Short Stories

Short stories that will inspire, encourage, educate and even change the way you see everyday life.

Are We Teaching Our Children to Lie?

One day after school, our youngest son seemed fidgety. I could tell something was wrong, but when I asked him, he said it was nothing.  Finally, after staring at the TV for an hour or so, he meekly said, “Mom, I have to tell you something.” His face was tense, and his eyes were sad.

I put everything aside and gave him my full attention while he stuttered out his words. “The teacher sent you a note home,” he said. I asked to see the note. The teacher had written that he had not turned in his homework, bu...

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Connecting With Our Children in the Kitchen

Our kitchen was two steps down from the rest of the house. You took two steps down into the kitchen when you walked through the living and dining rooms. My favorite place to sit was on those steps.

When I was a little girl, I sat on those steps and watched my mother working in the kitchen. She always had flour on the front of her dress and around her beautiful auburn hairline, where she wiped her forehead with the back of her hands.

Some mornings I sat on the stool beside the butter churn with a wood plunger in both hands. I pu...

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Taking Care of Yourself

The flight attendant stood at the front of the plane mechanically, giving safety instructions for the flight. It was apparent that she could probably give those same instructions in her sleep because she had done it many times.

 I had heard them many times before, but something she said caught my attention this time. “In the event of an emergency, the oxygen mask will drop from overhead. Put the mask over your nose and mouth. If you are traveling with a small child or an infant, put your mask on first, then help the child.”...

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Till Death Do Us Part

They were married for 61 years. He told us about their life together. He said he had to wait till he turned 18 before they could be married, but they had been together ever since, except for the 33 months he spent overseas during World War II.

There was another time when he had to take a job away from home, but he always came home on the weekends to be with his family. He worked and brought his money home, and told her where he thought it should go, and she took care of the their home and three boys.

They traveled together. He ...

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Enjoy the Journey

“Stand still,” my husband whispered. “I think I’ve got it.” I tried not to move, even though something was scratching my feet. I glanced down to see prickly little bushes pressing against my legs.

He moved in closer, aimed, and clicked, but not quickly enough. The fickle little orange butterfly fluttered from the camera’s view to another blossom a few feet away. We tried to follow it but were waist-deep in yellow wildflowers, losing sight of our feet altogether.

“Wait, I told him. Here&...

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Reacting Without Thinking

He was just a man sitting in a crowd watching a baseball game. His face and clothes blended in with all the other faces in the crowd at the Wrigley Field baseball stadium. The Chicago Cubs were holding a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, and suddenly the ball was hit to the left-field directly in the path of the man sitting in the front row.

Without hesitation or thought, he stood up and reached his left hand out and literally caught the ball inches above the hands of the Chicago Cubs ...

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Making Room For the Important Things

Recently I heard a beautiful song called “Is There Room.” It made me think of a time when we were invited to a friend’s home in south Texas to share in their family’s Christmas Posada.

Posada is the Spanish word for “inn,” and the Posadas Navideñas recalls the events leading up to the Nativity of Jesus. Las Posadas is a nine-day religious festival celebrated throughout Mexico. It begins on December 16 and ends on Christmas Eve.

It is a way Christian families commemorate Joseph and Mary’...

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Happy Meal Toys

Before the holidays began, I spoke with my 5-year-old grandson on the telephone. He and his two little brothers lived in Knoxville, Tenn. I told him we would meet him in Washington, D.C., at his aunt’s house for the Thanksgiving holidays.

He was so excited about being able to see us. He said, “Oh, Nana, will you be bringing me “Happy Meal” toys?” It seems I had become the grandparent who gave him the little things in life.

When our youngest son was little, his favorite toys were happy meal ...

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The Fireworks In A Veteran’s Mind

We were hypnotized by millions of colors drizzling down into the lake’s reflection. Our daughter said it looked like a box of Crayola crayons shot out of a cannon into the sky. The crowd applauded the Veterans Day extravagant fireworks display paired with a musical salute to our nation’s veterans as the town lit up around us.

We hurried with our two children to the best spot near the lake. We were lying on our backs on a thick plaid blanket I had brought to keep us dry and comfortable. Our children lay between us, ...

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Under The Same Sky

Our daughter, Christy, said she stood on a pier looking into the Black Sea. “I understood that if I wanted to feel those waters, I should jump in at that moment. I knew the odds were I’d never get another chance. So I jumped in the freezing water with my clothes on and swam in the Black Sea.”

The Black Sea is near Russia’s recently bombed Odesa Opera house in Ukraine.

In 1994, she and seven other students from a Christian University in the U.S. volunteered to go to the National University in Poltava, Ukr...

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Feeling Safe As A Family

At 4:am, my head finally sank into the overly soft pillow in the attic bedroom. I had been waiting for the last child to arrive at the cabin we rented for the holidays.

I was thankful as I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that, once again, our children were under one roof. If I listened intently, I could almost hear each of them breathe, though they were sleeping on different levels of the three-story cabin surrounded by tall gold and red trees.

It was a feeling every Mother longs to feel with her children. If they ar...

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Crying Child

Nothing is worse than being stuck in an airplane with a screaming child. “That mother needs the kid under control,” he said loud enough for the young mother to hear the comment.

The little girl making all the noise was about 18 months old, and no amount of consoling from her frazzled mother would soothe her.

I was flying home from a conference in Atlanta and felt sorry for the young woman trying to get her child to stop crying. But, unfortunately, acquiring “Mom” doesn’t mean you always know what t...

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Embarrassing the Kids

When our children were teenagers, one of the things they hated most was when I used coupons to buy groceries or when I would count out change from my purse instead of handing over dollar bills or a credit card.

Little things embarrassed them, like when I cut a newspaper coupon for a chicken bucket. I stopped at the intercom of the fast-food drive-in sign and ordered the fried chicken but failed to tell them I had a coupon.

When I drove to the window, I showed them my discount coupon, but they said they couldn’t take it be...

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Separation Anxiety Not Just Kids Stuff

Our youngest child suffered severe separation anxiety going into kindergarten. It is a disorder in which a child becomes excessively anxious when separated from parents.

I tried to assure him that he would make friends and learn many new things. That didn’t impress him, so I told him, “Well, we’ll just take it one day at a time.”

He misunderstood and interpreted the one day at a time as he only had to go one day, and if he didn’t like it, he didn’t have to go back.

The next day I met h...

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Children Do As They See

The older man was small and stooped over. His steps were careful as he carried his tray to the restaurant table where I was having dinner. I could see relief in his face and muscles as he reached his destination, set his load down, and eased his weak body into a chair. The woman sitting down beside him was his daughter.

When the man had difficulty cutting his meat, she patiently took the knife from his hand and cut the large portion into small pieces, perhaps the same way he did for her when she was a child. It is always very touching...

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Sarcasm Can Leave Emotional Scars

When my friend walked by my desk looking sharp in her stylish black suit, I remarked how great she looked. She said she had just come out of a senior management meeting. “Is that your senior management suit?” I asked. We laughed, and she would say something funny to me about my casual dress.

We were a little sarcastic, and it was funny. It lightened up our day because we were friends and wouldn’t do anything to hurt each other.

But there are times when sarcasm hurts. Even the word can leave a bad taste...

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Barefoot Summer

Our bare feet grew tough, our hair turned to gold, and our bodies browned and freckled in the sun that pursued us on long hot summer days.

Across the dirt road where we lived, there was an old abandoned building. Bushes, high grass, and broken tree limbs hid it from the road, but we found it and made it our secret clubhouse.

We swept the dust from one side of the room to the other and put a cardboard box in the middle of the vast open space for a table and cement blocks around for chairs.

We hid our peanut butter and cra...

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Blinders

The day was perfect. The soft snow highlighted everything beautiful in the Denver, Colorado, area. There was still some colorful fall leaves swaying in the cold, and seeing it all while riding in a lovely horse-drawn carriage was breathtaking!

I always feel bad for the horses because they have to wear blinders. But, I know they are necessary to help the horse focus and stay on course.

The blinders, made of leather flaps, are also used on-farm horses and mules to pull plows or wagons. Limiting the horse’s peripheral vision...

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