Grumpy the Gator

In Grumpy the Gator, a group of children playing encounter a grumpy alligator. The story teaches children to always keep a safe distance from animals in the wild, and to find an adult if they see an alligator.

Grumpy the Gator

Its Always A Story With The Hendersons

Unexpected and Unwanted Guests…Blessings in Disguise

Hello friends! Hurricane Dorian has left the Low Country of South Carolina and life is returning to normal. Well…as normal as can be expected for us since Alan and I had to move unexpectedly and quickly. We received notice via email that the home we were renting was being sold and we needed to move. First, worry set in and then, we remembered to pray. We should have prayed first but our emotions got the best of us for a bit.

Praying and more praying. God listened. He already knew His answer. God provided a brand new home for us about three minutes away from the previous home. We keep in touch with wonderful friends from the previous neighborhood and are making new friends here. There was no need for worry. God knew what He had planned for us.

Following the path of “It’s Always A Story With The Henderson’s”, of course, one of the first events in our new home was to deal with a hurricane. We did not evacuate. Some neighbors stayed while other people left town. The winds howled and whipped trees and street signs through the air. Heavy rain beat the windows causing us to wonder if the glass could sustain such pressure. Praying for all affected by this terrible storm. People here and people in other areas.

The hurricane was an “unwanted guest”. Not “unexpected”. Weather forecasters had alerted of the approaching storm.

New neighbors and friends from the other neighborhood texted, called and checked on each other. This scary hurricane brought people closer together. Friends and strangers helping each other. “Blessings in disguise”. Help putting up storm shutters, businesses offering free items to first responders, neighbors helping neighbors.

Moving past the hurricane, we were ready for beach service at Sunrise Presbyterian Church on Sullivan’s Island SC. Our church offers the special worship time when the tides are safe and there is room on the beach at Breach Inlet.

Last Sunday, bright sunshine warmed everyone while we watched dolphins jump in and out of the ocean. Seagulls and pelicans flew overhead appearing to try to listen to the music, sermon and prayers.

And then… an “unexpected” visitor. Our church welcomes everyone to worship with us, but this was a different kind of visitor. At the beginning of service, a huge pelican flew overhead and landed right in front of the pastor. The pelican sat for a bit and listened and then, attempted to help preach by nipping at the pastor’s toes. Calmness prevailed when a person in the congregation quietly walked to the pelican, reached down and closed the beak and carried the bird to another section of the beach. I had to laugh because the woman appeared to be reprimanding the pelican.

The pelican was not going to leave. The bird had made the decision to attend church and so, at first in the front of the congregation, then, sitting in back of the group of people, this pelican sat and watched.

Laughter was brought to us through a pelican. The hurricane had been scary and had brought back memories of past storms. Hurricanes are “unwanted” guests. This pelican was an “unexpected” guest.

God gives us times to laugh and times to heal from storms in life. Have you found any “unexpected” and “unwanted” guests to be blessings in disguise?

I wonder if the pelican visited the beach again looking for the crowd of people worshipping the Lord. πŸ™‚

Look for ways to find “blessings in disguise”. Let us know what you find.

Have a blessed day,

  • Jacquie A. Bradford
    Posted at 14:33h, 10 September Reply

    Melissa, thank you for sharing, and I’m thankful that you guys are safe. I love the way God shows up in the most unusual, interesting, and sometimes funny ways. He truly is the lover of our souls and knows exactly what we need. Blessings! β™₯

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:09h, 10 September Reply

      Yes, I agree. I love the way God shows up in unusual, interesting and sometimes funny ways. I am thankful God gives us opportunities for laughter. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

      • Jacquie A. Bradford
        Posted at 12:49h, 12 September Reply

        Thank you Melissa. I think your post reminded me of the unexpected that happens in every day life. Laughter is such a medicine! Blessings on your week as well β™₯

      • Barbara Mayes
        Posted at 17:48h, 14 October Reply


        Hi Barbara Mayes here. I have sent last two monthly mailing to you and Alan and they have been returned to me.
        Please mail me your new address do not want to loose touch with you!

        • Melissa Henderson
          Posted at 00:01h, 15 October Reply

          Hi Barbara. I sent you an email with new address. Let me know if you didn’t get it. πŸ™‚

  • Jill Weatherholt
    Posted at 15:24h, 10 September Reply

    I’m so happy you guys are safe after Dorian passed through, Melissa. Ah…I was wondering why you moved so soon. I’m glad you were able to find a house nearby and so quickly. Isn’t it comforting to know that God always knows what’s best for us? I have a feeling He was laughing at everyone’s reaction to the pelican.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:10h, 10 September Reply

      God always has a plan that is better than our own plan. πŸ™‚ The pelican was cute even while the situation was unique. haha! Have a blessed week!

