I Don’t Think I Will Do This Again

On her way out of town, she stopped for a breakfast sandwich at a popular fast food restaurant. There weren’t many cars ahead of her which was good because she was kind of in a hurry. Not a big hurry, but enough so that she couldn’t afford any long delays.

She gave her order and drove up. Two cars in front of her, three cars behind her. As she looked at the car right behind her, a thought flashed through her head. “You could pay for their order. It would be a surprise and a blessing for them.”

She had heard of people doing this but she had never done it before, nor had she ever been on the receiving end. I should do it, she thought.

But she soon had second thoughts as she wondered what the process would be. Would the cashier know what she wanted to do? Would she or he know how to do it? What would the people in the car behind her think? Would everyone think she was a fool? It seemed like such a dumb idea.

The line moved up and she began getting nervous. Her turn to pay would be next and she still hadn’t decided what to do. Fear began to rise in her as she wondered if she would even be able to vocalize what she wanted to do. All her life people seemed to have trouble understanding her and many times it was because she had trouble finding the right words to use. She never could figure out why something that came so easy for other people came so hard for her. Maybe she should just forget it.

Yet the thought had come to her. And that thought had never come to her before. What if it was God? She couldn’t just dismiss it. She had to obey it just in case.

The car ahead of her pulled ahead and she pulled up to the cashier’s window.

“$5.28,” the cashier said.

As she handed her debit card to the cashier, she blurted out, “I want to pay for the order of the car behind me, too.”

The cashier looked at the computer and said, “It’ll be $14.27. Still want to do it?”

Nodding, she thought how a year ago she would have choked on the amount. But the healing God had been doing in her throughout the last year, including her emotional attachment to her money, was evident as the amount today didn’t even cause her to raise her eyebrow.  What did raise her eyebrow was the cashier’s request to someone out of sight for a key. Then she walked a few feet away from the register and waited. After what felt like ten minutes but was probably closer to thirty seconds, the cashier came back to the window and explained that she needed a manager to enter a key in order to use the same card twice. A man walked over, presumably the manager, punched something into the machine, then walked away.

She looked behind her. This was delaying everyone. Now there were more than five cars IMG_20180522_215334342_HDRback there. If she had known this would cause a delay for the other people in line, she would never have done it. Feeling very self-conscience, she took her card as the cashier finally handed it to her and drove forward. Picking up her meal, she took one more glance behind her. By now the people in that car would know their meal had been paid for.  What were they thinking?

It doesn’t really matter, she told herself. I did what I thought God wanted me to do. That’s all that I need to be concerned about. But I don’t think I’m going to do this again.

That night, when she returned home, she told her husband of her experience as she opened the mail. He laughed and said he’d done it a few times, and even had been the recipient a time or two. Looking inside the envelope, she was surprised to see a check made out in her name from a medical office. The note said it was reimbursement for a payment she had made months before that insurance had later also paid. She couldn’t remember even making that payment. What surprised her even more was the amount on the check – $142, which was ten times what she had paid that morning for the other car’s order. She had heard of the tenfold law – ‘give and it will be given back to you tenfold’ – but also knew it was not found in the Bible. There was a thirtyfold, sixtyfold, even a hundredfold, but not tenfold. She puzzled over the amount until it dawned on her. God was making sure she connected the check to the meal she had paid for that morning. He knew the struggle she had gone through and yet had chosen to obey in spite of her doubts. This check was His way of saying, “Well, done!” Amazing!

Multiplying Money

Looking at the budget once again, she shook her head. They weren’t going to make it. Why did they think they could afford a house that big anyway? They should have limited themselves to the cheaper houses like she had wanted. But her husband didn’t agree with her. And neither did God, apparently, as He had led them to a house way over her budget.

Now as they were waiting to close on the house, she kept studying their finances, trying to figure out how they could possibly add the mortgage payment to their already tight budget. It would help once they sold the trailer they were living in, but for now, they would have to manage both mortgage payments. True, the trailer payment wasn’t very high since they had locked into a great rate a decade before when they had bought the trailer. But still. Numbers don’t lie. And when she compared their income to their bills and living expenses, it just wasn’t enough. She feared, deep down in her heart, that within a few months, they would lose their new house because they wouldn’t be able to make the payments.

