Stand and Shine…After All…We’re Stardust!

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Dear Reader:

Aren’t these bright colors beautiful….if I could be Alice in Wonderland for one day…I would love to fall down the rabbit hole and land into layers and layers of these brightly colored clouds. I would lay on the soft, puffy matrix of colors and stare up into the stars shining brightly down upon me…realizing that I am one with the universe…the stars and I share the dust of God’s Creation.

It is always this time of year the Christmas pageants start rehearsal…my boys always ended up shepherds…so I made sure Santa brought them bathrobes each year to use for the next year’s pageant. Murphy’s Law, I reckon, but somehow the robe ties never survived from one Christmas to another….so I was always sacrificing my scarves when they were little…and hunting for belts when they got older.

photo Christmas 1989 was supposed to be the highlight of Mandy’s Christmas pageant career….after going through years  of being a sheep (Baa) a “chorus of angels” and a substitute for a sick shepherd… Finally…at fourteen she was going to get to be Mary…the coveted role of the Christmas Pageant….she had picked out her doll to swaddle for the occasion. And then….

A little storm by the name of Hugo (Hurricane Hugo) hit us full force in the lowcountry… Still as bad as that was…the church was back up and operating again by Christmas. However Christmas Eve…the pageant was cancelled…much to Mandy’s disappointment. We had snow…beautiful white snow for the lowcountry. It was as if God sent us a rare and unique gift to the Charleston area…a ‘White Christmas” for surviving Hugo. A Christmas for the memory books.

The opportunity to be Mary never came around again…so Mandy has always been known since then (in family history) as “Mary Snowflake.” Maybe Eva Cate will fare better…. we’re rooting for you Eva Cate.

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Popular author, Sue Monk Kidd, once told this personal anecdote about a memorable Christmas pageant in her family. Her daughter was quite small and terribly excited about trying out for the Christmas Pageant. When she came running to the car after try-outs…she was holding a five pointed cardboard box with gold tinsel.

Her face was beaming with happiness…she was so happy she could barely speak. When the author asked her daughter what role she got she proudly proclaimed “The Star!

Oh...said her mother…hum…does the star have a speaking line?” Her daughter looked at her in disbelief and shook her head. “Of course not…stars can’t talk, silly mommy!”

Then what do you do?”

Oh mommy…her daughter clapped her hands in excited anticipation….“I get to stand there and SHINE”!

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So until tomorrow…When you think about it…isn’t that what God wants of us…to simply “stand and shine.” To let our inner spirit shine on others as a beloved child of God…to reveal the star in us?

* “Today is my favorite day”   Winnie the Pooh

*If you ever read biographies of America’s first astronauts to the moon…they appear to share the same epiphany or realization of man’s connection to the stars and planets. They felt that they were seeing a part of themselves within the ancient stars…a part of themselves that they had never seen before…and would be ready to return to stardust when their time here on earth was over.

I hope everyone had a terrific holiday and stuffed yourselves admirably….Walsh, Mollie, and Rutledge spent the night in Boo’s  B&B and we had fun playing until another time for another Thanksgiving gathering at Aunt Doodle’s….which Rutledge almost managed to completely sleep through. We played hard Thanksgiving morning…

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Thanks Joan for your generosity with all your artwork (colors and sheep)… I am loving sharing all this amazing talent!

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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