Now to the important news: the giveaway winner.
The winner of my blogiversary giveaway is…Susie Merchant. (Cue cheering crowds) Susie’s a non-blogging friend (you know the ones with flesh that we can actually see and touch and hug ;-) She rarely comments, but has faithfully followed my blog since the beginning. Thanks, Susie…your constant support has been a real source of encouragement.
But, since Susie’s local, I also want to share Tastykakes with someone who can’t get them anytime. So I changed the rules of the giveaway (it’s great to be the boss!) and picked a second winner to receive an assortment of Tastykakes. The winner of this yummy prize is. . . Lori. Lori’s new to my blog (and new to blogging), so I’m thrilled welcome her this way. Congratulations!
A long-time reader and a new reader. I think God orchestrated this perfectly.
Plus for you comment-shy readers, there’s a message here for you: God will bless you with baked goods and valuable prizes if you leave a comment. :-) (Really!)
That’s what my 13-year-old daughter said I should write about. See, she’s in the midst of it. And tonight I had to put on those thigh-high waders they issue moms of teenagers and trudge right in.
For months she’s been preparing for the play at school. She’s not a lead, but she is in several “feature” scenes. This weekend she’s scheduled to go on a youth group retreat with her friend and she’s sooooo excited. Since the play is next weekend, the timing of the retreat seemed perfect.
Turns out there’s a mandatory dress rehearsal tomorrow (Friday) until about 8:00pm. The bus for the retreat leaves at 4:00pm. The director said there would be “consequences” (i.e. exclusion from one of the performances) for the kids that left before the halfway point (about 5:30pm).
Long story short, we scrabbled together a plan for a later ride that seemed a way to accommodate everyone. But, tonight the ride fell through. I was in my daughter’s room when her friend called to tell her. As tears welled in her eyes I knew the news wasn’t good. She hung up the phone and I sat with her as she sobbed, bitterly disappointed.
She had a choice to make. Go anyway and suffer the consequences or stick to her original commitment to the play and desire to experience it fully. On paper the choice seems easy. In reality it wasn’t. When I was younger, youth group retreats were some of my favorite experiences. I know how much a weekend enmeshed in Jesus and fun and friends can do for a young teen trying to sort it all out.
In the end she chose to stay home and stick with the play she’s worked so hard preparing for. The choice isn’t the one that offers the most fun, but I think it’s the right one. I took her out for a Chik-fil-A milkshake to soften the blow. (They're a wonderful balm for the soul. Try it sometime!)
Tonight when she went to bed, we both had a peace about us knowing she made the right decision. After I tucked her in, she popped out of her room and called down, “When you write tonight, talk about when things don’t go your way, another door opens. And sometimes you learn something new.”
We all have times when things don’t go as we expected or planned, and we cry bitter tears. Sometimes we need to make the tough choice to do the right thing and other times we need to accept what is.
In the end we just have to trust that God holds it all in His hands and when a door closes, He’ll open a window.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ (Jeremiah 29:11)