A Fine Feathered Friend

20140706-213701-77821306.jpg

Our 9-year old has a friend.  She is kind and helpful and talkative and always, I mean always, smiling.  We took them to dinner with us over the weekend and just marveled at their natural companionship, just how comfortable they are in each other’s presence.  We went for a walk after dinner and the girls were very excited to find a peacock feather, the very one you see in the picture above.  Though her friend found it and took it home that evening, when our daughter saw her the next day she received this pen as a “just because” gift.

This little present stands out in my mind for one reason – my wife and I saw how special this find was in the eyes of both little girls.  They were mesmerized by its brilliant color and fascinating, stylish design.  They were intrigued at how such an exotic bird might have wandered into the area that we were walking through that evening – the Bricktown RiverWalk in our city.  The girls spoke of little else once they discovered this single feather.  It became a wonderful token of a happy evening among friends and family.

But to have it returned and recreated in a new way especially for our daughter by her closest friend, well, you should have been there.  It meant so much more to her and was received with such surprise that her friend was as happy and surprised at its giving.

It all makes me stop and think about how a “just because” kind of gift can make all the difference in the world.  It is the stuff of a great friendship, no matter how old you are.

 

Claire Speaks: Hometown Celebrities

IMG_1513

I am always grateful when our 14-year old agrees to be the guest writer for our blog. Here is what’s on her heart this week:

Who are your favorite celebrities? I know I can think of Tom Hiddleston, Fred Astaire, Bill Gaither, Rod Stewart, Chris Evans, Barry Manilow, Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson – just to name a few. But did you ever think of celebrities as being the people you speak to every single day?

Yes! I know it sounds crazy, but you go to school with celebrities. You might even live with some right in your very own home! No, no, no, I don’t mean that Channing Tatum is your brother or something – but think about this, who are those people in your life that have a positive influence on you and just make you smile by the seemingly simple things they do all the time.

These are your Hometown Celebrities and mine just so happen to be two of my very greatest friends on earth.

My first example is my astonishing Allison. Although she will often shy away from telling you this, she is the most amazing vocalist and actress I have ever witnessed on stage. She is very humble but is quick to compliment you and tell you how amazing you are anytime you need it. She is truly a celebrity in my eyes because of these traits.

Another great example is my spectacular Sean. He is a celebrity to me for a number of reasons. Not only is he just a wonderful person, Sean has some pretty amazing talents that are different from anyone else I’ve ever met. He is on his way to getting his pilot’s license, is an excellent Irish dancer, and is the most outstanding writer in our school. He is also always very gentlemanly and never leaves a moment without filling it with laughter or a smile first.

I could really go on forever, listing out my real celebrities. The countless pastors, family members, teachers, and friends who have filled my life with happiness and song. But now I must let you go and discover your own heroes, so I will leave you with this thought: Do not be swayed by what the world tells you about celebrities and fame. It often says ‘You must live in this certain place’, ‘You must look like this’, and ‘You must do these things’ to acquire those titles. But I have a secret for you: that’s just not true!

You can be a celebrity just by being kind and a good example right in your town, school, and home. You don’t even need a special talent! You will always be admired by someone in the world if you are yourself and not afraid to be it. So look around! Find your celebrities and tell them that they’ve made a difference in your life. You’ll soon find that sometimes, Hollywood can be just around the corner.