Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate
Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate
Surprises & Space
For a moment nobody did anything. Mom stared at the red van in shock. Laz scratched his head and surveyed the damage from the safety of the car. Becca Lou didn’t seem to notice and kept singing along with the song. Matt looked like he wanted to laugh but he was clearly annoyed.
A man cautiously opened his door. His head turned to survey the damage before I saw his face. Laz decided that now was a good time to get out of the car.
“Hello,” Laz said with his thick drawl. even to this day I don’t know how Laz got his thick Southern accent. I know his mother was from Mississippi, but come on! The guy sounds like a true Texasan!
The man turned around. He had hazel eyes and dirty blonde hair with a hint of grey. He was wearing a faded pair of jeans and a tee-shirt about making places wheelchair friendly. For I second my brain scrapped to figure out who he was, but then it all came to me like a flood. He was Steve Matthews. The stepfather of Natalie Matthews.
“Oh my gosh!” I screamed.
“What!” Mom shouted startled.
I quickly rolled to the van door and opened it.
“Stay in the car!” Mom shouted.
At the same time I heard a woman shout, “Natalie, stay in the car!”
“Oh my gosh!” I shouted as I pointed to the girl who had just rolled out of the red van. She had long dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. She had on a pair of jean shorts and the same shirt as Mr. Steve had on. If I hadn’t known better I would have thought they were biological father and daughter.
“Do I know you?” Natalie asked perplexed at my sudden outburst.
“Yes…well no…you don’t know me but I know you,” I said really really fast.
A woman walked out of the van. She was wearing sweats and a Fourth of July Tee-shirt. Her hair was pulled back into a pony-tail and her amber eyes screamed that she was very tired. She started to get into the back seat and only then did I hear the whimpers of babies.
“You’re Riley Matthews,” I blurted.
“Yup,” Mrs. Matthews said not even looking at me.
A tall young man walked out of the van with Down Syndrome girl on his tall and a little blonde girl was on her tail.
“You’re Yule!” I squealed. “And that’s Bella and Megan. Where’s Noel?”
“At the B&B with Bennet,” Yule said. “Wait who are you?”
“I’m Charolette Lily King,” I said.
“You’re Charlly?” Natalie asked.
“Yup,” I nodded. “I love your blog.”
“Thanks,” Natalie blushed.
Matt finally walked out the van. His eyes landed on Natalie and he smiled.
“Hi,” Matt said offering his hand.
“Hi,” Natalie said shaking it. “I’m assuming your the stepbrother that wasn’t mentioned. You know Charlly I could have helped you out with annoying brothers. Yule’s not my stepbrother but he’s pretty annoying.”
“Hey!” Yule shouted in a playful voice.
A strange looking Mustang pulled up and a man with a cane got out.
“Noel changed her mind,” The man said as he opened the back seat door. “She wants to go to the triplets doctor’s appointment now.”
“We’re not going anywhere, Bennet,” Mr. Steve said. Bennet looked at the damage and whistled.
“How did that happen?” Bennet asked. “Darcy, you’ve got to see this!”
A tall black haired guy walked out the car. His blue eyes filled with shock when he saw the side.
“What happened here?” Darcy asked.
“You’re Darcy Edwards!” I squealed. “You’re cuter in person!”
“Thank you…I think,” Darcy said. His voice trailed off at the last.
“Can someone please tell me what’s going on?” Matt asked.
“Watch out!” I screamed as our space shuttle nearly coliaded with another space shuttle.
Laz stopped the rocket just in time. The nose of our shuttle was just inches away from the nose of the other shuttle.
Laz put on the headphones and started to chat with the people in the other shuttle. The next thing I know we’re following the shuttle and we’re at the Space Shuttle Station.
“Sorry about that,” Laz said as he shook hands with the flyer of the other rocket. “I haven’t flown in years.”
“Its all right, Larry,” The man smiled. “Its just good to have you back.”
“I’m happy to be back, Levi,” Larry smiled. “Is the Asteroid Inn still open?”
“Yup,” Mr. Levi said. “My wife, daughters, and sons are there helping out Dana. Her husband died right after you left.”
“I heard,” Laz said with a sad face. “I tried to come but-“
“We all understood,” Mr. Levi said. “We all knew you had joined the army and couldn’t make it.”
“Well, I’m out of the army now so let the space adventures begin!” Laz shouted.
He could say that again.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you
for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me,
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,
Fictitious Flashbacks & Flowers
It all started with flowers. My epiclly insane adventure didn’t start with the rebellion or the paralyzing shot in the back that my mother’s ex-boyfriend inflicted. My adventure started with a delivery of a bouquet of flowers.
It had only been two days since I had been shot in the back; two weeks since a martial rebellion started on my home country of Earth. The hospital was flooded with people wounded from the war. The nurses neglected me and flirted with the wounded vets. My mother was too shook up to yell at the nurses, and my baby sister Bec was only four at the time.