She went to bed that night still worried, not having found any answers.

As she slept, she dreamed.

She was in a grocery store doing her weekly shopping. She pushed her cart down one IMG_20180521_212134311row after another, picking up the basic foods her family would need for the next week. Vegetables, ground beef, chicken, soup, cereal, milk, bread, peanut butter, juice, and several other items found their way into her cart. After completing her list, she headed to the front of the store to check out but suddenly found herself walking down the snack foods aisle. Picking up a bag of chips, she placed it into her cart, along with some peanuts and a bag of popcorn.

She woke up knowing God was trying to tell her something through this dream. She quickly wrote it down so it wouldn’t fade away like most dreams. Then she puzzled over it as she got ready for work. “I was shopping. I had gotten everything I needed. And I was buying junk food. Stuff I didn’t need…”

And then she knew what God was telling her through this dream. He was telling her not to worry about the finances. They were not going to go broke trying to make the mortgage. In fact, not only would they have enough money to buy everything then needed, they would even have enough to buy extras. Stuff they didn’t need but wanted.

She didn’t know how that would be possible, but she placed her faith in His message. And as the months went by, and their mortgage payments were made and necessities bought, there was always just enough money left over to pay for extras like soccer fees, kids meals, and family outings.

She didn’t know how He did it because their income didn’t increase. All she could think of was, just like He had multiplied the bread and fish to feed the multitude of hungry people, maybe, just maybe, He had multiplied their money. Numbers may not lie, she thought, but my amazing God is God over everything, even numbers on a piece of paper.

Bella, part 4 – Questions

They sat on the pier like they had done the last time. At first they were silent, drinking in the beauty that surrounded them.  The reflection of the sun danced on the blue water of the lake. Birds sang to each other, and a cool soft breeze wafted past them from time to time.

Eventually she became aware of the silence between them. She wondered if he was waiting for her to speak first. Maybe he was getting bored, but sneaking a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye, she saw that he was looking around and seemed to be enjoying the peace as much as she was. She also saw something else in his face. Something like…  satisfaction? As if he was responsible for the beauty himself? No, that couldn’t be right. She must be seeing things. Nobody could create a place like this. Discover it? Yes. Nurture and care for it? Yes. But create it? No. A sly thought sneaked its way into her mind: maybe he thinks he’s God.

As if reading her thoughts, he said quietly, “God’s creation is amazing, wouldn’t you say?’

She sighed with relief. At least he’s not claiming to be God. That would be weird. Maybe even dangerous. She’d heard too many stories of the evil done by men with a god-complex. And she had no intention of becoming a victim of a cult – enslaved and intimidated into obedience.

“Something wrong?” he asked, looking at her with a twinkle in his eyes.

“Um, no. Why do you ask?”

“You sighed.”

“Oh, that.” She didn’t want to reveal her stupid suspicion so she tried to change the subject. “I love it here,” she said. “It’s heaven!”

“No, but close,” he chuckled. “Did you say you had some questions?”

“Yes, I do. Lots of them, actually.”

He laughed. “Most people do when they discover this place.”

“What exactly is this place?”

“Well, for me, it’s home. This is where my father and I live.”

“But, it doesn’t make sense. How can this place be here? We’re in a city. There’s not enough room in anyone’s yard to have all of this in it.”

“That’s true for houses and apartment buildings that were built after the city got big. But this place.” he motioned around him with his arm, “was here before the city grew. You could say the city grew around us.”

“That makes sense. But what still doesn’t make sense is how your home is so much bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside.”

“It’s kind of like an illusion. You know, tricks that fool the eyes. Illusions show that you can’t always believe your eyes.”

She nodded. She still didn’t understand the physics involved but she wanted more time to think about it before asking further questions.

“So, if this house, this land, was here before the city grew, then you must have grown up here.”

