For All the Princesses

princess1I’ve written a book and am in the process of figuring out how to publish it…but in light of yesterday’s blog, I thought I’d post a chapter for you to critique.  The book is for all our daughters, helping them find a right path, a good self-concept, a right relationship to God.  Experts say to write what you feel passionate about.  This is it for me!  What do you think about this chapter?

 

Let Your Mind Be Transformed

Chris awoke to a bright sky, the sun gleamed through her window.  A smile spread across her face as she threw back her covers and jumped out of bed.  She hastily pulled on her clothes and tiptoed out her bedroom door.

“Good!” she thought, no one’s up but me.  A spark of decision settled it—she was going outside to explore the garden before anyone had the chance to stop her.  “And after all, I am the princess.  I should be able to command my breakfast whenever I want it!  And everyone else can wait for me!”

As she reached the lower level, she heard servants at work in the kitchen, so she stealthily crossed the hall.  “They won’t even know I’m gone,” she thought.  With that she ever so quietly opened the side door, slipped out, and carefully closed it without even a click to give away her presence.

She quickly crossed the courtyard with the fountain and benches she enjoyed each afternoon, and proceeded to a walk through stately elms along the opening path to the garden.  Once again she reached a juncture where the path divided into three sections.

Looking at them, she saw with dismay that through the night each path had changed dramatically.  The path on her right, which had seemed so appealing yesterday, looked grim and foreboding.  The daisies she had picked from a frothy bank of golden sunshine yesterday afternoon had vanished, as if they had never grown there.  Instead, the edges of the path were overgrown with thistles and dandelions.  “How is that even possible?” she wondered.

Tentatively, she reached out to pull a yellow flower from the nearest dandelion, but the moment she touched its stem, her fingers burned as a toxic film oozed out.

“Ow! Stop that!” she cried, and instantly, her father’s image appeared before her.  “Give me your hand,” he said quietly.

Chris held out her hand.  He grasped it gently, and in a flash, the ooze disappeared, the pain with it.  She stared wonderingly at her hand, rubbing it in disbelief.  “How did this happen?” she asked.

“Christine,” He said quietly, “what are you supposed to do each morning?”

She looked down, contrite, ashamed.  “I am supposed to present myself each morning and receive my work for the day,” she responded.

“There is a reason for that,” He replied.  “I know this garden in all its forms—joyous and deadly, wild and groomed, pleasant and frightful.  Indeed, I planted it here for your protection.  That means I know how to direct you and protect you.”

A spark of defiance lit her countenance, and she placed her hands on hips and argued, “But I am the princess!  I should be able to explore and map out the garden all on my own!”

“Your tone, little one,” He chided her.  His eyes gazed at her, full of love, piercing her soul.  “You are the princess, and while this garden is yours, and while it can please you, it also separates you from the outside world.  You will have dominion over it in time, but you are not yet ready.  When you slip out of the castle on your own, you are also out from under the protection of the guard I have posted here for the express purpose of seeing that no harm comes to you.”

Christine felt His sorrow deep in her soul, and a tear or two brimmed her eyes.  “I’m sorry,” she whispered.  As she had learned before, she added, “Will you forgive me?”

In a trace her Father’s image vanished and peace flooded her soul.  She turned and retraced her steps.  Entering the castle through the side door, she saw servants setting out breakfast for her and her retinue.

“My lady,” Kelsey said.  “Your Father asked me to prepare your favorite breakfast.  He wants you to present yourself right after breakfast.”

“Thank you, Kelsey.  Are any of my ladies ready for breakfast?” she asked.

“No, my lady.  You are alone this morning.”

Good, she thought.  I need this time to settle myself.  Christine happily sat down to a plate of waffles, which she generously doused with syrup, remembering the bountiful harvest of sap the trees in the garden had provided this year.  “Kelsey, these are delicious!  Please give my compliments to Cook this morning,” she exclaimed.

“I will my lady.  She will be most pleased,” Kelsey replied.

It was some time later when Christine left the table, ready to enter the throne room.  She entered reverently.  Awe, as always filled her senses.  The ornate carvings depicting her Father’s realm reminded her of how little of the world she had really seen.  This castle, these grounds, these servants, these guards, and her ladies-in-waiting were all she had ever known.

As she reached the empty throne, her Father’s image appeared.  “Christine.  How good to see you again this morning.”  His smile gladdened her heart, and she marvelled that she couldn’t detect even a hint of reproach.

“Your majesty,” she answered, as she bowed before Him.  “What are your instructions for this day?”

“It is my will that you begin a course of study to prepare you for your work in life.  Listen to your instructor.  Let the words you hear transform you into the handmaiden I need at my side,”  He said.

A smile broke across her face, and she bowed in acceptance.

 

Study:   Read Romans 12: 1-2.

  1. What does the word transform mean? Look it up in dictionary, and write its meaning in the space below.

 

  1. How does God renew your mind?

 

  1. How would your life be different if you actually imagined presenting yourself to the King of your life each and every morning…and did it? Try imagining it now.  What might the throne room of God look like?  Would trumpets blare when you enter the room, or would it be quiet and serene?  When you kneel before the Lord, how would you feel?  Try it and see.

 

  1. What are your orders for today?

Spelling Tips for Boomers

The benefits of home schooling speak for themselves.  I know, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  After home schooling my three sons K-12, my neighbor’s kids for four years, and now grandchildren, let me just say this:  The building blocks of character training and the 3R’s stacked upon each other day in and day out create at last a masterpiece…a way of life I heartily recommend for other grandparents as well.

  • The structure of everyone doing their jobs each morning gives me time to focus on projects for ministry or for my business.  By lunch time we all feel productive.  I need the structure as well as my littles.
  • Evidence of learning new concepts, developing both knowledge and wisdom, blesses them…but it also blesses me with meaningful purpose in my life.
  • Intergenerational learning fosters bonds and maturity in both the younger who model older siblings, and in the older teaching the younger.  I know I still learn new things.  I always share from my perspective.  We all benefit from the arrangement.

Critics of home schooling bemoan the lack of socialization, never realizing that the home, full of all ages and all personalities, remains the primary classroom for rounding off the rough edges and errant ways of people rubbing shoulders all day long.  No one escapes to catch a bus.  We work out our differences.  When children learn to cherish the family day in and day out, their ability to fit into society is guaranteed.

Over the years I heard many a bureaucrat “tsk tsk” the notion that home school parents protect their children.  Yes, we protect them from drugs and gun violence, but what parent doesn’t want a safe environment for their children, especially when schools seem unable to stop mass shootings?

You may fault my spelling, but home schooling spells F-A-M-I-L-Y to me.  Our littles range in age from 3 to 13, and we dote on each and every one of them.  Grandparents enjoy a unique opportunity to participate in this process.  Let me see…precious days with the littles or sitting with the gray heads at McDonalds each morning…I can’t imagine living any other way.  It’s about producing a lasting legacy.  It’s a lifestyle I heartily recommend.