My Life: Best Seller or Dust Collector?

This post is inspired by Wordpress for listing some great ideas for blogging.  The idea was, if your life was a book, would you read it?  If you chose to read it, you have to read it from cover to cover.

This made me think.  I’ve had some “interesting” things happen to me in my life.  However, is it a story of amazing tragedy, triumph over the impossible, or an unforgettable love story?  Nope!  While all three of these things happened in my life, do these single or multiple episodes make up a scintillating best seller?  Probably not.  Would it be a dust collector?  Depends on my level of commitment to market the heck out of it, and I don’t see that happening.

I think it is hard for us to look at our own lives and think that it would be an interesting read for others.  The grass is always greener effect seems to be in play here.  There are those amazing stories you hear about, like war heroes, hostage situations, abuse, love that conquered all, and inspirational comebacks, but again, these are time stamps on the fabric of what makes up a lifetime.  Does it mean that person’s entire lifetime is remarkable?  Most likely, the vast majority of us are not Mother Theresa’s, Nelson Mandela’s, or Ghandi, and thus fall short of a lifetime of remarkable.  However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have something valuable and worthwhile to share, even if it is a little snippet of your life line, and not the entirety of it.

I look at imparting what I’ve learned to my children as a way of making all of the good and bad things that transpired in my life to be meaningful.  I look at imparting to others, whether it is words of wisdom, encouragement, sympathy, or constructive criticism as a way to bring my past experiences richness, fullness, and worth.  The greatest joy of being a parent is when you hear your child share with one of their friends words of wisdom you have imparted to them.  It brings validation and a sense of purpose to all that forms the story of your life.  It is in these living pages, where reality isn’t fiction, but a hard won truth that will live on long after you are gone; these are the moments that make your story worth reading, even if that is the only page anyone ever sees.

As an author, I love words.  I love holding a book in my hand and being transported to another place.  What I realized though, while contemplating the blog post suggestion of a book of our lives, is it isn’t the words that make the story of our lives; it is the people we encounter and leave changed, or that change us that are the real story.  The living pages of what shapes our personality, our character, our integrity, or our future.  When you look at it like that, my life is an open book.  Easy to read for the most part, with drama, intrigue, passion, vulnerability, struggles, temptations, short-comings, joy, and triumphs.  All the messy bits of life that make us unique, special, and worth knowing.  People through the ages have tried to have their name memorialized in stone, in music, in print, etc., but I think the real legacy is how many people have been positively impacted by us.  They carry a tiny piece of us with them, and in turn, mix it with a part of themselves and pass it on to another.  We keep living long after we have ceased to draw breath.

While I have no desire to write the story of my life, I certainly want to keep adding living pages to my timeline on this earth.  If it indelibly touches another, then it is the most powerful story every told.  In that way, I will be a best-selling author, even if I never collect a single royalty from it.

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Cultivating Joy While Life is Kicking the Sh** Out of You

We have all had those years in our lives when everything seems to turn into hell in a hand-basket.  Every time we think we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, we realize it is just the next train about to hit you head on.  Whether it is something you personally are being challenged with, or a member of your family, it hurts like crazy regardless.

Then there are those years where everything seems to be turning up roses.  You get the promotion you wanted, you get married, you have a baby, or you win the lottery (still waiting for this to happen).  This is usually followed shortly thereafter by some calamity, big or small that drops you on your butt and leaves you scratching your head.  That was my year in 2013 in a nutshell.  If it was the only year it happened, I wouldn’t be writing this blog.  Mind you, I didn’t say leaves you crying.  I’ve done that too, but for the most part, I choose to laugh rather than cry.  However, I’m not made of steel, nor am I a super-hero, so I do have those days when crying seems the best option.  I don’t pride myself on the fact that I choose not to cry, I just try and look at the situation from a different perspective; that of the stand-up comedian.  These are the situations that make for great jokes and super funny punch lines, well not initially anyway.  I laugh because I just can’t believe another situation hit me like a two-by-four to the side of the head.  However, after the initial disbelief, you have to be able to change the focus, or it will suck you under and drown you in a wave of depression the size of the Titanic.

