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*My Chair*


If you enjoy this free email service, I encourage you to spread the word to family and friends that we may bring inspiration into the lives of many! If you are not on the list and this has been passed along to you, join the thousands of readers around the world by sending a blank e-mail to:

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by April Burk

My husband says it's uncomfortable. He prefers the couch. But I like it. Most arm chairs I've sat my average-sized female body in push my head forward with their upper back cushions and pull my butt back, leaving my toes dangling above the floor ala Edith Ann, Lily Tomlin's lollipop-wielding character." It's no wonder men have little trouble staking claim on their favorite easy chairs; they're designed by men.

We bought it and the matching couch to furnish our new double-wide when I was pregnant. We measured the furniture and sensibly chose chocolate brown to hide the stains we assumed a child running around doing child things would eventually assure. That was about as much thought as we put into it. But, oh, the life I've lived in that chair.

As my pregnancy progressed, my ability to sleep in our bed declined. Sleeping on my side made my hips ache with the weight they held; lying on my back-the most comfortable position for me-was prohibited as it limited baby's oxygen supply; and, of course, sleeping on my stomach was impossible.

It became my nightly habit to get up when baby woke at three every morning. I'd move around a bit, stretching my sore thighs as she kicked and shifted inside of me. I'd then sit in the chair with a pillow, lean back part way to take the weight off my hips, pull up the foot rest to ease the swelling of water retention in my ankles, and sleep peacefully through the rest of the night.

After Kayla Marisa was born, she remained true to her established pattern and woke at three a.m. I'd lift her out of the bassinet and settle into the familiar seat with her in my arms to nurse and rock, pushing securely off the carpet that my toes and heels could reach.

That chair is where I lost it and wailed like a baby myself in exhaustion and frustration during a three-week growth spurt in which I nursed Kayla seemingly for twelve hours straight. It's where I read to her and made her giggle by rocking fast or bouncing her on my knees in a game of "This is the Way the Ladies Ride." It's where we sit to watch a video and do her breathing treatments when her asthma kicks in. It's where we still go now when she, at age four, gets her feelings hurt and needs to be cuddled.

I've been in that chair at every time of day and night. In those early mornings, I let my sleep-deprived mind focus on the narrow beam of streetlight coming in the window. Or I'd watch television. I came to know all too well what sitcom reruns aired in the wee hours. I've watched the darkness brighten into dawn and twilight melt into night there.

My husband says it's uncomfortable. But it suits me just fine.

April Burk

Write April and let her know your thoughts on her story!


April Burk's stories are included in A 5th Portion of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Mother Voices, Pandemonium Or Life With Kids (re-released as I Killed June Cleaver), and are scheduled for publication in Chocolate for A Teen's Spirit (July 2002), a Chocolate for Teens sequel (June 2003), and a Don't Sweat the Small Stuff collection.


Thought For The Day:

"The most difficult secret for a person to keep is the opinion he has of himself." --Maurcel Pagnol

Verse for the Day:

"I warn every one among you...not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance; but to rate his ability with sober judgement." --Romans 12:3

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Be early if you're a bird and late if you're a worm."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"There's a time when you have to explain to your children whey they're born, and it's a marvelous thing if you know the reason." --Hazel Scott

Coach's Thought For The Day

"If you don't make a total commitment to whatever you're doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It's tough enough getting the boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his lifejacket on." --Lou Holtz

Writer's Thought For the Day:

"Words can have no single fixed meaning. Like wayward electrons, they can spin away from their initial orbit and enter a wider magnetic field. No one owns them or has a proprietary right to dictate how they will be used." --David Lehman

Deep Thought For The Day:

"Gravity: It's not just a good idea, it's the law."



Dear Michael,

I hope you and yours are very well.  Please would you kindly include this prayer request for my father?  Thank you so much.

I am coming to all of you, first to thank the many of you who have let me know that you are praying for my father and to all the many others who have, that I don't know of.  Thank you so very much.

I asked in an earlier e-mail for prayers for my father Thomas D. He was due to have a CAT scan last July 17.  He had the scan three days early as he was hospitalized for a respiratory crisis on July 14.  The scan showed that the cancer in his lungs had not spread.  However, the drug he was on had provoked the breathing crisis and he had to be removed from that drug.

In the effort to get his blood oxygen level up he was put on steroids.  This worked for the oxygen level but has provoked diabetes.  He now needs to give himself daily injections for diabetes.

It's two weeks now he's in the hospital and he's not able to go home until the doctors are able to stabilize both the blood sugar and blood oxygen levels, something they have not yet been able to do.

And so I come to you again, to ask once more for the gift of your prayers for my beloved father.  To those of you who can offer this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

May God bless us one and all. 




"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever! Love, Trisha Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos! Check out my video production business by visiting:


Would you like to see your story in Writer's guidelines can be found on our Web site here:

Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?


The copyrights to the stories that appear in are owned by the authors and are used with their permission. We refuse to run stories without the author's permission and contact info listed after the story. We also refuse to publish stories listed as "author unknown." (All of which violates Copyright Law and the rights of the authors.) This e-mail may be forwarded in its entirety, but please do not cut and paste the stories to be used elsewhere unless you have contacted and been given permission by the individual writer. Thank you so much for honoring the rights of those writers who graciously share their stories with us!


Reading Books, Changing Lives!

For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the bookstore via your credit card, you can now do so!

You can now order a number of different autographed best-selling inspirational books for the same price you would get them in the store, the shipping to you is paid for, and you are helping change the lives of teenagers and those they come in contact with! And best of all, every penny from the book sales are going to youth ministry!


A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook versions. An EBook is a book that can be downloaded and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering the EBook is that is costs less, $8.95 (No other charges), as compared to $14.95 + shipping and handling for the print book. Plus you can download the EBook and begin reading the stories in a few minutes! EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that most of you already have on your computer. And if for some reason you don't, it can be downloaded free of charge at the web site. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this web site to order the EBook version of Straight From the Heart "A Celebration of Life."
Transfer your photographs or old home videos over to DVD or MP4 files! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.

You can join the 15,000 followers on his Facebook Nature Photography by clicking on the link above!

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