“It seems I’ve always been here, that’s true.

“And was your dad born here too?”

“No, he wasn’t.”

“When did he get here, then?’

“He’s been here so long, you could say he’s been here forever!” he laughed.

This is getting me nowhere, she thought. She changed the subject.

“Your dad is a pastor. That means he must know a lot about God. And you, being his son, must know a lot about God, too. Right?

“You could say that.”

“Does God really exist or is He just something someone dreamed up to comfort people?”

“Oh, God’s real, all right. No doubt about that.” IMG_20180520_222010004

“Well, if God is real, why do so many people act like He’s not?”

“Many people don’t know that He exists.”

“I mean, people who go to church. People who say they are Christians. Why do they act like God is not real?”

 

“That’s a good questions, I…”

“How’s it going out here?” called a voice as footsteps vibrated on the pier.

Jude and Bella both turned to see Pastor Toby waving as he walked towards them.

“Wonderful,” she answered.

“We’ve been enjoying the peace of this place,” Jude said. “And Bella has some pretty deep questions.”

“Awesome! I love answering questions. But first we have a date with a fresh hot-out-of-the-oven peach cobbler! And if you know anything about peach cobbler, it’s best eaten warm!”

“Mmm… sounds delicious!” Jude said as he stood up. He held out his hand to help Bella stand. “My mouth is already watering!”

Bella tried to hide her disappointment. As good as the cobbler sounded, she would have preferred to hear Jude’s answer to her question. But she didn’t want to hurt Pastor Toby’s feelings, so she smiled and headed back to the church with them. Maybe after eating some of the cobbler, they could get back to her question. She hadn’t realized until she asked it how much she needed to have her question answered. All she knew was that the growing pressure of not knowing was driving her nuts.

Failing Does Not Make Me a Failure

She woke up at midnight and couldn’t get back to sleep, so she stayed up.

Failed at sleeping.

She took her early morning walk but got tired so cut it short.

Failed at walking.

She tried to transfer some photos from her phone to her desk top computer, but phone wouldn’t recognize the computer.

Failed at picture transferring

She ate her normal breakfast and lunch, then continued eating everything she could find throughout the afternoon.

Failed at dieting.

She attached a zipper onto the tote bag she was making, only the fabric got pinched and the stitching was uneven.

Failed at zipper attaching.

She hemmed a pillow she was making, taking four tries to get it passable – not good, but not bad enough to try again.

Failed at hemming

She thought about doing her afternoon walk, but couldn’t make herself go.

Failed at walking, again.

She tried to clean up a pile of clutter, but got overwhelmed and stopped.

Failed at clutter removing.

I’m such a failure, she thought.

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“You’re not a failure with Me.” came the quick but soft voice she had come to recognize.

As she thought about those words, she gratefully realized that she may have experienced many failures that day, but SHE was not a failure in the eyes of God.

God knew just what to say and just when to say it. Amazing what a difference those few words made!

The Gray Cat and Her Space: An Allegory (or maybe a Parable)

The gray cat loved her space. This space under the living room table. The floor length white tablecloth hid her from everyone, giving her a sense of security. This was her happy place. This was where she was most comfortable.

She spent as much time there as she could. Sometimes she would be enticed to go out – when her owner or when nature called – but as soon as she could, she would scamper back under the table. She didn’t like it outside her space. It was too big and cold and things kept changing out there. Not like this small, warm, dark, consistent place she had made her own.

One day she heard a new sound. Not like the sounds made by the people who lived there. This was a very quiet sound. Almost like a whisper. Like whispery soft footsteps moving about the room. Curious, the gray cat peeked out from under the edge of the tablecloth. She couldn’t believe her eyes – there was another cat in the room! A black and white cat who seemed to see everything as he wandered around.

The gray cat ducked back under the tablecloth. Did he see her? Hopefully not. Maybe he wouldn’t think to look under the tablecloth. Maybe he’ll just continue on through the room and out the other door. Who was he anyway? Did her owner get another cat? Heaven forbid! The last thing she wanted to do was share her space.

