Be Ready – Grow Your Stummers
Last month’s Blessings Blog was about my beautiful daughter, Katie, who was married on August 1st. This month I’m going to share a little bit about someone near and dear to her who made her wedding that much more special. I’m referring to three-year-old Libby who has shown up in a newsletter or two before. As Katie’s niece, Libby held a very privileged position in the wedding; of course, she was the flower girl.
When Katie first asked Libby to participate in her wedding Libby had just turned three, and I’m not sure she understood what exactly she would be doing for Katie’s ceremony. But as the months went by, it was obvious that Libby was really getting excited about this very important assignment. It was just a couple months ago that I was given the rundown on the latest in flower girl preparations.
I was chatting with Libby’s mom, Kelley, on speakerphone when Libby came into earshot of the call. Kelley asked Libby to talk to me about the wedding. As all preschool tots will often do, Libby will sometimes barely voice a “hi” and “bye” upon request as she runs off to more important matters. This time, however, I could hear the excitement in her voice as she rattled off a list of plans to be ready for Aunt Katie’s special day. “Nonnie, I’m going to grow my hair long, and have a pretty dress, and wear tights, and carry a basket of petals, and I’m going to have stummers so I can be a flower girl!” “Oh,” I replied, having understood the first four assertions well, but absolutely being clueless about the last one. Did I hear correctly? I asked for clarification, and Libby started again, “I’m going to grow my hair long, and have a pretty dress, and wear tights, and carry a basket of petals, and I’m going to have stummers so I can be a flower girl!” Now, if this were a cartoon, I would have been running a towel back and forth between my ears trying to determine if I heard correctly. Since I do not live in a cartoon world, I started to ask about the word in the last sentence that I did not understand. “Libby, did you say summer?” “Nope.” “Did you mean sandals?” thinking that perhaps she just misspoke the word herself. “No, Nonnie – Stummers.” “Was it statues?’ “No, Stummers!” By now I’m sure that either Libby thought I was fairly deaf, that I have a limited vocabulary, or that my brain was not firing on all cylinders, all of which, by the way, can appear true on any given day.
I kept turning the word around in my head and repeating it out loud, and then it hit me. “Libby, are you saying stems?” “Yah,” (and she repeated it again), “I’m going to grow my hair long, and have a pretty dress, and wear tights, and carry a basket of petals, and I’m going to have stummers so I can grow into a flower girl!” “Libby, that’s awesome,” I replied, and I truly thought it was. Having the determination at three to be so ready for her special role was endearing and admirable. We giggled, but we were confident that Libby would do an awesome job throwing petals before her beautiful Auntie strolled down the aisle on her Dad’s arm. And, Libby did just that, even with the two-year-old ring bearer hanging on to her basket.
Libby’s determination to be ready for the job she had been assigned serves as a great example for anyone desiring to be the best at what he does. Be prepared is not just a good suggestion, or a nice thought, or the perennial scout motto. The Bible has many verses and passages that speak to readiness. 1 Peter chapter three reminds us to “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you,” (1 Peter 3:15 ESV). In Titus three verse one the apostle Paul urges followers of Christ not only to be obedient, gentle and courteous, but “to be ready for every good work,” (Titus 3:1 ESV). How about that silly old ant in Proverbs Chapter six verses six through eight? She is acclaimed for her industrious behavior as she works all summer to be ready for the winter months. Then there is the passage in Ephesians chapter six that talks about the armor of God and the importance for believers to wear all the components every single day.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication,” (Ephesians 6:10-18a ESV).
Many times I have heard Christians, including those in leadership positions, talk about praying this passage through daily as a covering to live a successful life of faith. I applaud and support anyone at anytime speaking God’s Word back to Him in prayer. This practice is given as an example in Scripture itself. But, it also seems that as one lives a life of faith and truly makes it a daily goal to be like Christ, these pieces of armor will naturally be there. For we should continually immerse ourselves in God’s truth, wear the righteousness of Christ, prepare ourselves to share the gospel, stand firm in our faith in all circumstances, rejoice in the salvation that is ours through the blood of Christ, and take advantage of the blessing the written Word and the open avenue of prayer is to us who are children of God. Carrying out these practices will afford us the protection provided by God’s presence and power. It will make us ready for the tasks that God has assigned to us so that we can carry them out with perfection.
I am happy to share that the other day Libby informed me that she wants me to be her flower girl in her wedding! I am so honored, and I believe I’ll joyfully accept the job. Depending on events in her future, I better start preparing for this role, so be watching as I grow my stummers to be the best flower girl I can be!
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