His thoughts may have gone something like this: How long do batteries last? How bright will it shine in my bedroom? I can read in the dark after I go to bed! Mom won’t see the light if I hide under the covers! How long do batteries last?6-11-18 Main

Although I don’t recall many different flashlights when I was young, today’s stores abound with them. Pink ones to delight a little girl’s heart. Camouflage for hunters. Some connect to keychains to shine on locks at night, and some include flashers to signal emergencies.

As for uses, giving light in the dark remains most important. Who wants to bump into walls and furniture while navigating at night to the bathroom?

And what about flashlight tag? What fun to stay up after dark, make sure our flashlights have fresh batteries, step outside, and turn off all other forms of light. Then, we walk quietly to hide—not running as in normal tag—while the person who is “it” listens. When she hears a noise, she switches on her flashlight and tries to catch another player in its beam.

However, my favorite memories come from spotting deer on vacation—driving back roads after dark, shining your spotlight over fields and deep into forests to catch unsuspecting deer. Mom sat in the passenger seat and used the regular spotlight plugged into the cigarette lighter. On the driver’s side, Dad used the power from his heavy, 4-cell, silver flashlight to spot his side. (Don’t worry, he was only driving five m.p.h. on dirt roads!)

Sometimes, Dad relinquished the flashlight to my brothers or me, sparking wars over which side we’d sit on each night: the passenger’s to maybe use the real spotlight or the driver’s side and get the chance to use Dad’s silver flashlight. And woe to the one who wound up in the middle seat!

I can still f6-11-18 Aeel the steely cold of that flashlight as Dad handed it to me and the chill from the rush of wind as I wound down my window. It took two hands to steady it while sticking it out the window to shine into the woods or fields. And what joy to spot a deer and shout, “There’s one!”

Although Dad told us not to waste our batteries, we tried to use our own flashlights to penetrate the darkness, but their beams only reached the edge of the road. By the time we returned to the cabin, they gave off only dim light, and disobedience didn’t usually warrant new batteries.

Just like me. If I fill my inner light with power from God’s Word, I shine brightly, and others can see Jesus in me. But if I go my own way, trusting my own “batteries,” I grow dim, and His light is hidden from those who need it most. But just like my dad, God smiles at His wayward child and opens a “fresh pack,” giving me the power to shine my light, His light, once more.

*** Did you ever have your own flashlight as a child? Did you use it to read at night? What happened when your batteries ran out? Tell us your story! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

*** What pets have you loved throughout your life? Any unusual ones? Let’s share about our pets in next week’s blog post!

 

Tell Me a Story about…an Anniversary

          Our first daughter, Holly, born six weeks premature at a time when that meant serious threats to an infant’s survival, developed faster than the doctors predicted. She spoke her first words at five months and complete sentence soon after. Each developmental check-up showed her vocal and motor skills surpassing not only the current-age-minus-six-weeks’ norms but zooming months ahead of her actual age.

          What does this have to do with a story about an anniversary, you ask? Most people scoff at these claims I make of Holly’s early achievements vocally, however, my mom and dad’s 25th anniversary brought the truth in a harmonic way.

          Around the time of Holly’s second birthday, my brothers and I ramped up our plans for a surprise anniversary party for our parents. We invited family and friends, suggesting monetary6-4-18 C gifts to go toward a special gift. Our parents never had a honeymoon, never went away by themselves, choosing family vacations instead. We set up an anniversary trip, even called our dad’s work in secret and scheduled his vacation time. I made reservations at Heritage USA in NC, ordered a AAA triptik, and arranged to stay with their dogs for the week.

          I like to think we surprised them with the party, but if not, the planned trip did the trick. (Note: the photo is from the day of the party, my dad holding Holly.) As we helped them pack their car to leave, Holly chattered and sang songs, including her favorite— “Jesus Loves Me.” I sent money with my parents to purchase a singing doll advertised at Heritage. A tiny plastic record inserted in the doll gave her a voice, and the one I picked sang Holly’s favorite song.

          Upon their return, my parents gave Holly the doll. She oohed and aahed over the doll’s curly red hair and pushed the button over and over to mak6-4-18 (2)e her sing. At just over fourteen months, our preemie daughter sang along with her special doll, only having a little trouble keeping up with its speed. (Note: the photo is not of the one we had. Holly’s is long gone!)

          Years later, we know why God gifted her so early with a voice. He wanted Holly to use that voice in service to Him, and she has in many ways. Never doubt the gifts God gives and His timing, no matter how unusual they may seem.

 *** Do you have a story to share about a special anniversary—yours or someone else’s? Or if not, do you have a special gift which showed up early in your life or a family member’s? To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Scroll to the bottom of the comment section to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

 *** As I write this, my brother is vacationing at a cabin in Potter County, PA, my favorite place on earth. I wonder if he remembers the flashlight we used for a special purpose there when we were children. Next week, I’ll tell you about it!