I would like to claim I am an all-star at being positive and changing the perspective of things, but I am not.  Some days I am better at it than others.  If I made resolutions for each new year, I think mine would be to cultivate joy regardless of what is happening around me.  Joy comes from a place of gratitude.  In a culture of entitlement, gratitude appears to be in short supply.  I want to grow a frick’in acre of gratitude this year.  It will produce a bumper crop of joy, and joy is infectious.

Attitude is the key to unlocking the reservoir of gratitude and joy.  Most people would say I am happy.  They always see me smiling.  For the most part, that is true.  In fact, when I am not smiling, people have come to know that something is very, very wrong.  I am reminded of when I was pregnant with my daughter.  I was twenty-seven weeks along and this agonizing pain started one morning every time I moved.  I was not smiling that day.  I got an emergency appointment with my doctor.  She took one look at me and said, “You’re not smiling so I know that something is really wrong.”  It turned out to be a five day stay at the hospital and later a horrendous four day delivery at thirty-seven weeks and five days gestation.  I was crying then, I assure you.  I was in agony and left with complications I wouldn’t fully realize until I was pregnant with my son, but that is another story.

All that to say, you can choose to let the tragedies and hardships of life keep you crying, or you can change your perspective.  Who hasn’t complained about the cost of their heating/electricity bill?  While your complaining, be grateful you have heat and electricity, as there are millions of people who don’t have that luxury.  How about the mom complaining about constantly picking up her kid’s toys?  There are thousands of women who can’t have a baby, or thousands more who have lost a baby, and would love to have that problem.  It isn’t fun picking up after a two-year old, but at least you have that blessing.

I recently saw a post on Facebook that I reposted to my wall about a 92-year old woman who is blind.  I loved her life philosophy, and I am going to share excerpts from it here.  “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”

She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”

And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less

Thank you Mrs. Jones, your wealth of experience is a great lesson to us all. 

What are you depositing today?  It brings to mind the Bible verse in Matthew 6:19-21; “Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal.  Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal.  For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.”  I am not suggesting you shouldn’t save for the future, but the focus of this verse for me is the last line.  What is more important to you, hordes of money that can be gone in an instant, or hordes of joy that can’t be stolen; you have to choose to give it away?  I will save money, but more importantly, I will be depositing heavily into my “happiness bank account” this year by cultivating gratitude and reaping joy, regardless of what train is heading directly in my path.

 

The Dark of Light

ImageSuffocating. The ebony fingers stroke your senses, play with your fears–your desires.  Your hopes and dreams flash with the beat of your heart, then fade as panic’s stress entwines itself into the very fibers of your muscles, making automatic reactions spasm and twitch as they fight for control.  As much as you want to manipulate the scene and its outcome, you are helpless and blind, groping for the light that will erase the doubts–the nightmare.

While this may seem like a description for a number of things; a panic attack or heart attack, for instance, it is neither.  It is also not a crime scene in progress.  It is the dark tunnels of life.  The point where we have no idea where we are headed at the end, but know the only way to get to the end, and to the light is to keep moving forward even in those dark moments of doubt. 

For some, life starts fairly easy.  Nice flat terrain that stretches for miles.  At some point, perhaps at high school, the terrain begins to climb as decisions have to be projected further into uncharted territory.  We may find a small tunnel running through our hilly landscape.  There is a small degree of uncertainty, but the darkness is short and we are on the other side of this tunnel quickly.

Life seems to create these changes in terrain to condition us, transform us, and prepare us for what lies ahead, but that doesn’t mean the journey through the dark tunnel of doubt or fear is easy to manage.

The longer the tunnel, the greater the doubt, the more questions we ponder–rhetorical or otherwise–the harder the journey through the blanket of night.  We pray the next step will be the point around the bend where the sliver of illumination will appear, drawing us to its source–our hopes, expectations, and goals.

