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From the Editor -
Karen Treharne
The Joy of Family
Featured Poem
Sunshine in Your House
By Karen Treharne

What could be more spontaneous and uplifting than a laughing child? It fills your heart with that sunshine warmth you feel on a scorching hot day in July. It brings a smile to your own face. It may even cause you to laugh yourself.

Is this important? Well, we have all heard that laughing is good for your health – unless you have the flu, of course; and laughter causes wrinkles – but wait, that’s not necessarily a good thing, is it?

All kidding aside, laughing does have a higher purpose.

How does this work exactly? Children and pets are not surprisingly comical, and while some things they do are rather tongue-in-cheek, most of their antics are humorous. But how funny are the every day, mundane, troublesome things that we encounter? Try to find the sunshine when the toilet overflows. And what about all the junk mail? Where’s the humor there?

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The Small Things of God
By Jay Cookingham

God puts mirrors of reflection throughout his creation. They are the little reminders of His model for our lives.

Did you know that the male Namaqua sand grouse of Africa’s Kalahari Desert flies as far as 50 miles a day in order to soak himself in water and return to his nest where his chicks can drink from his feathers? Now, after one of our family water-gun fights, I seriously doubt that my kids would want to drink anything dripping off of me! Like the example of the African grouse, the lengths He will go to prove His care for us astounds me.

On one summer vacation in North Carolina, my daughter was playing in the surf and lost a favorite bracelet. After searching for quite a while and coming up empty handed, she was devastated.

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An Estrogen Moment
By Maxx .

To get my nine-months-pregnant Cindy out of our waterbed took a Herculean effort on my part. The cruel twist was that she had to get up every fifteen minutes all night long to go to the bathroom.

"If I have to suffer, you have to suffer," she said. She’d prepared a seductive candle light dinner on our anniversary that led to this whole baby thing. I wish she’d pointed out the fine print at that point before I signed on.

After my nightly bathroom workouts I still had to report to my desk early each morning to the employer who provided our insurance. It was the insurance that paid the ob-gyn…

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Shoes To Fill
By Donna Haug

My kids love to dress up! They dig around to find the oddest combinations of clothes they can and put them on unconventional parts of their bodies – you know, like striped socks on their hands and shorts on their heads. But their crowning glory is to go into Mom and Dad’s closet to find shoes. Daddy’s big, clunky Sunday shoes and Mom’s shiny high heels are awfully fun to stomp around in. Clomp! Clomp! Clomp!

Although they are just fooling around in play, inside what they are saying is, "I can’t wait to grow up, and when I do, I want to be like you!"

Even at my age, with children of my own, I look at my Mom and Dad and long to be "big enough" to fill their shoes. They have taught me lessons through the living of their lives – lessons like, "This too shall pass," trusting in God’s faithfulness, and humility and grace in their relationships with others. Will I ever fill those shoes? I don’t know, but I’ll sure try.

However, my greatest longing is to be like Christ. Now THOSE are big shoes to fill. Should that discourage me? Will I ever grow into them? No. But I’ll try them on and clog around in them, and I will grow. I will imitate Him.

In the meantime, I know He looks down on me and smiles. He picks me up when I trip and holds me when I stumble , and as He does, I lift my heart to him and say, "I can’t wait to grow up, and when I do, I want to be like YOU".
Donna and her husband, Mark, grew up as missionary kids and they now have three MK’s of their own. They have been missionaries in Brazil and Africa. Donna’s main purpose for writing about God in her life is to encourage others to pray for missions and to grow in their spiritual walk with the Lord. To find our more about their lives, you can visit their website, http://www.thehaugs.com/