  • melonieabenjamins
    Posted at 15:31h, 10 September Reply

    Absolutely loved the post. I love God’s sense of humor in the midst of the storm.

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 12:38h, 11 September Reply

      Thank you so much. I, too, love God’s sense of humor. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • MrsTina Rice
    Posted at 15:34h, 10 September Reply

    Melissa, I am so glad you both are safe. God certainly has a sense of humor and probably chuckled at the pelican joining your church service, I did. 😊
    Blessings, Tina

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:10h, 10 September Reply

      I chuckle every time I think of that pelican. I wonder what the pelican thought of all the people. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Dave Howe
    Posted at 15:45h, 10 September Reply

    Melissa: What a wonderful story. I dislike moving too and can really relate. I’m glad you are safe and you are able to laugh about it all. God certainly had you covered.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:11h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you. God gives many opportunities to enjoy His creations and to find laughter in the simple things in life. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Ellen Andersen
    Posted at 15:58h, 10 September Reply

    Glad to hear you’re safe. Love the story of the pelican at church 😁

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:12h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you Ellen. I will be looking for that pelican the next time we have beach service. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week!

  • June Foster
    Posted at 16:21h, 10 September Reply

    Melissa, another story that brings a smile to my lips. And my husband’s after I told him the story. I am so glad you’re fine and life is getting back to normal. Was praying for you guys during the storm.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:22h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you June and Joe. Every time I see a big RV, I wonder if it is you two visiting SC. πŸ™‚ Let me know if you ever travel this way. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week!

  • Debra Scales
    Posted at 19:54h, 10 September Reply

    Humor, terror, and encouragement. This piece had it all! So glad you’re safe!

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 23:42h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • ordinarilyextraordinarymom
    Posted at 21:11h, 10 September Reply

    Glad you guys are good. I love when God send in His sense of humor for all to see.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 23:43h, 10 September Reply

      God definitely sends His sense of humor to our lives. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week!

  • readywriterbr
    Posted at 21:39h, 10 September Reply

    Loved the pelican story. I can imagine the pastor’s expression in the midst of this. Glad you’re safe after the hurricane.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 23:44h, 10 September Reply

      We never know when God will send something, even a pelican, to make us laugh. After the hurricane, we all needed joy and laughter. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Kimberly Rose Johnson
    Posted at 22:01h, 10 September Reply

    I’m glad you made it through the storm unharmed and that the windows stayed intact!

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 23:44h, 10 September Reply

      Me, too. Thank you. All is back to sun and humidity here in the Low Country of SC. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week!

  • DJ
    Posted at 22:34h, 10 September Reply

    Thanks for the smile! 😊

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 22:57h, 10 September Reply

      You are welcome πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week,!

  • debwilson2
    Posted at 00:40h, 11 September Reply

    Melissa, that is a lot of stressβ€”moving and hurricane! Thankful for the provision and the laughs!

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 12:22h, 11 September Reply

      Lots of stress but God is working His plan. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week!

  • Jeanne Takenaka
    Posted at 00:58h, 11 September Reply

    Melissa, I’m glad you guys moved past the hurricane. And I grinned at your unexpected visitor at the service. πŸ™‚ I’m glad when the pelican returned, he decided to stay at the back of the congregation. πŸ˜‰ Unexpected circumstances . . . oh yes. I’ve been living some of those lately. And, like you, God is reminding me to trust Him and not fear.

    I hope you guys are getting settled into your new home.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 12:23h, 11 September Reply

      Jeanne, we are settling in and meeting more neighbors. Still a few issues like the internet and a few boxes to unpack. Life is good. Yes, God reminds me to trust Him and not fear. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Karen
    Posted at 03:25h, 11 September Reply

    Boy, Mimi, you and Alan are really having some great adventures since your relocation to S Carolina! How brave of you to stay put and ride out the hurricane. So glad you’re safe and that pelican brought much needed laughter after such a serious weather event. Blessings on your lives in your new home. xoxo

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 12:24h, 11 September Reply

      Thank you dear friend. Every day is a new adventure in the life of the Henderson family. πŸ™‚ I love how God provides opportunities for laughter and joy. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica Brodie
    Posted at 14:06h, 11 September Reply

    That’s so cute about the pelican! I’m glad you all were safe in the storm. Thank God for all His blessings!

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 14:21h, 11 September Reply

      I think the Lord wanted to give us something to laugh about after the hurricane. He sent that pelican and yes, we laughed. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week!

  • Lisa Q
    Posted at 14:21h, 11 September Reply

    I would LOVE to have a Pelican at my church service… or to just sit at the beach, with the sand between my toes, and worship God. So glad you came out of the storms in your life unharmed and even blessed!

