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

“Look at the Ball, Not the Moon”

Notebooks, backpacks, water bottles, pencils, pens, paper, lunch boxes, and more are ready to go on weekday mornings during the school calendar year. Yellow buses pass by and stop so students can board. Along with adjusting to school schedules, there are also new events such as sports and music groups. How do children and adults stay focused?

Recently, grandson Rowan joined a local soccer team for kids. He has participated in swim lessons and other creative activities. Being part of a sports team can be a great way to learn patience, physical and social skills, how to work together, show kindness and compassion, and how to share.

Some of Rowan’s soccer games are on Saturday mornings. Other games are scheduled for the evening. Bop and I have been blessed to attend some of the games. Driving to the soccer field parking area, we find a spot to park and begin unloading the items needed to watch the game.
Sunhats, sunscreen, foldable chairs, water bottles, and bug spray. Yes, it’s still warm in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Bugs like sweat.

Our family walks across several fields making sure not to intrude on other teams already playing their games. We find a spot where we can view Rowan and his team, the Sharks. Children ages 6-7 arrive wearing their bright orange Sharks shirt which displays their team number. Rowan is number 5.

This particular evening, the game started at 6 p.m. The sun was lowering in the sky as the game started. “Go! Team! Go! Go Sharks!” was shouted by family and friends. The other team had family and friends cheering for them, too.

After a full day of school, organized sports can be a bit draining for young children. At one point during the game, the referee noticed that most of the focus was not on the game and the soccer ball.

The ball was in play and the game was in process, but there was something more fascinating than playing soccer. The sky was growing dark as night approached and the moon was becoming visible high in the sky.

As the referee realized what was happening, he blew the whistle to pause the game. He looked to the sky and spoke to the kids.

“Look at the ball, not the moon.” He tried to regain their interest in the game.

A few seconds later, the fascination with the moon was over and the game continued. People on the sidelines tried not to laugh, but seeing those sweet children looking at the moon was a precious sight.

The Sharks won their game that evening. High fives and “good game” congratulations were shared by both teams as each team member stood in line. Great sportsmanship and fun for all.

The distraction of the moon reminded me of how often I am distracted by things or events in life. I admit that during my prayer time, I have thought of my “to-do” list instead of focusing on God. I am thankful God forgives me and is ready to hear my prayers at any time of day or night.

What distracts you in life? Is your “to-do” list keeping you from sharing time with God? Are you focused on Him or yourself? These are questions that I have asked myself.

God sent a message that evening. Yes, His creations are wonderful to view. Pause and look at the moon. Thank God for His love and forgiveness. Always keep your focus on Him.

Have a blessed day,
Mimi aka Melissa Henderson

  • Diana Derringer
    Posted at 14:45h, 09 October Reply

    What a sweet reminder of the need to stay focused! ❤️ Thank you, Melissa.

  • Kimberly Rose Johnson
    Posted at 15:22h, 09 October Reply

    Thank you for this sweet reminder.

  • Dianne Miley
    Posted at 16:02h, 09 October Reply

    I needed this reminder today! I’ve been busy with my to do list all day, but have not stopped for devotions yet. I’ve whispered a few prayers as I thought of family and friends who needed them. But God deserves my full attention! Thanks so much, Melissa.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:26h, 09 October Reply

      You are so kind. Praying for you as you go through your to-do list. Have a blessed week! 🙂 Hugs!

  • karenruhl
    Posted at 16:44h, 09 October Reply

    Such a cute story. I have had my moon moments when I should have been focused elsewhere. Good reminder, but as a photographer, I will always be looking at the moon 😉 God bless you all.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:27h, 09 October Reply

      Thank you Karen. I admit that the moon fascinates me. God’s creations are wonderful. Have a blessed week! 🙂 Hugs!

  • Yvonne M Morgan
    Posted at 17:37h, 09 October Reply

    How sweet. I can picture the scene. But it is a good reminder for me of how easily I can get distracted too. Instead of a whistle, I try to use notes to keep me focused. Thanks for this wonderful message Melissa

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 23:19h, 10 October Reply

      Thank you Yvonne. Using notes is a great idea. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • Barbara Harper
    Posted at 18:57h, 09 October Reply

    This is a great example of the fact that what distracts us isn’t always something”bad.” It’s lovely to look at the moon–just not during a ball game. Someone has said that we wrestle not so much over good and bad but between better and best. When I have a number of things I could (and even should) be doing, it’s hard to know how to prioritize time and energy. Something I try to pray for every morning is wisdom to now what to do when.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:28h, 09 October Reply

      Amen. I, too, ask God for wisdom each day. Have a blessed week! 🙂

    • Nancy Ruegg
      Posted at 22:00h, 16 October Reply

      That’s probably the wisest thing we can do: pray for wisdom! Love the idea of praying each morning about what to do when–thank you Barbara! (I just put a note in my prayer box as a reminder for tomorrow morning.)

