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Turtles

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I've been so lax about this blog. I'm working at night right now and since putting the kids back in school have not had much of a moment to just sit and meditate. So.....for a little while, I'm popping on these stories I wrote some time ago for a little entertainment. In other words, I'm stalling until some fresh ideas come to the worn out brain.

God is our protection. Our shelter. Our hard shell that we can duck into and feel safe from the outside would. We carry Him with us, inside us always, and although we may feel His ways are too slow and meticulous, He gives us all we need. If we follow the rules, if we listen, if we love, then when we step outside our shell, we will be strong enough for all the world has to give.
Seventh grade welcomed our class’s first boy/girl party and I was on the list. Renee’s birthday could pop me up a notch in the cool group if I could choose just the right gift to make an impression. Other girls were talking about music and make-up and jewelry but I couldn‘t possibly pick a knowledgeable gift in those departments. Then it hit me, and word spread quickly that I was going to buy Renee a turtle. Cool. Complete with the bowl with the built-in island and rocks and food. My mom was not as excited but agreed to take me to Kuhn’s on Friday for all I needed. As Friday arrived, I had a basketball practice that ran late. Consequently, my mom purchased Renee’s birthday gift. The party was that night so I was stuck with whatever she decided. I expected her to have the turtle and his needs but as I was getting ready she walked into my room with a medium sized wrapped gift. Knowing it wasn’t a turtle, I dared to ask. She had forgotten about the turtle and been by Cain Sloan and picked up a purse. “A purse! I promised a turtle.” I was furious. I begged not to take the gift and go anyway but when she dropped me off the gift was in my hand. I was just about to stick the box behind the front bush when Mrs. Duke opened the door.
People were all over the house. I immediately found a game being played outside and joined. Susu, Julia, Gina and I shot basketball and talked to a group of boys until Mrs. Duke called us inside. I ran up the back stairs across the deck and wham! Right into the sliding glass door. I rocked back a few steps and felt my forehead begin to swell.
With an ice bag securely in place and sympathy definitely in my court, I watched painfully as Renee opened the shiny black purse my mom had purchased. A few murmurs went through the crowd about a turtle but I continued to hold my head and avoid eye contact. I’m didn’t know what other gifts Renee received because my eyes stayed focused on that black patent leather purse. I cared too much what everyone thought. I let a stupid promise that I never should have made ruin my night. I thought I would never be invited to another party again. My life was doomed.
When I got in my mom’s car, I asked sincerely if she sent a gift that had previously been my owned by my grandmother. “I bought that purse. I thought it was cute.” After explaining all that happened, I tucked into my shell and didn’t speak for the rest of the night. I knew that hand-me-downs stayed in the family and I knew that my parents did everything they could to protect us from getting hurt. But for some reason, I wanted to hurt her feelings.

Lord, today help me not to make promises that I cannot keep. Teach me to seek You in times of difficulty and to know that You will be me shelter. Although I am all over the place, constantly going, remind me that when life is tough, my home, Your heart, is my shelter.
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