Are You There God? It's Me, Mr. Shife

Never underestimate the power of prayer.
I’m not a religious person but I am spiritual.
Too many things have happened to me – especially after my Mom passed away – that has led me to believe there’s definitely something “out there.” Not sure what that might be but I am definitely more open-minded about it.
I bring up the power of prayer because when we took the kids fishing last weekend, and they were giving away prizes at the event we attended because it was free fishing day in Idaho.

There were maybe 22 kids there and 20 prizes.
I was concerned that Kyle and Hayden might get the Mr. Shife jinx.
I have never had much luck winning any prizes and it was never more evident when I attended a watch party for a college football game with my friends a few years ago.
They were giving away all kinds of cool stuff.
There was probably 41 people at the party and they had 40 prizes.
Someone was going to go home without a prize.
Any guesses on who didn’t win anything?
It was so bad that my friend’s brother-in-law showed up at the last minute, dropped his name into the raffle, and won. And the dude could give two squirrel nut-laden turds about football let alone the team we were there supporting.
No, I don’t hold on to the past at all.
Why do you ask?
But enough of my issues.
Back to last weekend.
As the Fish & Game officials were pulling out the winners, the memories of me not winning came rushing back especially after some kid entered his name at the last minute and got his ticket pulled.
My heart was starting to ache for my kiddos as they looked at me and Mrs. Shife with brave faces but you could also see the concern mounting.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.
I looked skyward and uttered the following words out loud: “Dear Lord Jesus wearing a tuxedo t-shirt, please let my kids win a prize.”
A few minutes later, Kyle got his name drawn.
I looked skyward and uttered the following words out loud: “Thank you, Lord Jesus wearing a tuxedo t-shirt.”
More names were drawn and then the Fish & Game official said “last prize” and Hayden looked back at me forcing a courageous smile but definitely worried her name wasn’t going to be called.
More heartache.
The official pulls out the entry and says “Payton.”
Oh, the horror.
The name even sounded like hers.
I’m kidding.
They pulled her name and me and Mrs. Shife breathed some sweet relief that both of the kids won a prize.
Kyle, later on, told us that when he heard the guy say that it was the last prize that he closed his eyes and said quietly to himself: “Please, please, please let Hayden win a prize.”
Nice try, kid.
We all know who did the heavy lifting on this one. 

Ooops. Wrong Jesus.

There we go.

Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon.

I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 


  1. You never know. It could have been the first Jesus.
    I had a similar situation at an office Christmas party a long time ago. It was the last gift, my date willed it into being, they called my name for the prize, and dropped it (glassware). Glad the kiddos made out well.

  2. :-) Sounds like a good time was had
    by all!!

  3. Great story. Not winning a prize is like being picked last for a team. When Faith graduated high school they had their over-nighter with some big ass prizes. I'm talking flat screen TV's. Not one thing did she get. I had worked hard all year with fundraisers, yard sales, and my time, to make this a great party for all. I know it doesn't work that way, but I sure would have liked her to get something.

  4. How great that your kids' names were called. I can't recall ever winning anything growing up.

  5. I sure am glad your kids both won a prize! It's hard for kids to miss out on that kind of thing. I love the first Jesus photo! LOL.

  6. Gosh, you have taken me back a few years. Sorry, many, many years, when my Dad always had a secret package hidden under his coat. His way of making sure I got something. There was a war on then so prizes would have been minuscule. His prize for me would always me carved wood, a figurine or similar. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  7. Whoops, I hit a problem sending my comment... just hope you got it.

  8. Nothing as great as fishing in Idaho. It's wonderful family fun.
    I grew up with a lake almost at our back door. We fished almost
    every day and in the winter, cut a hole in the ice so we could

  9. Hilarious, but a very real issue if there are aren't enough prizes to go around for the little ones. I'm not sure drawing names is the best way to go, but what are you going to do if you're not the one organizing it.

    That guy who got smacked by the fish didn't even see it coming, did he?!

    Have a great week, Mr. and Mrs. S and the little S's.

  10. I'm pretty sure I've got my own winless-curse going on here. However, my oldest son seems to win drawings at will. Makes me sick!

    Fishing derbies bring back terrible memories for me. Bordering on PTSD.


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