“Special delivery for a Miss Char,” The delivery man said. In his hand was the biggest and most beautiful bouquet of flowers I had ever seen. There was only one problem. My mother, sister, and I were now connectionless and homeless. If my mom’s jerk-for-a-boyfriend was sending me flowers from jail, it was far too late.
But the flowers weren’t from him. The flowers were from a whole congregation of people. The flowers had been sent from a church somewhere in Chicago. I’d never serious thought about God and religion before my adventure. Why would God care about me? It seemed pretty clear that He didn’t. My parents had been off and on up until my Daddy went to jail. Bec had just been born and my mother wanted to spare Bec the pain of being let down by our father. The only problem with running away from Colorado was that my mother was moneyless, family less, and clueless about raising children. We hopped from state to state. Eventually my mother decided that putting and pulling me in and out of school was too much of a hassle and she started to homeschool me in our car. My mother went through boyfriends faster than Bec went through diapers. It wasn’t until my mom met Mr. Sometime-In-The-Future-I-Will-Paralyze-Your-Daughter did we really settle down. We’d been in Chicago for about a year now and I was convinced of never moving ever again.
Now back to the flowers. The card that came with the flowers only said three words. Praying for You. It was signed by a couple of people that were probably the church’s regulars.
To my mother, the card was an invaluable piece of paper and my mother only read one word on it. Hope.
Fast forward six months later. It was a rainy Wednesday and I had just been released from rehab. My mother was determined to go to the church and thank the people for the deed that felt like it had been done over a thousand years ago. My mother forced Bec and I to get out into the rain. She carried me, wheelchair and all, up the steps of the church and walked in without knocking or asking God for permission or whatever you’re supposed to do before you enter a church.
The church was small, a little bit more like a chapel. There was a bunch of old people and some little kids were sitting on the floor watching the choir sing with intense attention.
The song they were singing freaked me out a little. I heard the worlds “feeling pretty blue”, “I’d be mopping too if I was going to be digested’. They lost me at the last part. Digested? Did God digest the bad, undeserving people of the world? If He did I was about to become his dinner.
The song went on to say, “You ran from God this morning and you’re whale chow tonight!” That was the last straw. Whale chow? Did these people worship and trust their lives to a whale?! Everyone always said that Christians were weird, but I didn’t know they thought a whale created them and ran the universe.
Mom was pretty freaked out by the song. She turned to leave, but just as we turned our back the choir sang, “But! Hold on! Hang on! Not so fast you’re life ain’t over yet. See we’re hear to tell you all about a forgiveness that, You. Can. Get.”
“See God’s a God of mercy. God’s a God of love Right now He’s gonna lend a helping hand from up above!” was the next line.
All of a sudden the little kids started to dance like crazy as they sang the chorus. “Praise the Lord! He’s the God of second chances!”
What happened next happened all too fast.
A man ran into the church. He was wearing camouflage and was dripping wet. A young looking man was standing next to him. My mom and his eye’s met and soon the both of them were dancing with the little children.
The boy looked at the guy with confusion. I have to say that I was just as confused at this whole thing too. Second Chances? It was nice that God gave people second chances, but I was pretty sure I was on like my tenth chance or something.
When the song was finished, the pastor explained how this song was from a movie about talking veggies and how to movie was based on the prophet Jonah. Jonah didn’t want to go to the city of Nineveh because it was so wicked. Even though he was a prophet and should have known better, he ran away from God. Long story short, he was thrown into the ocean, swallowed by a whale who was NOT God, was in there for three days praying and preventing, after three days he was vomited up by the whale, then he did as he was told and saved a bunch of people’s lives. Now one would think that Jonah would be happy that thousands of lives were saved, but no. He didn’t even believe that the people had really repented and went to see what would happen to the city. God gave him a plant even though Jonah had basically just willfully and happily bought a ticket to see murder by plopping his bottom down under the shade. But in the morning, God had a worm ate the plant and had the sun scorch Jonah to faintness. Then Jonah asked God to take his life, and God gave him the best scolding ever.
“Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” God asked.
“Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die,” Jonah said.
“You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” God asked.
That verse really hit me. God cared about the people of Nineveh! God even cared about the cattle! Surely, the people of Nineveh had to have been on their millionth chance for Jonah to want to run away from his God given duty. If God pitied Nineveh surely he pitted me.
The pastor then went into another story about how God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to die for US! And all I had to do was believe and trust in Him. I didn’t have to do a bunch of stuff before He decided to love me. He knew before I was even born. He loves me the way I am, zits and all. On that very spot, I asked Jesus to come into my heart. My mother broke down weeping and accepted Christ. Bec not wanting to be left behind screamed that she believed everything the preacher man had said and wanted Christ. And then the strange man also accepted Christ. The boy with him just stood by the door waiting to leave.
We all pilled out of the church at the same time. The man walked us to our chair and just before taking off Mom asked the man a question.
“Do you really believe in second chances?” Mom asked.