You’ve heard the saying, “Nothing worth having ever comes easy.”  Why the heck not?  Rhetorical question, as we all know that we have to live and experience all of life’s lessons–good, bad, and downright painful to become the unique person we need to be to seize the opportunity that is represented by the light at the end of the tunnel.

While the tunnel may be long and come with twists and turns you struggle to see, you can keep going knowing there is a point to the turmoil that fills your mind as you stumble through the dark.  The key lies in never giving up.  Even when you feel like curling up into a fetal position and letting the fears claim your spirit and will to go on, you must not stop!  You only fail when you don’t keep moving forward.  Stop looking behind you, there isn’t anything to go back to, only lessons to carry forward.

Greatness is waiting to be born, and that only happens when we breach the light that may be long in coming, but is there, even when all you can see is black.

Not Homogeneous

Job hunting has drastically changed over the last decade.  Before, you printed out dozens of hard copy résumés on nice bond or linen paper, and then hunted through the few internet job boards or newspaper ads, searching for companies to send those beautiful specimens to.

Today, you look through the numerous internet job boards, placement agencies, or company career sites looking for an opportunity that matches your particular set of qualifications; assuming there is such a thing.  You then hit the “Apply Now” button.  This takes you into what they say will be a twenty minute process, but the reality is that it takes an hour to complete all their fields, upload your résumé, write and upload your cover letter; which they never provide a human name or address for, so your letter is to “Whom it may concern” or something to that effect.

You then hit the submit button and hope you make it through all the company’s computer algorithms and your résumé actually is selected as one of the potential interview candidates.  That is assuming they have algorithms.  If you are dealing with a company that has a personal touch, you may be part of the vast sea of a couple hundred applicants for that position.  Do you want to place a bet on the likelihood your résumé will ever see anything but the equivalent of the cyber round file?  Didn’t think so.

So what do you do?  How do you stand out in a sea of two hundred applicants if you aren’t even seen?  While technology has made sending out résumés an automated process, it has taken out the human element as well.  Everyone becomes one homogeneous commodity. Nothing special, nothing personal, nothing more than a list of data that may or may not stand up to the algorithm set for the ideal candidate.

I have never lacked a job in my life, well at least until now, when I want to completely change career paths.  I have never considered myself a homogeneous commodity, and now I am reduced to just that.  I am not a person with a unique set of abilities, talents, and experiences, but only a set of skills, education, and qualifications that are randomly selected by those that seem to have a lock on the ideal candidate.  So much for thinking outside the box.  No need for being wonderfully talented, personable, and easily adaptable.  You just have to have the right number of years and/or degree, and you might get plucked from the abyss.

I laugh when I see a ten year experience requirement for an administrative assistant or executive assistant.  Really?  How hard is it to type correspondence, send a fax, an email, schedule an appointment, or make travel arrangements?  Most college students can do these tasks, and yet, someone with twenty-five years of business experience isn’t qualified to handle a phone call apparently.  Go figure.

I thought finding a simple nine-to-five day job would be an easy thing—well, it used to be.  Nope! Not that easy.  Does that mean I am going to give up, and let the system dictate my worth?  Absolutely not!  I know there is a company out there that will actually review all two hundred applications, maybe see my faxed résumé, and realize that someone with my level of experience in various fields, my entrepreneur drive, coupled with my intrapreneur talent (an employee with a flair for innovation and risk-taking who is given unusual freedom to develop products or subsidiary businesses within a company) is exactly what they need.

In the meantime, I am going to live by this quote from Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman:

“Never pray for an easier life—pray to be a stronger person!  Never pray for tasks equal to your power—pray for power equal to your tasks.  Then doing your work will be no miracle—you will be the miracle.” Phillips Brooks

Dogs and God

Have you seen those dog owners out with the dog that is all dressed up like a human, complete with shoes?  I think the shoes are a bit extreme, but after becoming a dog owner, I understand a little bit better about the sweaters.  Really, though, what on earth are people thinking when they treat their dogs like babies?  Well, I think I know how this happens, as I kind of look at my puppy as one of the “kids”.

