About the Author

Now graduated from her role as a homeschooling mom of 8, Dawn Camp devotes her time and love of stories to writing her first novel. She enjoys movie nights, cups of Earl Grey, and cheering on the Braves. She and her husband navigate an ever-emptying nest in the Atlanta suburbs.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for titling the post with that question.
    Yes, there was a man at the church where I grew up who paid special attention to the children around him. He died when I was nine. I still remember him and his kindness as a very bright spot in my childhood and I think of him relatively often.
    Yet I’ve never wondered if I’m paying it forward, loving all those little ones around me. Thank you for putting the memory of Slim in a new light-as something to strive for.

    • Emily, yes, it could be paying it forward, couldn’t it! I’m sure Slim would love it if he thought his example was being carried on.

  2. I’ve been working in children’s ministry for the past bajillion or so years. I love the uniqueness and the lack of inhibition in their little spirits. I love the way that they are unashamedly who they are!
    I have five of my own and hope for more, maybe even through fostering eventually. I just think there’s no greater resource or gift. (Which is easier to say at 7:30, over a cup of coffee in a quiet house than at 5:30 when trying to cook dinner with two little girls going to war in one room, tantrums in another and spilled juice all over the table!)

  3. 15 years ago a lady took care of my son in the nursery during VBS. They were completely taken with each other. All these many years later, they still go to lunch occasionally and on special outings. He fills the role of “grandson” for her and she fills the role of an older wiser “grandmother” since his are far away!

    It has been a BLESSING to both….and of course to me!

  4. What a sweet story! I have memories of my older next door neighbor always letting me help her with gardening and sewing. I didn’t have close relationships with my own grandmothers, but she filled this role for me. I will always cherish those times!

  5. So so sweet!! I love kids… I only have 2 of my own but so many more from teaching Sunday school or children’s choir since my early 20s. There is so much we can learn from the innocence of children. I learned how important children were as a child from sweet women and men in my home church that were a lot like Sister Fairy. My most memorable was Mama Hamilton. She always had juicy fruit gum in her little purse on Sunday morning… and she always shared. She was my friend’s grandmother and had a grey swirled bun that sat on the crown of her head. She was petite with kind eyes. She always made me (the other kids too) feel special. I am so grateful for the Godly heritage I have… thanks for sharing so I could remember!

  6. What a sweet story. I will never forget my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Padgett. I wish she were still alive so I could tell her how much her concern for me has meant even now that I am an adult. I was molested as a very small child. For some reason in 4th grade, I started having flashbacks and acting out in ways that today adults would recognize for what they were. Back then these things were not dealt with as they are now. I went from being a straight A student to totally failing in school. My mother brushed it off to that being the first year I had a male for a teacher. It was obviously much more than that but for whatever reason she didn’t see the need to address the problems seriously. However, Mrs. Padgett would stop me in the hall several times a week and tell me what a special little girl I was and how I could grow up to be anything i wanted to be. These memories of having someone who really cared about me have alway meant so much to me. They have also helped me as I have been working once again thru flashbacks and the effect the molestation had on my entire life. I pray that I can be given the opportunity to help other children going thru what I experienced so I can let them know it isn’t their fault and God always loves them.

    • Your Mrs. Padgett was a blessing, wasn’t she. It’s easy to dismiss children who aren’t your own, but obviously you really can make a difference.

  7. My Great Aunt Rose took me shoe shopping when I was a girl because she saw me limping from the blisters my too-small shoes gave me. When I got chicken pox and missed the Girl Scout Tea Party at her herb garden, she had one just for me when I was all better. The memories of her kindness have stayed with me for sure!

  8. What a lovely story, and so sad about Sister Fairy. I think she went with a clear conscious even if it was about a cinnamon roll.

  9. What a sweet story! Since my husband is the Youth Pastor for our church, making time for other people’s children is really a “no brainer” for us. It is where God has called us to serve. But, it is EVERYONE’S responsibility in the church to make these connections. It doesn’t take much to make a positive impact on a child…even a cinnamon roll will do the trick! 🙂 It can make all the difference in the world! Thanks for sharing this important message!

  10. Thank you for the reminder. It’s so easy to become so focused on my own littles that I miss opportunities to bless other peoples children as well.

  11. Love this. Was just talking to some older women in our church about how much we need them to mentor (they feel they’ve lost purpose with age). Also, I hear moms looking for mentors for their younger children, someone other than ‘mom’…

    I think this is so important. I love when other adults pour their time and love into my children. It’s so beneficial for both.

  12. I loved it when adults took the I’m to talk to my sons. I think it helped my boys be more mature. On a serious note please be careful when allowing your child to go off alone with a loved church person. Having just gone through this horrible incident with respected but guilty man in our church. Thank you

  13. For years and years I made time for every neighborhood child and cousin and we had a wide open and revolving door… meantime there were no invites back and I was the lonely ‘baby sitter’ and ‘daycare’ (unpaid) and ‘corporate housewife’. Now in retrospect I see the poverty in the attitudes of people enjoying mine and my mum’s hospitality, food and graciousness while criticizing and keeping their own doors shut – they missed a wealth if giving, love, hugs, laughter and memories. As I shut mine ‘back’ from bitterness I develop my own poverty of spirit; as I make a choice to move on and be open to our child’s friends and our neighbors I hopefully will move past comparisons and into just living my own way and keeping joy in my heart regardless of what is going on around me… may God bless our choices and our voices.

  14. I kind of remember a sweet older person handing out butterscotches to suck on during church when I was about 5-7.

    I truly appreciate older people who pay attention to the youngest in the crowd. The young ones often get overlooked, especially their feelings. People don’t realize the impact they have on the younger generation.

    We all need to do our part to bring up good outstanding young people.

  15. I’m glad that Sister Fairy will be in your children’s welcoming circle in heaven. Sweet bonds like that are never broken and they will always remember her. I echo your prayer that the sharing of this story will be like a seed in the heart of all who heard, will take root and will bloom more acts of Godly kindness towards our children. They learn by experiencing faster and more thoroughly than through stories and felt boards and the like!
    Yes, I was raised Catholic and one of the sisters (nuns -they looked so formidable) in their uniforms) was young and had freckles (like me) and she would chase me and laugh! VERY un-churchy behavior, but I looked forward to seeing her every Sunday!

  16. I think we are blessed if we’re in a place, (like myself!), where the house was paid off and/or we’re able to afford leaving a career and be stay-at-home and really just be there for the kids. Every time I thought of the rushing-rushing-rushing to get a child, drop off a child, work, grocery shop, tidy, run errands, fit in dr. and other appointments, sports, school meetings…. whew! How did I do that while working full or part-time. Lucky for me my career was in a creative daycare centre so I was still able to fulfill my goals for creativity and nurturing while my son was preschool and early school age.
    (Maybe the ladies who were unkind were exhausted or even jealous? I don’t know, but I understand!)
    Now I look back and feel blessed to have so many awesome memories!

  17. I was 10. Winnie Bauman taught me to sew my first skirt. She was my 4-H leader and became a good friend. I stayed in her group until I was in college. I learned so many skills from her. She always made me feel special.

  18. This is beautiful Dawn…we try and have as many of our children’s friends over to our home as possible for this exact reason. We want to know them and be present in their lives and the lives of their parents. We also have wonderful older ladies in our church who love to teach things like sewing, knitting, baking, etc to me and my daughter! Love the wisdom and knowledge they so willingly pass down.