“All I know is that I’ve gotten more second chances than a man deserves,” The man said in with a thick drawl, “and I just received another one in that church.”
The man turned to go but he stopped halfway through and turned back around.
“By the way my name is Larry Stewart, but everyone calls me Laz,” The man said. “And this young man is my son, Matt.”
“I’m Jennifer,” Mom said holding her hand out. “And the two girls are my daughters, Char and Bec.”
They shook hands and the rest is history.
Two years later they were standing at the same alter they both accepted Christ at. Laz was now a working fireman and my mother now owned a boutique in Chicago. There lives had changed significantly in the past two years, and on that day their lives-and their children’s-were about to change even more. They were promising to be together forever, they were vowing to love each other through whatever, they were getting married.
The two of them had tried hard to include us in their ceremony. We were all holding hands at the alter. Bec and I were on Mom’s side, and Matt was on his father’s side. We were vowing to be a family, and that was a vow I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep. You can learn a whole lot about someone in two years and I knew all I wanted to know about Matt Stewart. He’d been born in space which was where his father had also come from. He was also the most annoying, self absorbed stepbrother in the entire galaxy. And not to mention that fact that he walked like a chicken.
Our family vows were to be tested on the first day of summer. Laz received a call from space. He is uncle had just died and he was needed back in space. Mom and Laz had been talking about moving to space for a while. The rebellion on Earth was getting more destructive and bloodier by the minute. I had hinted that a move would not be in our best interest considering I’ve done more moving than any normal thirteen year old girl should have done. I think I could get used to bombs every night and bullets every morning.
But I guess Laz could not because a week later we were in a space shuttle, flying into the unknown. Why God-
“Earth to Charlly!”
Silly Songs, Squirrels, and a Snowman Sign
I looked up from my laptop. Laz was looking at me. Instead of being in a cramped space shuttle, I was in a spacious wheelchair van. Sadly, we weren’t flying into the unknown, but instead we were driving into the unknown. It had been a little over a week since that phone call that tested our vows had been made. Laz was being given some land back in his hometown. Mom and Laz decided to make a ‘road trip’ out of it. So far we’ve been to the Creation Museum, visited Philadelphia, and spent a weekend in New York City.
“Earth to Charlly! Earth to Charlotte Lily!” Laz repeated,
“Huh?” I asked. “What is it?”
“We’re changing CDs,” Mom said in a weary voice. “We’ve just finished my choice of Mandisa. What shall we play next?”
“Veggie tales!” My little sister Becca Lou shouted.
“Not again!” I shouted. “We’ve only played one Francesca Battistelli CD the entire trip!”
“Newsboys!” Matt shouted.
“Can we pwlese listen to Veggie tales?” Becca Lou asked in her baby voice. She held up her 25 Favorite Silly Songs CD.
Laz reached back and got the CD from Becca Lou. I quickly put my headphones on before the Water Buffalo Song drained my brain of all its creativity. As I over read the first chapter on my new book, I realize that Char’s life is much like mine, only more futuristic. About ninety-nine percent of that chapter is true. I hadn’t meant to do that on purpose. The words just came to me. I click the SAVE AS button and rename it: My Crazy Life- A Fictitious Diary: Episode I.
<sidenote> Sorry! I haven’t properly introduced myself. My name is Charlotte Lily ‘Charlly’ Ruth King. Some of you might remember the email I sent to Natalie. Well now it’s my turn to tell a story. As you might remember, I am a T12 paraplegic; I’m thirteen years old, and a wannabe nurse who occasionally writes science fiction<sidenote>
Matt pulled one of the ear buds out of my ear. I would normally yell at him for doing something so annoying, but the dreaded track number ten of the silly songs CD is playing and I must put an end to the tragedy to human that was about to be committed.
“Please don’t!” I shouted. “Just this once! Please don’t-”
“Barbra Manatee. You are the one for me one for me one for me. Sent from up above. You are the one I love,” Laz sang in his Larry the Cucumber voice.
Matt then started to sing the part of the jerk manatee Bill who won’t take Barbra Manatee to the dance. I put my hands over my ears and shouted trying not to let my brain get filled with silliness.
But when my part comes, I give up and say it.
“Larry…what are you doing?” I said in my Bob the tomato voice.
“Just watchin’ a little TV…..Bob,” Larry said.
“Well….maybe you should read a book,” I groan. Becca Lou burst out laughing. That line gets her every time even though she’s six years old now.
“Look kids!” Laz shouted as he points to a sign.
The sign only says three words. Welcome to Florida.
“We HAVE to stop here!” I screamed. Laz took his eyes off the road and looked at me.
“We are stopping here,” Laz said. “This is our new home!”
“What!” I screamed. What happened next happened all too fast.
“Watch out!” Mom screamed. Laz swerves the miss a squirrel, but somehow he didn’t see the huge red van coming out way. Laz slammed right into the side of the van.
No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.