So what on earth does dogs have to do with God?  On the surface it would seem absolutely nothing.  God is omnipotent, omnipresence, and omniscient.  Dogs don’t possess any of those attributes, yet when I think of my dog, I think of God.  The Bible tells us that we can discover God through nature, but I hadn’t really thought much about this until the past couple of weeks.

Dogs are an example of the unconditional love God offers.  Dogs are patient, understanding, forgiving, loving, and loyal.  I know that there are many girls out there that have gone through abuse who want to have a baby to get the unconditional love they so desperately want.  The problem with that is, babies are human and we have free will.  Free will comes with the inherent risk that at some point, they may choose another path, another object of affection, and if you have been less than perfect, they may actually hold a grudge and want to make your life miserable.  Not so with a dog.

I was worried about how my puppy would respond to me after being neutered.  I was worried he would hold a grudge.  He didn’t.  He was so happy to see me when I came to pick him up from the vet.  He didn’t complain when he had to walk around with a cone on his head for 10 days.  No, he was just as loving as he was before the big day.

I also hate leaving him alone for more than a couple of hours, so that he won’t feel neglected.  If it happens is he upset with me; no not at all.  If I can’t take him out for a walk or play with him when he wants attention, does he snub me and want to hang out with the other family members to make me feel bad; no, of course not.

What I discovered is that his nature is like that of God the Father.  He patiently waits for us to spend time with him, he is excited when we do, but doesn’t hold it against us if we don’t.  He is loyal even when we stray and take interests that may not line up with righteous living.  He is forgiving, he just asks us to say sorry, and all is forgotten.  He is understanding, and recognizes that we aren’t perfect, and He is happy with that, that is the way we were created.  He has always wanted one thing, a relationship.  Not religion, relationship.  My dog craves a relationship with me and the other family members.  Is it always easy to maintain a meaningful relationship?  No, absolutely not.  Relationships of any kind take effort, understanding, patience, and forgiveness, whether dog, human, or supernatural being.  We have the exact relationship we want based on the amount of effort, time, and emotional connectedness we put into it, assuming the other party wants the same.  In the case of my dog, and as well with God, they both desperately want a loving and personal relationship with me, and in the end, I want the same thing.  We all do…we all want to be accepted and loved.  My dog is my very physical reminder that God the Father is there, waiting to spend time, always willing to chat, and accepts me as I am, flaws and all.

Blind, Deaf & Dumb

To my fellow Quiet Time Prayer Ladies (and others), this post is what I want to share this week.

So I was reading a number of different Bible chapters from Exodus, Isaiah, Psalms, and Matthew yesterday, and discovered something interesting.  For those that are currently using one of those reference Bibles, you probably caught onto this awhile ago, so bear with me, as the connection really hit home yesterday for me.

We know that through the Gospels, Yeshua (Jesus) talks in parables.  In Matthew 13:14-15, Yeshua eloborates as to why he does this.  I actually had read the section in Isaiah 6 just before reading some chapters in Matthew, and finally understood why Yeshua was always saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matt. 13:9)  Another is, “Are you also still without understanding?” (Matt. 15:16).  He was referring back to this chapter of Isaiah 6:9-10.  God was telling Isaiah to go and tell the people that they keep on hearing, but don’t understand, they keep on seeing, but don’t perceive.  Because if they actually saw with their eyes, and heard with their ears they would understand, they would repent and be healed.  What did Yeshua come to do: bring the truth, and through faith in Him which required repenting, bring healing.

In Ps. 135:15-18, it talks about the idols that can’t speak, hear, or see, and how we put our trust in these things.  We would like to think that we are better than these inanimate objects, but we are just as blind, deaf, and helpless, and put our trust in most anything, often before God.

We think we are better than the people Yeshua was speaking to all those years ago, that we are enlightened, and we know so much more than they do.  I think we are being a bit cocky when we take this approach, because I think for the most part, we have lost a great deal of knowledge in our “enlightment” that has caused us to be blind and deaf, and therefore, totally tossed by the latest drama, dogma, charismatic speaker, etc.

