Daddy was 21 years old when his youngest baby sister was born. He loved babies, especially his baby sister, Emily Camille. A year and a half later, my mother gave birth to me and Daddy had a baby of his own.
Three years after that they had my brother Steve. Mother and Daddy were both the oldest children in their families, so Steve and I were the first grandchildren for both sets of grandparents. After us came a string of nieces and nephews on both sides for Daddy to love when they were little and as they grew up.
Daddy had a way of making people feel special—not only in his family, but with the people he knew at church and in our community, too, but children most especially. To Daddy each child was special, not because the child was smart or pretty or athletic, but because he or she was a child. Feeling special is something every child needs and deserves.
My first experience with competition (and learning that some people thought some children were more special than others) came when I was in first grade and the teacher sat us at certain tables according to our reading abilities. Mercifully, I don’t remember my level.
When I was in second grade, I was in a beauty contest. Mother made me feel special by gathering layers of baby blue tulle onto a satin bodice to create my first evening gown. She curled my hair with skinny rubber curlers, just like she did every Saturday night. My Aunt Emily was in the contest, too. Here we are, I with my daddy and Emily with her big brother.
Nestled as I was in a family where my parents made me feel special every day, I was able to survive school competition and a little girl beauty contest, which I most certainly did not win. Opinions vary about the value of children competing, but family is a place where competition has no place. I learned that from my daddy and from my heavenly Father, too.
For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.
For there is no partiality with God.
For the last couple of weeks, I have been creating memes in a size that works well on Instagram. I have played around with where to place them in Daily Encouragement. For now, I plan to place them at the end each day. Feel free to share them on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. Thank you for reading Daily Encouragement. It means a lot to me.