Tuesday, November 14, 2006

20 years ago . . . 20 years ago, I was 8 years old. I was in third grade; Mrs. Robinson was my teacher. It was the first time, I had to sit in desks that were in straight rows and keep all my books on the rack underneath my chair. She was strict, and I was always scared of her. She was the only teacher that ever put my name on the board. The crime? My papers were not signed by a parent. I lived in a little farming town in Arkansas--called Hazen. Mom taught me and Sarah the words "perpendicular" and "parallel" from the relationship of the rows of rice to the road we were driving on. High school football was a big deal. All classes from kindergarten to 12th grade were in one location. We walked to school. I had a great little dog named Candie. She often followed us to school. We lived in the parsonage just steps from the front door of the church plant. The church building had a fire escape slide from the second floor--this two-story slide was little girl's dream come true. I enjoyed riding my bike all over our side of town. Sometimes, my mom would let me ride it to the little store. For a special treat, if I had enough money, I would buy a Hersey's bar and let each little square of milk chocolate melt one by one in my mouth. Sometimes I'd buy a root beer. One of the ladies at our church always teased me about drinking beer. I never understood what she was joking about nor why it was funny. I wore great big bows in my hair--that my mom made for me. We'd only just discovered the extent of my natual curls. I wore lots of shirts to my knees with strechy stirrup-pants of many colors. I started wearing glasses that year. My mom didn't like the ones I choose, but let me have them anyway since I insisted. I wanted them because they were similar to my best friend's glasses. My best friends were Tracey Foot, Julie Sims, Kim Baliey, and Loulette. We were going to be best friends forever. (I've not spoken to any of them since 1988.) My sister was in first grade. We played with our Barbies and My Little Ponys for hours on end. The only TV I can remember watching was the Cosby show on Thursday nights--if we were already ready for bed before the show started at 8:00pm. Oh, and we also watched cartoons till 10 on Saturdays. I loved life. I loved my family and my dog. I loved learning, being creative, and making people happy. I think that little naive girl full of hope and wonder still lives somewhere deep inside me. But, most importantly, 20 years ago, in 1986, I confessed Jesus as Lord for the first time and followed him in believer's baptism. I am thankful for such a fun, peaceful, structured, sheltered childhood. I am thankful for happy...

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