It is this idea that we are better than those that preceeded us that is our downfall.  Look at the rich young man that came to Yeshua asking him what he needed to do to have eternal life.  He bought into the idea that it is something to own, that you can obtain it somehow with enough effort.  He wasn’t prepared when Yeshua told him to keep the commandments, and he says, I already do all that, so why don’t I have this thing I desire?  Yeshua tells him to sell everthing he has he loses interest, as he can’t imagine a life other than the one he knows.  He can’t imagine a life without privledge, without power and control, without prestige and popularity.  How could that be better than being rich?

Have you heard the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees?”  We get so focused on what is right in front of us, we can’t imagine anything being different, we can’t imagine their might be a better way, another viewpoint, another option.

Look at Moses, the man who talked to God directly.  He spent all his time hearing case after case for the people.  It took his pagan, father-in-law, one day of watching this nonsense to step in and provide an option to Moses (Ex. 18).  Spread the workload was the message.  It seems so simple, but even Moses couldn’t see it, as he was just so used to it being done this way, since he was the “go-to” man.

Yeshua was doing the same thing as Jethro.  He was pointing out the issues where the traditions that had been taught were now more important than what God had actually instructed.  He wanted to fix this problem so that people could see, hear and understand in a way that would produce action.  He didn’t want people doing things just because they had been told this was the way they needed to do it, if it didn’t serve any real purpose.  That was just total insanity.

It is like the division of different doctrines inside Christianity.  Everyone believes their way of interpreting the Bible is right, and they are the only ones going to heaven, but I have to ask, “What did Yeshua say?”  Not what the apostle Paul said, not what Peter said, not what the Pope says, what did Yeshua say?  He didn’t contridict the hebrew scriptures, he brought further explanation, the correct interpretation to them.  He didn’t discard them, he makes it very plain that he had no intention of doing so (Matt. 5:17-19).

So what is holding you back from really seeing, hearing and understanding what God wants to do in your life.  What road blocks have we put in our way, what walls have we built to keep God from shining His light in and leading us out of the forest?  What things are we holding to close (idols) that we are afraid to let go of and trust that what we know may be keeping us from experiencing something greater.  Something we cannot comprehend, like the rich young man.  If we hang onto what we think is most dear, that gives us status, sustenance, glory, etc. we can never move forward.  We will always stand in the outer court wishing we could enter into the Holy Place, when we have been invited to join Him there.  Is today the day the scales will be lifted, the ears unstopped, and your heart of stone turned to a heart of flesh?

I’d like to think I am not still blind, deaf, or lack understanding, but the sad reality is, I do.  I just want to try to be a bit better at seeing, hearing and understanding today, than I was yesterday.  It is a journey, and I am still running the race!

Love’s Revelation

I wrote this poem almost two years ago now.  I came across it, and thought it would be a great blog post.

Heavy, heavy burden

I bear

Stess and worry

weigh down on me

No time to stop, to rest

to share.

Lonely, lonely life

is mine

Consumed by fear

pressed for time

Family, friends

left behind.

Needing, needing more

I say

Always a void

empty; unfulfilled

Around I go

lost my way.

Waiting, waiting there

for me

Whispering my name

so patiently

Is today the day

I’ll finally see?

Longing, longing always

so near

My voice, my touch

some time together

My heart feels warmth

love so dear.

Why, why must

I wait

His loving arms

to embrace

Memories of needs He met

promises still to create.

Enemy, enemy time

past by

Forgotten my tresspasses

my faults, my lies

Rest with my beloved

no longer denied.

Molding, Molding life

once dead

Open, Open eys

once blind

Listen, Listen ears

once deaf

Shout, shout lips

once mute.

Silent, silent teacher

is time

Stronger, stronger child

of Abba am I

Revealing, revealing truth

down the lighted path

now led.

Love that Beats the Odds

Two years ago I celebrated the Feast of Purim for the first time.  I had no idea really about the holiday, but a group of friends decided to give it a try.  We made the typical holiday treats that go with it, but opted out of dressing in costumes.  I wrote this creative retelling of the Book of Esther.

