You May Have Already Won

Life takes some funny twists and turns. At least mine did. In high school, I was completely focused on my future. I’d earn a track scholarship to the University of Michigan. While, there I planned to study hard. There were so many things I wanted to do- teach, be a judge, write bestselling novels. I didn’t know which one would be my career, but I knew I could do any of the three. My plan was to put off marriage, and I’d never had children, so I could focus on my career. At least I wasn’t being like some high school athletes, majoring in underwater basketball weaving while counting on my athletic ability to get me through the rest of my life.

Though I graduated with a liberal Arts degree, ten years after college I wasn’t really in any of those fields. No, instead I had done what I never thought I would. I got married and had three children. As if that wasn’t enough, my husband and I had adopted two others.

Oh, I love my husband and kids. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without any of them. Still, I wonder how different things would be if I had followed my high school dreams.

In the mail today was a letter, addressed to me. It didn’t say “Mommy.” It didn’t say “Mrs. Reed.” It had my name Elizabeth Anna Reed, printed in neat black letters. Typed on the envelope, in bright red letters, were the words, “You May Have Already Won.”

My heart skipped a beat. Really? I could have won? Could have won what? The possibilities were endless.

A million dollars would be nice. I could pay off my student loans (still paying for a degree I didn’t use annoyed both me and my husband). We could finally make updates to the house we had been dreaming about. Each of the kids could have a room alone, eliminating a lot of the daily fighting. My husband could have that brand new car he had always wanted. Oh, I could spend a relaxing day at the spa.

Maybe I had won a vacation. A week spent in Cancun or cruising the French Riviera. All that sun and the quiet. We could pack up the kids, send them to my parents of in-laws. Or we could divide them among our friends, if no one wanted to take all five at once. I’d come home with a tan and a smile. Best of all, my husband would stop nagging me about the amount of sex he was getting. Without fear of the kids interrupting a passionate moment, I’m sure we would be able to enjoy each other.

Of course, I would have won something much smaller. A new computer, perhaps, or a big screen TV. Maybe it would be new windows for the house of new carpeting.

A scream rang out; at the same time a foam dart sailed through the air and lodged in my hair. I looked around. The living room floor was littered with toys-building blocks, cars, Barbie’s. The dining room table was covered in crayons and papers, with left over Spaghetti-Os and spilled Kool-Aid mixed in. the kids themselves had tomato sauce in their hair and dirt smudged across their faces. It was a normal daily scene, something I’d like to call “summertime chaos”.

Glancing at the red lettered envelope, I sighed. No point in opening it. I hadn’t entered any contest, so the prize would be no good. With my luck, I’d won another child.

No, I’d be better off just leaving the envelope in the trash can.

What Love Is

I am not much of a poet, but I did write this one in college.  I suppose it’s not too bad.



Blue sky
Fluffy clouds
Sun smiles on the world
Humming, dancing, singing
And you are by my side
Is this what love is?


Grey sky
Gentle rain
Wind sighs over the world
Taping, patting, clicking
And you are walking with me
Is this what love is?


Black sky
Harsh wind
Thunder screams at the world
Pounding, flashing, booming
And you still holding my hand
This is what love is.

A Trip Through Time

I wrote this one twenty years ago, as part of a Conservation Contest.  Sorry, but I don’t remember exactly what the competition was called.  I do know that I won second place in the State of Michigan with this one.  And I got to read it in front of a group of strangers.  Oh, was I nervous!!



Let’s take a little trip through time. This is Jackson, Michigan in the year 2145. We are looking in on the Wakefield family reunion held every year at Ella Sharp Park. The park looks a lot different than it did in 1991. The major difference is this: there are no trees.

“She’s ready to start. Hurry or you’ll miss it.” Angela Wakefield was gathering all the children around her mother-in-law. It was a tradition to hear how Grandma Wakefield’s life used to be.

“What was it all like Grandma? What did it look like?” Little Jenni was sitting on her Grandmother’s lap, where she sat every year to hear this.

“It was beautiful. Especially in the fall. All the leaves would change from green to red or yellow or orange. I used to like sitting here in the shade of the biggest tree to read.”

“What did you read? What were your books like?” Jenni’s older sister, Andrea, who spent a lot of time reading on her computer or would listen to it being read to her, was always interested in those books.

“Oh they were a lot like what you read Andrea. Romance novels, historical stories, mysteries. I loved them all. If I had known what you kids would miss out on, I would have tried harder to save the trees.”

When she stopped ti wipe a tear from her eye, Jessica said, “Tell us what school was like, Grandma.”

“School was about the same. But we always had to write our homework on paper. I still have some of the report papers I wrote.

“You mean you didn’t have computers?”

Grandma laughed, “Oh we had computers, Jessi. We just didn’t have them hooked to the school computers. Back then it was illegal. Here’s something I want you to see.” “This is the Diary I kept when I was about your age, Andrea.”

“What’s a Diary, Grandma?”

“Well, Jenni, it’s a special kind of book. You write about your life in it.

I wrote this one in 2094, when I was 18. That was the year that the last tree was taken from the park. She handed the book to the children and smiled at their comments.

“Look! She used a real wooden pencil!”

“Just think, they cut down a tree to make this book!”

Now is a good time to come back to the present. Did you ever think that that could be out future? We are careless with what we have. Someday we will lose all of our trees. When that day comes, what will the world do?

We can do something to stop that from happening. If we plant new trees to replace the ones we use, maybe we won’t even loose them all. Recycling will help too. Please, let’s do something to help to save us and help our world. We’ll never get a new one to replace the one that we are ruining.

No Shame, No Apology!

                Over the weekend, it occurred to me that some of my Facebook posts might be offensive to others.  I’ve been using my social networks to share my belief in and love of Jesus.  Not just that belief and love, but the things that I am learning about Him every day.  It’s actually kind of amazing how much more I learn of Him just by reading what others post.

                Some of my Facebook friends have expressed annoyance at all of the “religious junk” they see posted to their timelines.  There is one friend in particular who makes rude comments about my posts.  His comments, especially one yesterday that was sexually suggestive, have been enough to make me wonder if I should stop posting so much about my beliefs like that.  This voice keeps telling me that my constant worship of Christ on Facebook might be pushing people away from Him rather than drawing them toward Him.  After all, look at the things that other so-called Christians are posting lately.  It’s a confusing message, and maybe I should just step out of the conversation.

                But I refuse to listen to that voice! 

                I might be embarrassed by some of the public actions of other Christians, by the things people who claim to love Jesus say and do that do not show His love.  But I am and NOT ashamed of the life and love of Jesus!  I won’t apologize for the love I feel for Him, nor will I apologize for sharing that love.  If my “blatant evangelizing” offends you, perhaps that is because there is something in your life that needs attention.  Perhaps God is trying to reach you, and my words are pulling you closer to Him.  If that makes you uncomfortable, there isn’t much I can do about it.  One of the beautiful things about Facebook is that it is so easy to ignore someone who posts something you feel is offensive; feel free to make use of the unfriend option if you don’t want to hear about how much I love Jesus, how much Jesus loves me, or how much He loves YOU!

                Just don’t expect me to stop sharing that love.  That is just not an option.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes!

Romans 1:16