When I was a little girl . . .

“Oh, no!” I hear readers shouting. “Not another one of her ‘When I was a little girl’ stories!”

I begin again.

When I was a little girl, I had everything I needed.

My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other people in my community loved me.

I was never without food, clothes, a clean bed, a place to go to school, books or anything else a child needs.

But I lived in an area where everyone lived on the cusp of being without one of life’s necessities: water.

I grew up in rural north Arkansas. We experienced a drought every summer.

People’s lawns were crispy instead of lush. Plants in vegetable gardens shriveled and died. Stock ponds went dry. Creeks turned into cracked beds of dirt. Lake Norfork grew wide beaches.

Every summer, the main topic of conversation was rain.

Though the sky sometimes grew dark and threatened, the rain almost always skipped over us, and watered other lawns, gardens, ponds, creeks and lakes.

My family had a “dug” well, not a “drilled” well.

Our well had been dug many years earlier by people using shovels. After the diggers reached below the level of the water table, they lined the well with stones to keep it from collapsing.

The well was then covered, and water could be drawn from it using a bucket and chain.

Many people had dug wells. Some of those wells had legends associated with them.

It was said that an angry fiancée had thrown her engagement ring into our well when her boyfriend wronged her in some way. We never saw the diamond ring. I doubt it was ever there.

Water from this well was pumped into our house to meet all our water needs, except in the summer during the inevitable drought.

Then, our well ran dry.

Every summer.

A summer drought was as certain as gravity.

Drilled wells were much deeper and were dug with powerful machines. People who had drilled wells never ran out of water.

Every summer Dad said, “I’ve got to have a well drilled.”

But he didn’t.

So, when our well ran dry, we “carried” water in barrels, washtubs, and buckets from the homes of neighbors who had drilled wells.

It was a miserable situation.

We suffered from this lack of water, especially Mom, who did all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, bathing of the children and “carrying” of the water.

My siblings and I took our baths in teacups.

When we saw a lush lawn or thriving vegetable garden in the dead of summer, we said, “Someone has watered it.”

Living things require water. Some plants and animals require less water than other plants and animals.

And, out of necessity, some people survive on less water than others.

Some form of the word water (watered, watering, etc.) appears over 600 times in the NIV Bible. (Thank you, Bible Gateway.)

In the Old Testament, the word usually refers to physical water.

In the New Testament, water is sometimes used literally.

Matthew 3:16 reads, As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.

Jesus walked on water, the disciples fished in water, a Samaritan woman went to a well to draw water, Jesus turned water into wine, Pilate washed his hands in water.

Jesus said, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).

Jesus also used the word water figuratively.

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).

Physical water gives physical life. Spiritual water gives spiritual life.

Water is a powerful metaphor for love.

When I see happy, healthy, thriving children, I think, Someone has watered them with love.

In fact, thriving people of any age have been watered with love.

No one thrives without love.

I encourage you today to be a waterer.

Give someone a bottle of cold water.

Tutor a child.

Comfort a crying baby.

Visit a lonely neighbor.

Smile at a harried cashier.

Give over a parking space.

Share a cookie.

Water everyone you know with love.

23 thoughts on “WATER”

  1. Or maybe provide a long overdue comment on a friend’s blog. . .
    This is another good piece, Debbie! I absolutely loved this paragraph: “People’s lawns were crispy instead of lush. Plants in vegetable gardens shriveled and died. Stock ponds went dry. Creeks turned into cracked beds of dirt. Lake Norfork grew wide beaches.” I was thrilled by your word choices – very descriptive. I particularly liked the phrase “grew wide beaches.” I pray I have watered you today, Debbie, in the figurative sense, of course. To do so in the physical sense would just be weird! 🙂

  2. This is a beautiful post, Debbie! I enjoy hearing your stories and the spiritual parallel is timely in the mid-August heat! My kiddos were enjoying running through the lawn sprinklers today and I wonder how often I’ve taken water for granted. Thank you for spurring me on to think of ways to love others! You are a blessing to me! 💛🌻

    Looking up by grace,

    1. Thank you, Pearl! After I read your comment last night, I sent up a prayer that you are healing and your family members who were affected are healing too. I also prayed that homeschooling is going well. Any updates? Your online friend in Indiana loves you! (She just neglects to “water you with love” often enough.)

  3. Love this, it reminds me of random acts of kindness which I am a fan of. I’m so happy you get to go to Hawaii, that has got to be a great trip. I need to call you. Been meaning to for two months. Maybe by putting it in writing it will happen.

    1. Thanks, Pam! Please email me your new mailing address. I know you love getting to see your two granddaughters more often! Yes, random acts of kindness are so easy to perform, but I rarely think to perform them because my mind is elsewhere! Call me anytime.

  4. Debbie, I love your metaphor of “watering” people with love. I think the word picture will stay in my mind and help me to reach out to others as often as I can.

  5. I love it Debbie! I love when you talk about growing up in our little town, it brings back such fond memories for me but I also hear stories I never knew 😊
    I also hope I can “water people with love” as you say…that’s so special!
    Thanks as always

  6. I love and appreciate your gift of sharing memories! I lived that life right along beside you, but your telling of it brings it right back in living color. Thank you, sister. Thank you too for the reminder to get busy “watering” others. I needed to hear that today. ❤️

    1. Thank you, sister. You already carry a watering can full of love with you wherever you go. You’ve poured love over me more times than I can count. (And you know if there is one thing I can do, it is COUNT!)

    1. Thank you, Janey. I plan to be at the meeting in October. In September Dan and I are taking our “bucket list” trip to Hawaii. If you’ll recall, I was at July’s meeting – – – attending as Becky. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Linda! Would love to visit face-to-face. Dan and I are taking our “bucket list” trip to Hawaii in September! YAY! Maybe the last week of September or even sometime in October (Can you believe we are nearing fall?) would be a good time for us to meet. Send me some dates.

      Your comment means so much. Comments are the only “paychecks” bloggers receive, and we cherish them!

      Hope you’re well. Email me with potential meeting dates!

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