Saturday, August 30, 2008

Queen for a Day

The thunderstorms that rolled in yesterday put a damper on our plans to go to the playground (one of my favorite ways to burn off the kids’ energy by dinnertime). So instead, we stayed inside and tried to make the most of the afternoon.

The four of us paraded upstairs, where Boo pulled out the Dance Praise 2 mat and started some fancy footwork in the game room. JJ headed to her bedroom to put on a play and asked me to join her. “I’m going to be the princess,” she announced, pulling out a tiara and her favorite purple dress. “Okay. What should Buddy be?” I asked, as her younger brother nosed around beside her in the dress-up box. “Oh, he can be the boring guy,” JJ said dismissively. Hmm. Okay. I handed Buddy a hard hat and instructed him to “be boring.” He put the hat on backwards and grabbed a toy baseball bat. “O-tay, Mama!” He grinned broadly. Huh. That boy couldn’t be boring if he tried.

I turned back to JJ. “What do you want me to be?” She handed me some costume jewelry. “You can be the queen!” she announced. Then she reached into the dress-up box and handed me her prized Disney Princess magic wand—the kind that you push a button and briiiing! Your wish comes true.

Bejeweled with my magic wand, a sparkly tiara, and pink beaded necklace, I took my place on my “throne” (JJ’s bed) and began my reign as “queen.” It went something like this:

Buddy grabs JJ’s lip gloss when she’s not looking.
JJ: “Hey, give me that! Hey! HEY!”
Buddy, clinging to the lip gloss with all his might: “AAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!”
Me, waving my magic wand: “JJ, don’t fight with your brother!” Briiing!
JJ giggles and smiles. I unfurl Buddy’s clenched fist, retrieve the lip gloss, and grab a tissue to wipe off the glittery pink goo from his cheek.

A few minutes later . . .

Boo, coming into the room: “Hey, what are you guys doing?”
JJ: “We’re having a play. I’m the princess!”
Boo: “No fair, I wanna be the princess!”
JJ, firmly: “No. You can be the maid.”
Boo: “I don’t wanna be the maid! I’m wanna be the princess!”
JJ: “Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! I’m the princess!!!!!!!!”
Me, waving my magic wand: “Children, get along!” Briiiing!
JJ and Boo giggle at me and reach a compromise: JJ can be the princess, but Boo will be the empress. (Smart kid, that Boo.)

This went on for about ten minutes, with the “royal subjects” (mostly) agreeing to do what the “queen” commanded with her magic wand. And with each briiiing!, I thought, Hey, this is great. We should play this game more often!

Don’t you wish there were some kind of “magic wand” to grab on those days when you feel like you’re about to lose your cool—or your mind?

Stop whining! Briiing!
Take your nap! Briiing!
Clean your room! Briiing!

Or maybe for you, it would look more like,

Overdue bills, disappear! Briiing!
Marriage, be restored! Briiing!
Someone, pay attention to me! Briiing!

But we all know that’s not how God created us. After all, if we had a magic wand, we wouldn’t need Him! What our loving, heavenly Father really wants for us is not a carefree life, but a faith that clings to Him amid life’s struggles.

A year ago, my husband sensed God’s call to plant a church. So we sold our home in Austin, packed up our family of five, and moved to Fort Worth with the assurance of God’s calling—but with no church members, sponsors, or financial aid of any kind. It was just Brett and me, our children, and God’s call.

One of the verses I kept going back to during those faith-clinging, loaves-and-fishes days was Psalm 37:5: “Depend on the Lord; trust him, and he will take care of you.” I often found myself reminding God of this verse: “God, we’re completely depending on You here. See this? You promised that if we depend on You, You will take care of us!” And then I’d sense God’s gentle response: Yes, my child, I know you are depending on Me. But do you trust Me?

Humph. I was kind of hoping God would just wave His “magic wand” and give us everything we needed. Poof! Here are your church members. Poof! Here’s a salary for Brett. Poof! Here are your building and church office and worship leader and staff and children’s ministry workers and . . . You get the idea. But instead, God was teaching me to trust Him.

And He still is.

I’m no longer reigning as “queen” around here; that game ended all too quickly yesterday. But I am a daughter of the King, depending on and trusting my heavenly Father a little more each day.

And that’s the kind of royalty I’m proud to be!


  1. Hey Jennifer- I read a few of your entries. Good stuff! Maybe you should write the sermons:) Good to hear from you and I love the magic wand analogy.
    Erin Joyner

  2. Keep writing. I can't wait to meet and swap God's princess stories with you someday. I'm glad I was led down the path to discovering your blog today. It will be my privilege to pray for you and your faith-living, church-building, mothering, wife-ing, writing journey. I will pray for many, many more whispers of Grace in your life! Thank you for sharing a few of these whispers with your readers.
    Yoked to Jesus, Elizabeth