Inspiring Moment: Multiple Flowers

Written by Braiden


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Goodbye to Camille and Chloe

Written by Melissa Spiller on May 23, 2011


I must be honest, my last five minutes would be a desperate attempt to tell my two sweet little girls–Chloe, age 11, and Camille, age 6, how desperate I am to keep them.

I would say, “Oh my precious babies, you are all I have. Do not leave me! Why must you go? I need you. I don’t want to stay here and do this thing without you.

“Who will I make french toast for? Who will I get my special hugs from after having a long day at work?

“Who will stay up late when I work too long just to see me? Who will I make piggy tails for?

“Who is gonna put on too much perfume for school and choke me? I need you! I love being a mommy.

“Tell God not to do this to me. I don’t wanna be tough. I don’t wanna learn to live in the moment.

“I want to watch our family videos someday when you have children and use them against you like I said I was going to do.

“I wanna take the trip that we have planned next month to Disney. Please don’t go. We have such a nice life. All I need is you.

“I will never be a Momma. How can I bear this heartache. When you leave you will take Christmas and Halloween, Mardi Gras and St. Paddy’s too.

“We always have so much fun on Nascar Sunday. Can’t you please stay?

“I want you to out-live me. I want you to bury me. I don’t want to see you in that coffin. I don’t wanna be spiritual!!

“I want to be your girls Momma, like its supposed to be.

“Dang, Camille. You just lost your first tooth yesterday.

“Chloe, we both know you pulled your last baby tooth yesterday so that the dentist would refer you to that orthodontist. I want to spend six grand on your teeth!

“I want to run back home after dropping you off for school to retrieve your forgotten lunch or backpack. I want to keep finding clothes for little skinny girls who have no booty to hold them up. I will so miss you. I don’t wanna say goodbye.

“But since you have to go, please come to me in my dreams and let me feel your presence.

“Please help me find God because I’m gonna need somthing to get me through.

“Please let me know you girls are with Mamaw again. She will watch out for you. Chloe, you know she loved you the best because you were the first!

“I will make you proud. I will keep helping disenfranchised kids, and I will think of you every time I hear our songs we sang.

“There are so many of them. so you will come to mind often. I will think of you every day.

“Your being born has changed my life forever. I wouldn’t change being your Momma, even though it hurts so bad to let you go.

“I know the timer is going off so I have no choice but to say that I look forward to another lifetime in which we can be together and I won’t have to say goodbye this way.

“I love you to the ends of the earth! No one has ever been so loved……


Inspiring Moment: White Lilies

Written by Spencer Johnson

Lilies Photo

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Inspiring Moment: White Crane

Written by Braiden

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Inspiring Moment: Red Bush

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Inspiring Moment: Cat in Bag

Written by Grace Young


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Saving the Best Part

Written by John Paul Carter, Guest Columnist, on May 19, 2011

Due to all the inspiring entries for our Memory of Mom (MoM) contest, it’s been quite some time since we ran a story by our favorite guest columnist, John Paul Carter. So today we check back in with JP, reprinting his ruminations on friendship: Saving the Best Part. Thanks, as always, John Paul!

The western art that fills most of our home’s wall space recently welcomed a new neighbor–a painting unlike any other in the house. It’s a small abstract watercolor by our lifelong friend Gale Johnston, a signature member of the Southwestern Watercolor Society.

We bought it last fall at an exhibition of her work in a gallery on Camp Bowie in Ft. Worth. We were attracted to it, not only because it was Gale’s work, but also because of its beautiful colors–especially the cranberry red, the aqua, and the golden threads. I also love its shapes, which invite my bizarre imagination to see a face with a long nose, a dog reminiscent of Gus, and a pacifier which reminds me of Maddy and her newborn sister.

But the most intriguing thing about our 6- by 3 1/2-inch picture is that it was once part of a larger 18- by 40-inch painting. A friend commissioned Gale to do an abstract depiction of the instrument panel of his airplane to hang over his fireplace. After almost completing the painting, Gale decided to start over. However, she saved and matted that part of her work that she did like. And that’s the painting that now proudly graces our dining area.

The painting itself reminds me of what the philosopher George Santayana wrote about friendships. “Friendship,” he said, “is almost always the union of a part of one mind with a part of another; people are friends in spots.”

Another wise person put it this way, “A friend is one to whom you can pour out your heart–wheat and chaff together–knowing that they will listen, keeping the best and letting the wind blow the rest away.”

As I view Gale’s painting, I’m reminded that the best friendships are based on mutual respect mixed with tolerance. I give thanks for those who have saved the best of me out of the worst and call me their friend. I hope to always be as gracious.

The watercolor also reminds me that on the night before he was crucified, Jesus told the 12 that he no longer thought of them as mere servants, but as friends. (John 17:15) Having been with them for three years and knowing what was ahead, Jesus clearly chose to trust the best in them. When the dust had settled, it was that friendship that sustained them as they took the good news of God’s unconditional love into the wider world.

Jesus offers us–each and all–that same grace-full friendship.

Lord, thank you for seeing and saving the best in us.



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