The tablecloth moved, then the edge lifted and his soft black eyes looked in. She closed IMG_20180518_205030007her eyes and pretended not to be there. Maybe he won’t see her in the dim light. But he did and came all the way in. How dare he? This was her place, made just the way she wanted it. And here he was threatening to change it! No way could she allow this!

She attacked. There was a wild scuffling for a few minutes. She fought with everything she had until he had had enough and ran off. She watched him go, smirking and satisfied with herself. This was her place, and no one, not even him, was going to change it.

 

Have you figured out the meaning behind the story?

If you want to try figuring it out by yourself, stop reading here.

 

Still reading?

Good! Here’s the meaning I had in mind.

the gray cat is us, Christians

the table and tablecloth is our set of beliefs and values that we’ve formed and are comfortable with

the living room is life

the black and white cat is God’s truth

God’s truth will seek us out no matter where we are in life. But we don’t always welcome God’s truth when it arrives. We often chase it away from our comfortable place so we can continue living life the way we want it and so we don’t have to change. We will even fight to keep from changing.

 

So… what do you think?  I would love to hear what you got from the story. Do you have another interpretation?

Make my day by leaving a comment below. 🙂

An Anointing Experience

“God, what does the anointing feel like?” she prayed late one night. “I hear preachers talking about it but I don’t think I’ve ever felt it. Could You give me an ‘anointing’ experience?”

She knew believers were supposed to seek God, not experiences. She knew those who did seek after experiences tended to end up in bad places, many times dragging other people with them. She didn’t want that, but she was curious about what the preachers were talking about. So she dared the prayer, then went to sleep.

The next morning she woke feeling really bad. Tired from going to bed late, she was also feeling sick. The slight cold she had had the day before had developed into a full fledged head cold. Struggling to get up, she thought about calling in sick and just staying home. But staying home was not an really an option that day. There were things she needed to do that no one else could do for her.

“God, You’re going to have to get me through this day. I can’t do it and I don’t even want to try.” she mumbled as she got dressed.

Having no appetite, she skipped breakfast, got in her car, and headed to work.

Once there, she forgot everything as she got busy with the multitude of tasks a teacher has to perform each day. The students were rowdy as usual, but she found herself enjoying their antics and laughing with them instead of scolding.

“What’s going on?” her friend asked her at lunch.

“Nothing,” she responded, confused. “Why?”

“You just seem to be in such a good mood. I’ve never seen you smile so much.”

“Yeah, I am in a good mood. That’s weird because I have a cold and I didn’t sleep much last night.”

“Well, it doesn’t look like that from my end.”

She thought about it as the afternoon progressed. Her friend was right. She was in a really good mood. She felt strong, confident and easy going – like everything was just a walk in the park. She was getting a ton of work done, and was even able to give her more difficult students the attention and time they craved. She liked the feeling.

At the end of the day, as the last student left, she felt all that strength, the good feelings, drain out of her until she was feeling exactly like she did when she woke that morning.

And she remembered her prayer just before she had fallen asleep the night before. Amazing! God had granted her request – her whole day had been an ‘anointing’ experience!

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“Thank You,” she prayed gratefully as she drove home. “Now if You could just make my cold go away…”

I Think There Were Angels Here

“That’s the last of them,” she told her husband as she dropped a board on the stack of boards in their back yard.

He looked up from where he was setting up his saw. “I’m ready here.  The first thing we need to do is dig the holes.”

“Why can’t we just build it on top of the ground? It’s going to be heavy enough not to blow over.”

“It may not blow over in normal wind, but it wouldn’t stand a chance in a hurricane. Besides, do you want to chance it falling over with our kids on it? ”

“No, of course not. I just don’t see how it could fall over.”

“Trust me. We need the holes. And they need to be about two and a half feet deep.”

Sighing, she picked up the hold digger. She hated digging holes. “Here, you do it,” she told him.

