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"The Number One Rule"

My Friend Debbie      All parents know how important rules are. Our children typically inherit the rules that were once a part of our own upbringing. "Brush your teeth, say your prayers, make your bed, pick-up your toys," and many more have contributed to our family values. Sometimes it is more obvious when someone else does not obey the rules than when they do. My children are quick to note when a friend gets away with something that they have been trained not to do.

     About six years ago I had the great honor of meeting a woman who has become one of the dearest people in my life. She taught me the best rule of all; the mother of all rules; the one no parent can live without, and the rule no child is likely to forget.

      According to her, the number one rule is to have lots and lots of fun. I know this may sound permissive and probably causes the hair to stand up on the backs of the necks of staunch disciplinarians, but I have discovered that it is a wonderful rule to adopt.

     Let me start by introducing you to the founder of the "Number One Rule." My friend's name is Karen (we call her "KK"). She is a former children's pastor, an aunt, sister, daughter, and friend to all who meet her. I am an advocate of the "Number One Rule" because it has been proven to work when all else fails, and I have learned to employ it in all kinds of situations.

     KK's life is currently filled with chronic illness, as she battles cancer day in and day out. Despite her treacherous days, she still calls to ask me, "What are you doing for fun?" The Lord has faithfully filled KK's fun-o-meter. That is never more evident than when she has been through the worst of all days and still never forgets her own "Number One Rule." She inspires me every time I talk to her about what I am doing for fun, and always wants to hear all the details.

     You can imagine how much children love this rule. We adopted it into our kids' church program, as well as in our home. If the kids are bickering, then I am not having any fun, so they need to change their behavior in order to be compliant with the "Number One Rule." If their rooms are dirty and we can't proceed with a fun activity, then they are not obeying the "Number One Rule." You get the picture.

     As my friend, KK, can attest, life may not always play by the rules, but we can always make the choice to rejoice. We have to cherish the moments we have and not waste golden opportunities to see a smile or make someone laugh. The word "fun" has all new meaning in my life and in our family and I am eternally grateful to my friend KK.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:3-5 (NIV)

Copyright © 2008-2015 Sherry Norquist

Reader Comments...
2009-09-04 22:24:12
"I love this! It is true. I need to apply this more to my life. :)"
        - Cindy
2009-04-21 07:38:28
"Karen is a precious person. God is love and Karen proves that she is His by the love that she radiates. I love this story and am all for the "Number One Rule"."
        - Jeannie

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