A Place Where Competition Has No Place

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Daddy was twenty-one 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 whole string of nieces and nephews on both sides for Daddy to love when they were little and as they grew up.

Making every person feel special is a gift and Daddy had it–not only in his family, but with the people he knew at church and in our community, too, especially with children. To Daddy each child was special, not because the child was smart or pretty or athletic, but because he was a person. 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 what level I was.

Then, 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.

Daddy, Emily, Me Beauty Contest cropped
Me, Daddy, and Emily at My Grandparents’ Home

Nestled as I was in a family where my parents made me feel special every day, I was able to survive school competition and one little girl beauty contest, which I most certainly did not win!. Opinions vary about competition, 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.
John 3:16, NASB

For there is no partiality with God.
Romans 2:11, NASB

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