She watched as he got busy, handing him the ax whenever he ran into a thick root.  They had decided to build a free standing tree house close to a young tree. She had wanted to wait until the tree matured a bit more and nail it to the tree, but the kids were growing too and she wanted them to have the tree house while they were still young enough to enjoy it. Besides, her husband had pointed out, the tree was tall enough for its branches to extend over the tree house giving the illusion of being in the tree while not putting any stress on the young tree itself.

When he got about two feet down, water began filling the hole.

“I’ve hit the water table,” he said. “I don’t know how much further I’ll be able to go. Hopefully this will be deep enough.”

After attempting to dig past the water, he gave up and started on the next hole. When he finished all four holes, sweat was pouring down his face and he moaned as he stretched his arms and back.

“That was hard,” she said.

He just looked at her.

“What’s next?” she asked.

“We build a side, then stand it up and slide the posts down into the holes.”

“OK, what do I do?”

“Hold this,” he said as he laid a 2x2x5 across two saw horses. She held the board firm as he measured then cut it to fit between the two 4×4 posts that would be going into the holes. He cut a second one to match the first.

“Now what?” she asked.

“Hold this,” he said, laying one of the cut boards across two of the 4×4 posts. As she kept the board from shifting position, he nailed it down securely, then placed another 2x2x5 across the posts, a little ways from the first post.  “There,” he said. “Now grab that side and I’ll get this side. Stand it up slowly.”

She took her position and between them, they got the side to stand up, then managed to pick it up, and slide the posts into two of the holes. As she held the side up, he backfilled the holes, tapping the dirt down firmly every six inches until both holes were filled. She let go of the side and it stood there straight and tall.

“Perfect,” he said. “Now for the second one.”

They repeated the process only this time it didn’t end as well. As they were sliding the posts into the holes, he lost his grip and the side began swaying. IMG_20180516_195405657

“Hold on!” he said, trying to get a good handle on the post.

“I can’t hold this!” she grunted. “It’s too heavy.”

His hand slipped again and the post began falling towards her.

“Watch out!” he yelled as he desperately tried to get a hold of the post.

But before she could move, the side came down right on top of her. It happened too quickly to take any evasive action and she felt the brunt of the weight land on her shoulder. He bad shoulder. The one that had been damaged back in high school and later had surgery to repair the recurrent dislocation.

Shocked, she stood there unmoving, not knowing what to do to avoid more injury.

“Don’t move. I’m going to get this off you,” he said.

But she couldn’t hold the weight any longer. She twisted in ways she would have thought were impossible for her until she managed to get the side on the ground.

“Are you OK?” he asked her.

She didn’t answer right away She just stared at the boards laying within inches of her feet, and thought, “I could have been killed.”

He went to her and checked for injuries. Your neck is a little red and I think you’re going to have a bruise there, but other than that I don’t see anything.”

“I could have been killed,” she said. “Or at least on my way to the hospital. ”

“But you weren’t. And you’re not.”

“How did those boards not hurt me? They weigh more than I do and they came straight down on me. And all I get is a bruise?”

“Praise God for that!”

She thought about it as they got back to work. After a while, with no more mishaps, they were able to finish the tree house. By the time they finished cleaning up, she thought she knew why she hadn’t been hurt enough to call 911.

“I think God knew this was going to happen,” she began.

“Of course He did. He knows everything,” her husband interrupted. “Nothing takes Him by surprise.”

“I think there were angels here,” she continued.  “I think they caught that side so it wouldn’t kill me. It’s amazing that I’m not even really hurt.  Do you think there could have been angels here?”

“Definitely. God charges some of his angels to protect us. Remember what it says in Psalm 91:11? “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”

“That’s right!” she agreed. “I do remember reading that. I just don’t think about it very much. But after today, I bet that’s going to change.”

Looking up to heaven, she said, “Thank You Father for Your angels, and for looking after Your daughter.”

“Amen,” her husband said.

And they went inside together to let their kids know the tree house was ready for them.

Light of the World Award

lotw-award-200

Wow! What a great birthday! Most years my birthday passes as just another day – nothing special happens and there’s no celebrations. I expected the same this year.

