“I Wish I Knew Then…What I Know Now…When I was Younger!”

Dear Reader:

Why didn’t someone tell me when I was younger to quit planning my precious days like some robotic computerized check-off list … but instead let the day reveal itself like the early flowering spring trees…at a natural pace?

Aren’t we all guilty some days of pulling out that ridiculous check-off list we spent half the night making and becoming so consumed by the process of placing checks by ‘things to do today’ that we overlook the opportunities God has put right in front of us to help another?

In fact when we spot these opportunities we literally run from them because stopping to speak to this or that person in the grocery store will slow down the “checks” and at the end of the day… isn’t that how we will evaluate it…by how much “we got done?” 

Our whole priority system is so badly wrong.. on many different levels…it is hard to know where to start to correct it.

So maybe it is best to give an example of someone who did and continues to do it right!

Remember a couple of years ago I told you I got a card, out of the blue, from a young woman (I once knew) who lived on the other side of our duplex in Fayetteville, was married, and had an adorable little boy that I was completely infatuated with….her name was Pat, her husband, Ted, and the precious baby boy was Gregory.

I was a gawky, thirteen year old who found refuge in the little family who rented the other side of our duplex. Since Pat taught and Ted was in real estate (which gave him crazy hours) I was always needed to help and I would have gone over for free and did most of the time because Pat would listen to my teenage woes, lift my spirits, and we shared our love of Gregory laughing over all his growing antics together.

When mother let me know we were moving to Laurens, South Carolina I was inconsolable….not for leaving my peers (friends) cousins or relatives but because my whole thirteen-year-old support system was there…without Pat’s love and support I was just what I saw in the mirror…a gawky curly-haired kid with braces. No one…anyone would take a second glance at …(at least in my estimation. (Pat had showed me, however, the future and how all this would disappear one day…but now we were moving.)

I don’t know who looks sadder the first day of school at Laurens High School…me with my braces and huge bee-hive pocketbook or Ben looking wary and not very happy either. *(Poor mom…she was trying so hard to get a smile. ..I feel sure.)

Fast-forward from a 13-year-old to mid-sixties…and a letter sits in my mailbox from Pat Richardson…re-introducing herself…which was never even needed…I knew who it was immediately. After all those years (Pat-in her 80’s now) contacts a baby sitter she knew from all those years before to thank my family for being there for her when she was just starting out her new family and life.

Pat took an opportunity to listen to God and get in touch with someone who was there for her when she needed them….just like she had been there for me when I needed her. How amazing…she had come across some old pictures and gotten Gregory to help search me down on the computer…and found me. Mother apparently had sent Pat a wedding invitation so she knew my last name.

I started thinking…how many people has God planted in my path whom I was in too much of a hurry to notice. Grandmother used to warn me:

“You  may be the only Bible someone will read.” 

This all came to a head this past Valentines Day when I went to the box and there was a card from Pat. I had sent her Valentines card early before I left for Pawleys.

She had the most beautiful quote in it (from C.S. Lewis-one of my favorite authors) that touched my heart.

“Friendship is something that raised us almost above humanity! It is the sort of love one imagines between angels.” C.S. Lewis

So until tomorrow...”Make me a blessing to someone today” and let me never lose sight of Your day’s revelations…not mine.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I was so happy for Jakie yesterday…the Turners went to the Beauty and the Beast house where some lucky children are selected to play different roles in the Disney production and guess who got the big role…The Beast…Jakie! You can tell from his face that he was so proud… I would have loved to have seen the performance!




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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4 Responses to “I Wish I Knew Then…What I Know Now…When I was Younger!”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    What a wonderful Valentine’s gift…my Mother always stressed the importance of seeing the needs of others and to care….really care. I actually found a bday card from her that she sent me the January before she went to Glory on February 27 five years ago. She always befriended people who other people ignored and even as a young child I saw it. Thank you for my sweet Valentine’s Dsy card. It was in the mailbox when we got home. Love you. Prayers for today….will check on you.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      What a surprise seeing you and Fred yesterday! Made my day…always fun to get away and Georgetown is a fun place to get away for you two Valentines cupids! Hope y’all had a wonderful weekend!


  2. Lee Barbour says:

    Ahh…you and dad look adorable!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      So excited about moving to Laurens right? Too funny…sulky and pouty….those fun teenage years…ended up loving it…best thing we ever did. Go figure!!!!!


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