Character Takes Courage


When I was very young Momma took us to town to run errands. When we returned home she gasped loudly just as we turned into the driveway. There on the front steps of the house was a rattlesnake, coiled and cooling on the smooth cement.

We must have sat in that car just watching it forever, before Momma looked over the seat at us sisters in the back and said, “Stay here. I’m gonna take care of this and then we’ll go in the house.”

Just like that. Then she got out of the car and went into the garage. She came out with a spade and walked boldly toward the snake. I closed my eyes. Tight.

When I opened them the snake was limp over the blade of the spade. Momma nodded to us, letting us know without words that we could get out of the car.

I wanted to be just like Momma when I grew up…

This was a choice of courage on display, an unintended contribution to the building of character in the three young girls watching. This event and others, the moments in life when I decided (I want to…), or pondered (Someone once told me…), or questioned (Have you seen…?) are reflections of impressionable circumstances that have carried my own character forward.

If we courageously choose to continue the display of good character, it has a ripple effect, making a difference in not just one life, but in many. Even a small stone, when thrown into the water, will create a ripple.

This is the purpose of my books, my stories. This, for me, is reason to share. Every good story, no matter how big or small, is the beginning of a ripple. Ripples can carry hope, encouragement, and inspiration. They can share values, lessons, and wisdom. Just a tiny drop of courage to share is all it takes.

Let’s take time to observe and reflect. Let’s challenge each other to continue to share positive, encouraging books and stories. Let’s start a ripple.

Visit the News and Reviews page at to see specific character lessons for books and stories I share with children and adults of all ages.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another— Hebrews 10:24-25