But I was wrong. I feel like God celebrated my day with me by giving me several gifts – an unexpected check in the mail, a unexpected gift from my husband, an ultrasound and good news about my soon-to-be-born first granddaughter, and now… the Light of the World Award!

Thank you Joe from Lighthouse Devotions for nominating me!

Joe created this award to honor authors (bloggers) whose presence on the web serve as a shining light for Christ and His Gospel of salvation. (You can read his words here.)

There is no greater honor he could have given me!

 

 

Here are the rules:

  1. Save and add the award image (pictured above) on your blog.
  2. Create a page/post to mention the award nomination and thank the person/blog that nominated you. Make sure you provide a link to their site.
  3. Give credit to the creator of the award (Lighthouse Devotions) and provide a link to the site as well.
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer the next four questions on the same post:
  6. What three words would you use to describe your blog?
  7. In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?
  8. What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?
  9. What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available.
  10. Nominate 7 or more people/blogs to receive the award. Briefly explain why you think they should receive it and provide a link to their sites.
  11. Contact them and let them know that you nominated them.
  12. Proved them with a link to the Rules page.
  13. Say a prayer thanking God for His light and ask that He continue to shine it through you and your blog.
  14. Keep shining the light of Christ wherever you go and in whatever you do!

 

 

Here are my answers.

A.  creative, glorifying, unique

B.  The people I’ve known that seemed to shine the brightest were people who had a heart for Jesus and lived by what He taught. By all of what He taught. What HE taught. No matter how hard.

C.  1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you  may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.

D.  Shine Jesus Shine    an old worship song I loved!!

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And my Nominees…

His Perfect Timing – always positive, great graphics and even songs

Pastor Tommy Grace for the Race – relates scripture to everyday life, makes me feel like I really can be a light in this world

Sue Love Run With It       –  shines the light of His Word through scripture based commentary and song

T. R. Noble, Inside Cup – songs, devotionals, commentaries, – her light shines through all of it

Efua Grace Over Pain  – several kinds of posts, always interesting and positive

Amy Blount A New Life  – God’s power to redeem and restore is a powerful light to those with traumatic backgrounds

Becoming His Tapestry – uplifting, makes me feel she’s writing directly to me

 

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. – Matthew 5:14 (NAS)

Bella, part 3 – Overcoming Detours

As she slept, she dreamed.

She was in her car trying to get somewhere. But there was road construction everywhere and she kept running into detours. No matter how long she drove, she never got any closer to her destination. Frustrated she had decided to ignore the next detour sign but woke up before she could do so.

The first thing she noticed were the shadows in her room. Oh no, she thought. How long did I sleep? She picked up her phone to check the time.  It was almost dinner time! Well, I guess the decision has been made for me. There’s no way I can go now.  It’s too late.  Not wanting to interrupt his dinner, she decided to visit Pastor Toby another day. But then she heard that tiny voice whisper “come” again to her heart.

Responding, she took a deep breath and summoned every bit of strength she had, and headed to the front door.

Where are you going?

She was going to go to the church. She needed to know the truth. And she wanted to be loved for a few more minutes, even if it was only by a stranger. She need to be with Pastor Toby and his son.

But what if they turn you away? No one likes visitors when they’re eating.

If they turn her away, she wouldn’t be any worse off than she was right now. And if they didn’t turn her away, she would finally know the truth.

Determined not to be side tracked again, she walked the few blocks to the church. At this hour, there weren’t as many people on the street. I guess they’re all eating dinner somewhere, she thought. She remembered the last time she walked down this sidewalk. She was still limping a little from her fall, but the redness in her leg gone.

 

Actually, she was surprised to realize, her leg had healed while she had been with the pastor.  Strange that she hadn’t noticed that until now.

She got to the church without incident this time and entered through the unlocked doors.IMG_20180514_142540261 She crossed the foyer and went straight to the doorway leading to the pastor’s living quarters and knocked on the door.

Before her hand could drop away from it, the door opened. Pastor Toby smiled warmly at her.

