About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources

My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Pound to Palace

My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.

Little Halos

Proverbs 31 Ministries


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Thursday, February 7, 2008


"Your pain, sorrow, conflict or trouble – what ever it is – is a pearl in the making! God has allowed the irritant to enter your life and around it He is developing a story that will build you, strengthen you, and give you wisdom to encourage another."
Children should not have to endure irritants – or should they? I find it amazing what children face as they grow up, how they overcome the experiences they face, and move on to develop and strengthen their own characters.

I walked into the 3rd grade classroom full of strangers – once again the new girl.

“Here I go. Put on a smile. Peer into the eyes of potential friends. Look deep to see if anyone is interested in including the new girl.”

Looking hopefully around, I considered my classmates’ body language. Those who glanced away were not interested in me. Those who smiled back may possibly be giving me a chance. On that particular day no one even noticed that a new girl had arrived “on the block.”

For several days I tried to fit in --- to no avail. I knew had to devise a plan to make friends. What would it be? Then I noticed that part of our daily routine included, not only recess, but a stop along the way. We had the option to stop at the snack bar and purchase a mid-morning treat. What I observed was that all my classmates chose donuts. I thought to myself. “If I buy each of the boys and girls a donut, maybe they will notice me and like me.” I thought I could buy their friendship so I devised a plan. I did have one problem, though. I had no money. I pondered my dilemma until I reconciled that stealing a dollar from my mother would not be a bad thing to do. After all, one dollar could make a lot of people happy. The next day I followed through with my plan. It succeeded. Now, I had everyone’s attention and affirmation. Suddenly everyone wanted to play with me. So I spent a day of bliss until my mother arrived to take me home and the teacher thanked her for her generosity. Flabbergasted, my mother stood silently looking down at me as the teacher told her how nice it had been of us to treat the class. Suddenly my scheme crumbled right before my eyes. I had only embarrassed myself. Non one was impressed now and instead of winning friends, I had alienated myself. No one wanted to play with a thief.
I can’t tell you how long I remained the outsider. I don’t think it lasted for very long. I will tell you, though, that the irritant called loneliness turned into a pearl called empathy. I have not lost that pearl. I still catch a glimpse of it from time to time.

Recently I found a flaw in a friend. I had a choice to step in and tell her about it or ignore it. I am glad I didn’t say anything to her. I later learned that her daughter was experiencing another bout with depression. My friend didn’t need another burden.

I don’t like the sad memories of my childhood, yet I would not trade them. Those irritants taught me how not to treat people. One thing I learned for sure. I am very aware of the newcomer. I always want to be sensitive to welcome, invite, and include. Guess what? I have experienced the great trade off – as a result of the irritant, you would not believe how many wonderful friends I have today!

Time in the oyster shell can be time well spent if we emerge with life lessons that challenge and change us.

I know God allows moments of despair in our lives so we can lean on him and grow during the dark hours. Would you care to let us know how an irritant in your life made you a better person?


Bev Brandon said...

Thanks for your tender comment to me. I loved reading this as you deal with the fray of your heart, Van! My husband was terminated from the same job of 27 years a year or so ago, a church staff job where he was the #2 guy. Irritated is mild for the emotions I faced, more like angry and abandoned. But my God orchestrated even this to get me to a better place with HIM and to show me that I was attached to strong people, succesful ministries and my beautiful God never intended for me to be attached to anything but HIM. Maybe they didn't like you instantly in 3rd grade, but I do. I like you instantly for pouring out a little of your beauty on me. Childlike faith. You didn't get it then but you so have it now!

Laura said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog. It has been your posts, along with the urging of God, that has been the catalyst for this self-examination. It has been very liberating to approach it in this manner; very deliberately and open, waiting to see what God has to show me. Bless you for you gentle confidence in who you are. You are leading me to a place closer to my God.
You have become very dear to me! I feel like we are old friends. Thank you, friend.