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 14:23h, 11 September Reply

      Lisa, we had a lizard inside the sanctuary last year. I assured the pastor that I wasn’t trying to promote my children’s book, “Licky the Lizard” by bringing a lizard to church. πŸ™‚ Now a pelican at the beach service. God definitely has a sense of humor. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

      • Lisa Q
        Posted at 16:04h, 13 September Reply

        Ha! Isn’t God funny at times? That’s great.

  • Gail Johnson
    Posted at 14:30h, 11 September Reply

    Glad you’re safe, Melissa!

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 15:29h, 11 September Reply

      Thank you Gail! πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week!

  • Lynn J Simpson
    Posted at 16:40h, 11 September Reply

    Oh my gosh, wouldn’t that make a great children’s story from the Pelican’s viewpoint. Maybe he/she had a fight with a sibling and needed to cool off, and found this group of the ‘other’ on the beach and …. πŸ™‚

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 18:28h, 11 September Reply

      Love that idea Lynn!!! Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Stephen
    Posted at 17:10h, 11 September Reply

    Thanks for sharing this uplifting story and also glad you and your family are safe! God Bless

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 18:28h, 11 September Reply

      Thank you so much. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Vickie@Vickie's Kitchen and Garden
    Posted at 21:41h, 11 September Reply

    So glad you guys are safe! Oh to see a pelican in the wild. So neat

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 00:36h, 12 September Reply

      Pelicans are very interesting. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week!

  • nancyehead
    Posted at 00:35h, 12 September Reply

    Pelicans are a Christian symbol of self-sacrifice. Great post, Melissa. God bless!

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 00:37h, 12 September Reply

      Thank you for sharing about pelicans being a Christian symbol of self-sacrifice. I did not know that. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Melissa McLaughlin
    Posted at 13:54h, 12 September Reply

    What a lovely story, Melissa! You made me smile! I love to enjoy the beauty, wonder and humor of God’s creation. This is an example of God’s touch in our lives through His creation. And yes, He has a sense of humor! Thank you for sharing this sweet story of God’s “intervention”.

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 14:22h, 12 September Reply

      Thank you Melissa! πŸ™‚ God is so good. I love how He shows His sense of humor to us through every day situations. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • bethbingaman
    Posted at 15:32h, 12 September Reply

    That would be funny! The Lord does know how to lighten our loads. So grateful your area was “loving one another” through the storm.

    • Melissa Henderson
      Posted at 16:11h, 12 September Reply

      I love how the Lord brings simple things to make us smile. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Yvonne
    Posted at 23:04h, 12 September Reply

    Sometimes, God does bring us comical relief in the midst of our storms.

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 00:37h, 13 September Reply

      Yes, I agree. God has a wonderful sense of humor. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Melinda Viergever Inman
    Posted at 12:27h, 13 September Reply

    What a lovely story! The unexpected arrival of the pelican brought joy to lighten the heaviness of the previous hurricane. How kind and humorous is our God!

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 13:33h, 13 September Reply

      Yes, God is kind and He does have a sense of humor. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed week!

  • Emily Saxe | To Unearth
    Posted at 17:15h, 13 September Reply

    Yet another lesson where God revealed Himself to you through the ordinary! I love it πŸ™‚

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 20:44h, 13 September Reply

      Amen. I love how God reveals Himself to us in many ways. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

  • Lily Pierce
    Posted at 18:12h, 14 September Reply

    Oh wow, that sounds adorable! The pelican was just providing comic relief in the storm aftermath. πŸ™‚

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 21:45h, 14 September Reply

      I do believe God sent that pelican to remind us to laugh and to enjoy His creations. A much needed dose of laughter after the storm. Have a blessed weekend! πŸ™‚

  • Janet from FL
    Posted at 00:41h, 22 September Reply

    Such a fun church story! Perhaps God was visiting through the pelican. There is a talking donkey in the Bible after all. We stayed through the hurricane too. We feel safer at home than on the road when hurricanes threaten. Thanks for sharing the pelican story. It made me laugh!

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 12:51h, 22 September Reply

      I am glad the story made you laugh. Laughter is a wonderful blessing. The sun is shining this morning. Temperatures are a bit cooler. Fall is coming here in the Low Country of SC. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed day!

  • Lori Hatcher
    Posted at 15:31h, 30 September Reply

    Oh, how I wish I had been there to witness your pastor’s pelican visitor. My husband was preaching once in a church in Mexico when Patty, a 5-year-old girl walked up and wrapped her arms around his leg. She didn’t have a father in her life, and I think perhaps David stirred a longing for a father’s touch. He admitted afterward that he was a little distracted and nervous because he’d heard Patty had a reputation for biting. Thankfully, she was feeling peaceful that day πŸ™‚

    • mimionlife
      Posted at 16:13h, 30 September Reply

      Thank you for sharing this story Lori. God provides special messages in unique ways. Have a blessed week! πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply