I Used to Have Answers (click to comment)

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I used to have answers, then I had kids. Three of them, in three short years. I soon discovered that parenting is the biggest investment we will ever make, and if we happen to have all the answers with our first few kids, chances are good that  God will send along a little surprise package. A child who runs off to Bible camp  one summer and writes a letter that causes us to question every answer we’ve ever  had:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Our camp counsellor told us to write our parents in case you heard about the flood and got worried. Don’t worry, we’re fine. I got out of the cabin just before it floated away and I still have my toothbrush. Nobody got drowned because most of the kids were out in the woods looking for Isaac. Luckily black bears aren’t as fierce as grizzlies, so Isaac is okay. Please call his mom and tell her. He can’t write because of the cast. We never would have found him in the dark if it hadn’t been for the lightning.

Did you know that if you put a gas can on a fire, it will blow up? Wet wood doesn’t burn so good, but tents do. And clothes. Billy is going to look weird until his hair grows back. We’ll be home Saturday if Mr. Chadwick gets the van fixed. It wasn’t his fault about the accident. The brakes worked fine when we left. It’s a neat van. We can get it dirty or ride on the roof. It gets pretty crowded up there with 15 kids.

Mr. Chadwick is cool. He’s gonna teach me how to drive. Don’t worry, he only lets me drive on mountain roads where there isn’t much traffic. Just logging trucks and moose.

I threw up this morning. Our speaker, Mr. Gibbs, said it was probably just the leftover potato salad. He says he used to get sick like that on the food in prison. I’m so glad he got out and came to teach us about the Bible. Well, I better go. We’re going to town to mail these letters and buy bullets.

Love, Jimmy

The Bible tells us that children are a gift from the Lord. They mess up our hair, clean out our refrigerators and lighten our wallets, but they wiggle their way into our hearts and leave us wondering how we ever got on without them. Don’t let a day pass, Mom and Dad, without telling your kids that you love them. And if you have any stories about your own little surprise packages. Do tell. We’d love to hear them.

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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