“Back when I was a child about a hundred years ago. . .”

My students probably heard me say that at least a hundred times or more over the four years they sat in my English classes.  I was the only teacher in the high school that allowed birthday celebrations in my class so of course, they made sure to celebrate my birthday royally.  One year a student asked me, “So, Mrs. Entner, are you a 102 yet?”  Fact is, I was in my forties at the time.

The older one grows, the more reliable our memory is of long ago and less reliable in the short term. I can tell you the names of the barn cats when I was a child, and addresses from fifty years ago, but right now, I would have to look to tell you my cell phone number.

Those distant memories are valuable in seeing the goodness of the Lord in my life.  Sure, there were difficult time and the memories are dreadfully painful, but in recalling them I also see grace piled on grace on my behalf. Mercy on my confessed sin abides as nothing short of amazing. Here’s a story:  My father never spanked me.  He was a gift of mercy and we enjoyed a deep relationship of love and respect. I never sassed him but there was a time when I ran from him instead of listening to reason.  He followed me, of course, and we stood out in the cold too long while he calmed me, and we walked back to the house together.  He didn’t stop to put on a heavy jacket. My mother wasn’t home during the week and he was a single parent.  He took a chill and had a bad cold that turned to bronchitis.  It was my foolish fault. He had every reason to spank me that day, but he showed kindness because we were both missing Mom terribly. Somehow, with only his seventh-grade education, he understood me. In mercy, God also preserved my dad in the illness.  I can’t imagine the guilt I would have felt had he died at the hand of my stubborn will.

God, my Mighty Father, understands and loves me better than I understand myself. His mercy endures forever, the Psalmist declares repeatedly. Psalm 118 begins and ends with the same words: “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever.” I am much older now than back in the classroom so many years ago now—much closer to 100! I am blest to have those enduring memories “back when I was a child, about a hundred years ago. . .”

After that seriousness, here’s a fun song about “Grandma’s Feather Bed.”  You see, my grandpa, did have a feather bed!  He never gave it up and after he died my mother took it apart and made several pillows from it.  One of them rests on my bed today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkwVgbkSCE8




  1. Mercy, in a parent, is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t mean that the child “gets away” with something, but that he knows he deserves discipline but that it is withheld because the parent understands. Great story application, as always.

    • I miss my dad still, much more than I miss my mom. He was a gentle giant and there are still times when I wish I could be a little girl sitting on his lap. Although I was an only child, he never allowed me to be spoiled. I loved him so much that I happily did barn chores with him. Happily! A look of disappointment from him crushed me. Except for that one time I tell about here. I was 13 or 14 at the time.

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