In a foreign land steeped in grandiose history as renowned as legends of old, lived a young woman, of the tender age of 16.  Esther was beautiful to behold, but her real beauty came from deep within her soul.  Characteristics like honour, loyalty, and sacrifice, the kind forged from suffering.  These would be the real jewels in her crown, but them I am getting a bit ahead of myself in this story.

Esther was orphaned at a young age and raised by her older cousin, Morrey.

Morrey didn’t have an easy life, and to be burdened at 28 with the task of raising a 5-year old was hard even on the best of days.  Morrey knew a thing or two about honour and sacrifice, so he never complained about what he gave up by taking Esther in.

While Morrey couldn’t boast in Esther’s outward beauty, he was a most proud “Father” as her character was a reflection of his.

One day, the king of this great foreign land had thrown a fancy party for all his rich friends and politicians.  His wife, Vanny, whose nickname might as well have been Vanity, refused to attend the party.  This embarrassed the king in front of all his guests, and was the rudest, most disrespectful thing a queen could do.

Due to her behaviour, the king, Ashton, removed the crown from Vanny’s head and decreed he would give it to another woman.

A search went forth throughout the kingdom for young single women of great beauty.  Esther never dreamed she would be asked to go to the king’s palace as she was born into the poor class of people in the kingdom.  Her people had been taken as slaves when the previous king, from another kingdom had destroyed her people in battle.

However, the official in charge of the search, Hagar, saw Esther and he insisted she come to the palace.

Morrey had spent what little money he had to buy her a nice dress to walk about the town square, ensuring she would be noticed by Hagar.  Being so finely dressed, Hagar never questioned Esther about her family, nor did she volunteer to give away any of her secrets.

Esther’s modesty and loving nature won Hagar over immediately.  She wasn’t like all the other girls; demanding, ungrateful, whiney or pouty.  This made Hagar very generous when it came to ensuring Esther had the best of the resources the palace had to offer.

After a year of learning royal protocols and undergoing rigorous beauty regimens, it was Esther’s turn to spend time with the king.

The king took notice of how different and special Esther was, more than any of the other women.  She had captured his heart and his favour.

Ashton, the king, wasted no time in making Esther his queen.  The party he threw in her honour was lavish, but he loved spoiling her after all.

As time passed, Morrey spent more and more time in the town square market places, where business for the palace and king was conducted.  He did this to hear any stories he could of how Esther was doing…oh, how he missed her.

It was on such an occasion that Morrey overheard Bill and Thomas planning an attack on the palace.  Terrorists in the king’s palace sent chills down Morrey’s spine.  What would happen if they were successful and Esther was killed in their evil plan against Ashton?

Morrey was able to send a message to Esther about what he had heard so she could warn the king.

When the investigation was concluded, they found the evidence of the terrorist plot to be true, and Morrey’s tip was noted in the case file.  Bill and Thomas were justly punished for their crime.

A few years later, King Ashton, started to favour one of his personal security team, Hector.  Hector rose to the top of the leadership command, and wanted everyone to show him respect, whether or not they felt he deserved it.

Morrey didn’t like Hector and refused to show him respect.  Morrey felt you needed to show respect in order to be given it in return, and Hector wasn’t one to give respect to others, only demand it.

This enraged Hector; “How could someone of Morrey’s status, a slave, the lowest of all in the kingdom, be so prideful as to think he didn’t have to show respect?”

Hector wasn’t just going to teach Morrey a lesson, he was going to teach all the slaves a lesson, a lesson that would cost them all their lives.  Did Morrey really think he didn’t have the power to end his life?  He was just a slave after all.

Hector convinced King Ashton that this kind of disrespect from slaves would be contagious and the best way to stop the spread of this devastating “disease” was to squash it.

King Ashton had no idea the woman he loved was part of this group and told Hector he could do whatever he thought best.

A law was passed that on a set date, not to far in the future, that all slaves from this specific region were to be killed, including the women and children.

Morrey kept a vigil in the town square, crying and mourning for his people.

Esther’s friends in the palace told her about what Morrey was doing.  She sent a trusted friend to find out what was going on since Morrey couldn’t come into the palace.

When Esther’s friend returned with the news, Esther’s stomach tightened up, the blood began to drain from her head so that she became dizzy, sweaty, and felt her heart palpitate, causing her to stumble back and almost faint.  Her friend grabbed her and helped her to a chair.

Esther knew she had to do something to not only save her life, but everyone else’s as well.  The only problem was; how to tell the king what was going on.  She wasn’t allowed to enter the king’s chambers without permission.  The penalty was death to do so, unless he held out his sceptre granting that person grace and mercy.

Esther being no stranger to sacrifice, knew that if she didn’t risk her life now, it would be taken anyway by Hector.

Esther created a plan to spend three days fasting and preparing herself to put operation “Enemy Overthrow” into motion.

After the three days were complete, Esther, dressed and looking as beautiful as possible, went into the king’s chamber.  As soon as the king saw her, his face lit up with delight and he extended the sceptre to her.

The king had been so busy with palace business that it had been awhile since he had spent quality time with Esther.  He told her to ask for whatever she wanted, the sky was the limit.  In our time, it would have been like he told her she had won $1 million dollars.

All she asked for was a dinner party with the king and Hector.

Hector being a conceited, boastful man, went around bragging to all his friends and family how great he was, as evidenced by the special dinner party he had attended with the king and queen.

This special honour wasn’t enough for Hector, he was still angry that Morrey refused to respect him.  His friends said, “Why don’t you make a public display for Morrey where he can be put to death for his insolence?”

Hector wanted nothing more than to rid himself of Morrey and ordered the building of the public execution place.  This special delight was the icing on his cake as he was going to have dinner with the king and queen yet again.

The king was having trouble sleeping that night because he sensed something was troubling the queen.  She still hadn’t asked for anything and she promised to tell him at dinner tomorrow night, but he worried about what it could be.

He decided to read through some old case files (a sure cure for insomnia).  He remembered the foiled terrorist attack and asked for that case file.  He noticed that the man who had reported the plan had never been rewarded, and he wanted to do something for him.

Hector had come to ask the king’s permission to carry out the execution of Morrey, the next morning.

“Hector, what gift would you give someone who honours the king?”  Hector, being the self-righteous creature he is, thought the king was talking about him.

“Have royal robes put on him, and put him on the king’s horse, give him a crown, and make one of the king’s most trusted officials parade him around the kingdom declaring his honour”, said Hector.

The king loved his idea and told Hector to go get his horse, robe and crown and take Morrey out and parade him in front of all the people.

No sooner had he finished what he considered the most humiliating task he was ever ordered to do, he was ushered to the dinner party with the king and queen.

King Ashton took Queen Esther’s hand in his after dinner and asked her to please tell him what she desired.  He couldn’t bear another sleepless night and it made him so happy to do things that would please her.

Esther asked the king to spare her life and that of her people.  The king not aware of the plan to exterminate her people asked who was responsible for ordering her death.

Esther, no longer afraid to speak boldy, knowing she had the full support of the king declared, “Hector, he is the one!”

King Ashton got up from the table enraged by the betrayal of his friend.  He had to get some air

Hector stayed with Queen Esther begging for his life.  He was so ardent in his pleas that when King Ashton come back into the room he thought Hector was trying to take indecent liberties with his wife, and ordered him to be executed on the very spot where he planned to execute Morrey.

Hector’s belongings and position were then given to Morrey as Esther had revealed his relationship to her.

Since a previous law couldn’t be broken, a new one was made, which allowed the slaves the right to defend themselves on the day planned for their annihilation.

On that day, the slaves were triumphant in overcoming their enemies and were able to live in peace as a result.

To this day, a celebration is held to commemorate Esther’s willingness to lay down her life for others, and the victory over their enemies.

The Feast of Purim is that day, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

 

That ends my little tale.  I hope those that are staunch Bible followers are not offended by my creativity with the story, it was not my intention to offend.  I wanted the story to be relatable to the kids that were participating in the celebration, hence the reason for the paraphrasing of the Biblical story.