“Welcome back! We’ve been waiting for you!”

He opened the door wide and motioned for her to enter.  “I need to finish some preparations in the kitchen but you can walk on back to the garden. You’ll find my son there. I’ll join you as soon as I can.”

Nodding, she walked across the room and out the back door. Jude saw her as soon as she stepped outside and opened his arms wide to her.

“You’re here!” he exclaimed. “I’m so glad! I really enjoyed our last visit and was hoping you’d be back.”

“You did? I was afraid you were only being nice last time.”

“It’s more than that. You are valuable and special. We take great delight in you.”

She looked uncertainly at him. “Valuable? I’m nobody. Why would you take delight in someone like me?”

“Someday you’ll understand. Right now, let’s just take a walk. I know you’ve been studying hard and am tired. Let me refresh you.”

Smiling, she said, “Can we go to the lake? I have some more questions to ask.”

 

 

 

related links

Bella, part 1 – Heart VS Brain

Bella, part 2 – Distractions

(Bella’s first trip to the church can be found in I’m Not Hurt, Not Really, part 1 and I’m Not Hurt, Not Really, part 2)

Bella, part 2 – Distractions

Bella headed to her computer. Maybe I just need to learn a little more before deciding whether to go back to that church or not, she thought. She opened up the search bar. Instead of typing in ‘church that is bigger on the inside’, she typed in ‘Pastor Toby’.

“Whoa!” she said out loud. She would never have guessed there was so much information on that man.

She began scrolling down, stopping every now and then to check out a blog, website, book reference, or sermon that caught her attention. Just like for the church, opinions varied widely.

After a few hours, she gave up trying to find the truth on the internet. She would have to go to the church and find out for herself. She got up, stretched, then headed for her bedroom to change her clothes. Maybe if she dressed well enough, she would have a better chance of being accepted by Pastor Toby.

Maybe you should eat before you go.

As she passed the kitchen on her way to the front door, she was struck by how hungry she was.  What time was it? She checked the wall clock. Almost noon.  Ah… that’s why. It was lunchtime! She decided to eat something before leaving.

She fixed herself a sandwich and a glass of sweet tea and sat down in front of her computer to eat.  I’ll do another search while I eat, she thought. This time on the pastor’s son.

Why don’t you play Spider Solitaire?

She paused.  A search could take a long time. It wouldn’t take long to eat her sandwich. She should do something that could be finished in a few minutes. She clicked on the Spider Solitaire icon.

Sometime later, her empty plate set to the side and forgotten, she stared at the game in frustration. This should have been a simple game to win. Why was it taking so long? Maybe she should give up. Maybe she finally ran into a game that couldn’t be won.

That will end your winning streak. You’re up to 89 games. Do you want to have to start over?

No! She was determined to win it before shutting down her computer. This game was NOT going to break her winning streak!

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When she finally got to see the fireworks shooting off as she won the game, she sat back in satisfaction. It had been hard, but so worth it! 90 games! Picking up her plate and glass, she headed back to the kitchen. What was it she going to do before she had lunch? Oh, yeah, go to the church. She glanced at the stove clock. There’s still plenty of time. As she headed to the front door again, she wondered what Pastor Toby was doing. Was he outside in his garden? That’s where she’d be if she owned that church.

He might be getting ready for his next sermon and won’t be happy to be interrupted.

Maybe he was busy. Maybe she should call first. But she didn’t have the number. Should she go and take the chance that he wasn’t busy? Of course he’d be busy. He was a pastor. Aren’t they always busy? There was probably someone already there needing his counsel.

She hesitated at the door, not sure what to do.

Why don’t you take a nap and see how you feel when you wake up?

She yawned as she debated whether to go or not. This is too tiring, she thought. I need a nap. She turned and headed to her bedroom. “I’ll decide when I wake up.”

 

related links

Bella, part 1 – Heart VS Brain

(Bella’s first trip to the church can be found in I’m Not Hurt, Not Really, part 1 and I’m Not Hurt, Not Really, part 2)