  • karentfriday
    Posted at 20:57h, 09 October Reply

    What a great post, Melissa. Both my grands are playing soccer again this year. Funny how the players were distracted with the moon and how we can all relate to that as believers and adults. Thanks for this powerful reminder and fun story.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:29h, 09 October Reply

      Thank you Karen. We can learn from the young ones. Sometimes pausing to look at the moon can remind us of God’s love for us and all of His creations. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • June Foster
    Posted at 23:15h, 09 October Reply

    I always love your sweet, family stories. Great analogy. I think that sometimes my self-imposed schedule distracts me from the Lord. This is a great reminder to put Him first.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:53h, 10 October Reply

      Thank you June. I understand about schedules distracting us from the Lord. I need to focus more on Him and not on my “to-do” list. Have a blessed week dear friend! Hugs! 🙂

  • Melissa McLaughlin
    Posted at 00:04h, 10 October Reply

    Melissa, what a beautiful family story with an important lesson. I remember those days with my kids, playing soccer and chasing butterflies. We never got distracted by the moon, though. You will always remember that game! Yes, God is so kind when we lose our focus. Lord, help us see you as beautiful as the moon.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:55h, 10 October Reply

      Thank you Melissa. Yes, I will always remember that special evening. Yes, yes, I pray we see Him in every moment. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • Jill Weatherholt
    Posted at 00:18h, 10 October Reply

    Such a sweet message, Melissa. ❤️

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:56h, 10 October Reply

      Thank you Jill. There’s always something happening around here and it’s usually something that makes us smile and teaches a lesson. Have a blessed week! 🙂

      • Jill Weatherholt
        Posted at 23:16h, 10 October Reply

        Your grandchildren are blessed to have you living nearby.❤️

  • colarnold
    Posted at 00:57h, 10 October Reply

    What a sweet reminder. So many distractions, lol, but I’m working to keep my eyes on God and reminders of Him – like that beautiful moon!

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:56h, 10 October Reply

      Thank you. I pray we all focus on God and not let the distractions take away from sharing time with Him. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • JD Wininger
    Posted at 12:09h, 10 October Reply

    Am in a season I won’t talk about here, but it seems my time is forever being interrupted. I lament, “Can’t I have a cup of coffee in peace?” far more that I should perhaps. Yet, love compels us to serve. I remember coaching youth football many years ago, and I’ve seen snakes, lizards, and all sorts of things disrupt practices and games, but can’t remember having a team stop the game to look at the moon. 😀 Love that imagery.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 22:58h, 10 October Reply

      Thank you JD. Oh my! Snakes and lizards distracting practices and games makes me shiver with the “Yikes!” I’m praying for you dear friend. Have a blessed week! 🙂

  • Karen Jurgens Harrison
    Posted at 07:33h, 14 October Reply

    I apologize for being so late, Mimi. My distraction all week has been Mother falling again and breaking her wrist. As we adjust to a new normal, we’ve had more time to sit outside and admire the clouds. Thankfully the weather has cooled off in Texas! Thanks for your sweet story and a reminder to enjoy watching the moon.:)

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 12:32h, 14 October Reply

      Oh my! I’m praying for your Mother and for you, too. I love how you find joy in the clouds and sitting outside. God provides ways to enjoy His creations even during troubled times. Thank you for reading and commenting. You are a dear friend. Have a blessed weekend! 🙂

  • Nancy Ruegg
    Posted at 22:03h, 16 October Reply

    It IS a challenge to stay focused, perhaps more so these days with so many distractions–some of them quite good, like the rise of a harvest moon. Lord, help us press on with our focus on YOU and what YOU desire for us! Thank you for a memorable reminder, Melissa.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 12:35h, 20 October Reply

      Thank you Nancy. Staying focused on God brings peace and comfort. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  • Lynn J Simpson
    Posted at 16:43h, 19 October Reply

    Having watched my grandson play soccer, I can visualize your story perfectly! 🙂 My “to-do” list is so distracting! I am working on that, though. I strive to trust God completely with my time. All will get done in His timing.

    • Melissa G. Henderson
      Posted at 12:36h, 20 October Reply

      I understand about a “to -do” list. haha! I pray I will keep my focus on God and not my list. I also pray that my list is God centered. 🙂 Have a blessed day! 🙂

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