Short Stories

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

He That Endures to the End

From a distance you could barely make out the blurred image of two people moving down the road.  A police car with its headlights on low beam followed close behind them.

All of the other runners had already completed the 10K run and were sitting around the outdoor tables set up at the Valley Race Park eating lunch and drinking cold drinks. “We asked them if they wanted to ride to the finish line, the officer standing beside me said.  But they said no; they wanted to finish the run.”

I looked back down the road and ...

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If You Love Me, Buckle Your Seat Belt

I hated to start our evening with nagging, but when our daughter drove up in front of the restaurant, I noticed she wasn't wearing her seat belt. “Sweetheart, you should wear your seat belt,” I said. “Sure mom,” she laughed.

While we were having dinner, like most moms, I felt compelled to give my usual lecture about the danger of not wearing seat belts.

When we started to leave it was raining, and I felt anxious about her driving back to her college dorm on the wet, winding roads of East Tennessee. Even ...

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An Educational Gift for My Children

The older gentleman standing in the hall outside the classroom was dressed very nice.  He wore a brown tweed jacket, dark brown trousers, a stripped shirt and a sharp looking tie.  His hair was gray and his glasses made him look very wise. I figured he must be the professor of the class I was about to enter.

When the door opened, 25-30 college students, dressed in an array of youthful outfits, funneled in and sat down ready to start the new semester.

I took a seat in the middle near the wall just in case I changed my mind and d...

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Are We Teaching Our Children to Lie?

One day after school, our youngest son, Jay, 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 Jay had not been turning in his...

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Connecting With Our Children in the Kitchen

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

As a little girl, I would sit and talk with my mother or watch her move about the kitchen with flour on the front of her dress and at the edge of her hairline where she wiped her forehead with the back of her hands when she was making bread.

Some mornings I stepped down into the kitchen and sat on the stool beside the butter ch...

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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 obvious that she could probably give those same instructions in her sleep, because she had done it so many times. Just like her, I had heard them so often that I didn't even look up from my magazine to see where the exit rows, the float cushion or the oxygen mask was located.

However, something she said caught my attention this time. “In the event of an emergency, the oxygen mask will drop from overhead. Put the ma...

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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 out of the camera's view to another blossom a few feet away. We tried to follow it, but we were waist deep in yellow wild flowers, and losing sight of our feet altogether.

“Wait, I told him. Here's...

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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 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' left fielde...

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Making Room For the Important Things

Sometimes our minds are like computers.  When we are trying to enjoy those special moments in life, a message appears, “No more room. Temporary files too big, need to delete.”

When I complained to my friend about not having enough room on my computer, she showed me how to delete and transfer files to free up room for the important things I needed most.

The phrase, “There is no room in the Inn,” became very real to me when I was invited to a friend's home in south Texas to share in their family’s C...

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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 live in Knoxville, Tenn.  I told him we would meet him in Washington, D.C. at his aunt 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 that I have become the grandparent who gives him the little things in life.

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

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The Fireworks In A Veteran’s Mind

We were hypnotized by what seemed like millions of colors drizzling down into the reflection of the lake as the crowds applauded the Veterans Day extravagant fireworks display paired with a musical salute to our nations veterans.  The sky was lit up around us after a beautiful Veteran’s day parade. My daughter said it looked like a box of Crayola crayons shot out of a cannon into the sky.

We had hurried with our two children to get the best spot near the lake. We were lying on our backs on a thick plaid blanket, I brough...

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We are all different, yet the same

One summer in a different country changed the way our daughter sees the stars at night. During her freshman year at college, our daughter and seven other students from Lee University were invited to Russia to help set up the first Christian education department at Poltava University in the Ukraine.

When she came home, she tried to give us a visual picture of how different the lives of the people were in Russia. “The food was very different,” she said.  The main staple was hard bread and a fatty sausage.

Large famili...

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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 all night for the last child to arrive for the Thanksgiving holidays at the cabin we rented in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

I was thankful indeed, as I lay completely peaceful knowing that once again all of 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 that we found nestled in the Tennessee Mountains, surroun...

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Crying Child

Being in a plane with a child screaming to the top of their lungs is not only hard on the parents, but also on those around them. “She’s just throwing a tantrum, said the man sitting near me.  It’s her mother’s fault.” He said it loud enough for the young mother to hear the comment, too.

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 feeling really sorry for the yo...

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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 the time I cut a coupon from the newspaper for a bucket of chicken.  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 up to the window, I showed them my discount coupon, but they said they coul...

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Separation Anxiety Not Just Kids Stuff

The first day of college was pretty much the same as the first day of grammar school in our family. There was anxiety, fear of the unknown, tears and a slight longing to retreat back into that comfortable place at home called the nest.

It is called separation anxiety. We understand it completely when our children cling to us the first time we are separated from them.

But what do we call it when it happens to the parents? It is labeled the “empty nest” syndrome. I experienced symptoms with each child as we packed up ...

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Children Do As They See

The old man was small and stooped over.  His steps were careful as he carried his tray to the table in the restaurant 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 very 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 ver...

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Sarcasm Can Leave Emotional Scars

When my friend walked by my desk looking really 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 said something funny to me about my casual dress.

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

But there are times when sarcasm really hurts. Even the word itself can lea...

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Barefoot Summer

Our bare feet grew tough, our hair turned 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 huge open space for a table and cement blocks around for chairs.

Underneath the cardboard box table w...

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