Rejoice with those who wear jeans.

“I hope I’m not dressed too casually,” I remarked, as I pulled my black, three-tiered Minnetonkas up over my black skinny jeans.

I was heading to my daughter’s alma mater to speak.

“It is Friday, though,” I reasoned, “and the students probably have a jeans day today, what with basketball and all.”

“What with basketball and all” = the boys bball team won the state semi-final game last night and they’ll be back at the Breslin Center in East Lansing in the morning for the final.

So the kids would most likely have a jeans day.

“Yeah,” my daughter said, “they probably do have a jeans day.”

Nowadays the students at that school wear uniforms, but my daughter was a student there before uniforms, back when they had to follow a very strict dress code.

Back then jeans days were granted on select Fridays and they were a huge, happy deal.

“I remember earning a special jeans day once,” she mused. “I think I got to wear them on a Wednesday.

It was a glorious morning, as all jeans day mornings were, dressing without the pressure of the code and looking cute for a change.

So I went to school in my jeans and a t-shirt while everyone else didn’t.

And that’s the moment I discovered that happiness is only real when it’s shared.

“That’s such a touching little story,” I said, as I clasped my necklace, “I think I’ll jot it down.”

I love my girl’s heart.  I love that she couldn’t enjoy the privilege of jeans while her friends suffered in khakis and collared shirts.

Not everyone is like that.

Go Eagles!


Life Lessons

Christmas was an exciting time at my house growing up.  My dad was a buyer for a large company, which meant the UPS truck stopped in front of our house several times a day bearing gifts from an army of salesmen.  Usually the packages contained big boxes of chocolates or an occasional fruitcake.  Sometimes the gifts were larger.

Company policy said my dad could not accept any gifts valued over $50, or maybe it was $100.  Most salespeople stayed within the acceptable limit, but one particular child-wowing package did not.

My dad said we had to send it back.  My sisters wanted him to make an exception, and I kinda’ wanted him to make an exception, too.  But I was also really proud of him and I wanted to be proud of him more than I wanted to keep the gift.

My dad was a consistent lesson in honesty and integrity and I loved that about him.  I try to follow his example, an example that spoke way louder than words.

The cashier gives me too much change.  Is my integrity worth $5?  Excuse me, ma’am…

I get to my car to discover a small item at the bottom of my cart.  I check the receipt, nope, wasn’t charged.  Is it my lucky day?  Should I rejoice over a free mascara, as many I know would?  I think not.  The $16 price tag on that item will cost my soul a whole lot more.  Back into the store I go.

Thanks Dad.  That felt good.

The image I wanted to use is designated "All rights reserved."   "What do you mean I can't download it?  That's sooo silly." I was going to just grab it and use it anyway.  Until the Holy Spirit whispered, "What's this post about again?" Thanks Dad and Holy Spirit. And thanks, KitAY, Creative Commons.

The image I wanted to use is designated “All rights reserved.”
“What do you mean I can’t download it? That’s sooo silly. Not sharing is going to send you back 3 desks.”
I was going to just grab it and use it anyway. Until the Holy Spirit whispered, “What’s this post about again?”
Thanks Dad and Holy Spirit.
And thanks, KitAY, Creative Commons.

There is a scene from the movie Out of Africa that has come to mind often these 30 years since I saw it:

Karen: He has got lovely books. Does he lend them?
Berkeley: We had a friend – Hopworth – he’d got a book from Denys and didn’t return it. Denys was furious. I said to Denys, “You wouldn’t lose a friend for the sake of a book.” He said, “No, but he has, hasn’t he?”

Ill-gotten gain always comes with one price or another.

My sister came with me to watch a high school basketball state semi-final game last year.  The referees were clearly not calling the game fair.  A bully of a player on the opposing team took full advantage of that fact and brutalized our players.  “Ill-gotten gain,” I muttered.  “Cheaters never prosper!,” I yelled.    Of course we won the game.  And the next game, too.  State Champs.

My sister apparently relayed the events of the game to her husband because later he mocked, “So that’s how Christians talk smack?”

Mock all you want, I know who I am.

Sometimes we try to build a child’s self-esteem by giving him/her a trophy for showing up.  Or by telling the child he/she is wonderful with words that have no gold to back them.  But my self-esteem was built one proud-of-myself decision-followed-by-action brick at a time.

Tomorrow a lesson from Selma.

© 2015, The Reluctant Baptist

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.”