When to Clap

val and me amsterdam

Recently bestselling author Val Poore (https://www.amazon.com/Valerie-Poore/e/B008LSV6CE?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1564318680&sr=1-1) wrote a brilliant blog on the differences between UK and US language. As a new to the UK dog owner, I decided to highlight some interesting canine differences.

Folks here don’t ask to pet your dog, they ask to “clap” it. The first time I heard that I was horrified. What loving pet owner wants a stranger to hit his or her hands together against your poor terrified puppy?

One doesn’t walk a dog on a leash here. It’s a lead. You don’t bathe your dog, you bath it. You don’t feed it supper, you give it tea. You don’t tell your dog “no” when it picks up unsavory morsels, you tell it “leave.”

I’m sure there are many other differences, because after all—babies in the UK suck on dummies, not pacifiers. They don’t wear diapers, they wear nappies. All drinks that aren’t tea or coffee are lemonade. I don’t know what lemonade is called. Bangs are “fringes” and in polite company you don’t say “poof.” But I’ll leave that one for readers to figure out.

The love for furry family members is the same in both countries. So is kindness. And God’s unfailing capacity for miracles. We took our six-month-old rough collie Savannah to North Berwick for dental surgery. We had to walk back to our B&B, a distance of about a mile. We didn’t realize when we left the clinic that Savannah hadn’t fully recovered from surgery. She suddenly plopped down on the grass, stretched out on her side and could go no further. I had already been carrying the 40-pound dog on a knee that requires surgical repair.

savannah in grass 6 month

Enter human angel. God sent him. He appeared out of nowhere and told us that the clinic had released Savannah too soon and she would never be able to walk as far as our B&B. He called the vet clinic and told them Savannah was coming back for a couple of hours. He even offered to carry her. My Texas stubbornness kicked in and I assured him that I could carry the 40-pound pup back uphill to the station. I’m on crutches now.

savannah from weeks to months

https://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Where Is That Girl?

DSCF7038Where is the little girl who chased fireflies through corn stalks and thought at least some of them were actually fairies? Where is the little girl who believed in princes and knights and happy ever after endings? Where is the little girl who searched the skies for rainbows believing in that pot of gold at the end? Where is the little girl who scanned the night skies for UFOs and saved her money to build a hot air balloon and look for the Loch Ness Monster? Where is the little girl who held an injured sparrow in the palms of her hands and watched in wonder as the bird’s transparent blue spirit rose above the bird and shot upward when the bird died?

baby gull

Sometimes it seems that little girl who believed in a world of miracles died. Then something as simple as soap bubbles rising over the sink in rainbow colors when she does dishes brings her back to life.

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The miracle of flaming colors streaked across the sky to announce a new day, the miracle of a curious robin in the garden, the miracle of a child’s laughter, the miracle of ebbing and flowing tides, the miracle of changing seasons…life is a miracle. God is a constant Miracle Worker and every breath, every season of life is a gift.

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http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Magic

When I was a child, I lived in a magical world where fireflies were fairies dancing across the night sky. Not even catching lightning bugs in jars and using them as lanterns dispelled the magic. Fed by romantic fairy tales, my mind peopled toadstools with little people resting from their wanderings, drinking crystal dew drops out of the chalice of upturned flower blossoms and vanishing into the grass out of sight as morning crept into the world stealing darkness and shadows.

When I outgrew those fiction stories, I rode my bicycle up and down Georgia red clay roads at dusk looking for flying saucers. I explored spooky “haunted” houses that my friends were afraid to enter. I devoured stories about the Bermuda Triangle. One of my dreams was to travel to Scotland to look for the Loch Ness Monster.

God has a sense of humor. Here I am living in Scotland now, within fifteen miles of Loch Ness. I’ve made three trips to Loch Ness looking for Nessie. I’ve found one female mallard duck, one family of mallard ducks, and some hungry seagulls that were delighted to share lunch with me. Does that mean that I don’t believe in Nessie? Oh, no! Just because I haven’t found Nessie doesn’t mean that she doesn’t exist! I am fascinated by the sonar echoes and “swishing” sounds that exploratory vessels have picked up from the bottom of Scotland’s deepest lake.

Authors with vivid imaginations have written enduring stories that enthrall generations of readers. How blessed I will be if my grandchildren discover some of my books without being told about them: Bridge to Nowhere, Love’s Beating Heart, Heart Shadows, Until the Shadows Flee, Shadow Chase, Fear of Shadows. Or my husband’s time-travel adventures The Scent of Time and The Scent of Home. I would never equate my Christian mystery-romance-suspense books with literary classics, but I would match my imagination with the best of them!

This world is full of mystery, magic and miracles. Finding them depends on raising the line of heart vision from toadstools to Heaven. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has touched my life with miraculous healing and provision numerous times. But even if Jesus had never performed those visible outward physical signs and wonders, my changed heart itself would be a miracle.

My journey from a bitter, spiteful, unhappy God-hating atheist to a joyful Christ-loving Christian involved supernatural travel on the wings of God’s Holy Spirit. That, my friends, is magic!

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