Chapter 1: Miss Esther Memorizes a Verse
Miss Esther opened her eyes.
The polished wood of the shelf above her was just starting to look a bit rose-colored in the morning light.
“Good morning, Lord!” Miss Esther smiled sleepily. “I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart would be acceptable in Your sight today. You are my strength and my Redeemer. I love You!”
Miss Esther gave herself a moment to enjoy the feeling of being cozy and well-rested. The week had been so full that she was thankful for a good night of solid sleep.
At last Miss Esther pushed back the covers and slid her feet into her red slippers. She stood up and stretched. Then she turned and began making her bed.
First she tossed aside the pillows and pulled up the sheet. She smoothed down the blanket and quilt next. Then she piled the pillows on in a happy, but well-organized design.
“There!” Miss Esther settled her teddy bear down front and center. “And a very good day to you, Mr. Bear!”
She thought it almost looked as if Mr. Bear smiled back.
Miss Esther went to her trunk and lifted the lid. “Let’s see…what shall I wear today? Dorothy and Beverly will be joining us for breakfast so I’ll do something a little extra nice. My brown skirt would be just perfect!”
Miss Esther took out her cream-colored blouse and brown traveling skirt. In a few moments she had dressed for the day and checked her hair in the mirror. All was in order.
She picked up her quiet time things and settled down on her bed. “Oh, that’s right!” Miss Esther clapped her hands. “Today is the day I start my new Scripture memory verse!”
Miss Esther picked up the small green purse that she kept with her quiet time things. She liked to call it her ‘Verse Purse’. It sounded fun and fancy.
The Verse Purse had two pockets. One pocket held verses she wanted to memorize, but hadn’t yet. The other held verses she was working on and reviewing.
“Lord, would You continue to write Your Word on my heart? Thank-You so much that I can memorize.”
Miss Esther pulled out the cards in the ‘reviewing’ pocket. She did her best to quote through them without looking. She was almost successful! She just needed to look a couple times.
“Now I get to start a new one!” Miss Esther bounced a little in her excitement. “I’m so glad Susanna gave me some fresh ones for my birthday a few months ago!”
Miss Esther reached into the ‘new’ pocket and drew out a card. It had pretty decorative designs around it and a space to write the chosen memory verse.
Miss Esther looked up the verse in her Bible and read it aloud.
“Mark 1:35 ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.’” Miss Esther smiled to herself. “That’s a wonderful verse! This will be a good one to memorize.”
Miss Esther carefully wrote out the verse in the space provided on the small card. She noticed that above the verse there was a title. It said, ‘Have A Daily Quiet Time’.
“Mrs. Manny Memories told me about giving titles to my memory verses.” Miss Esther tapped her chin with her pen. “She said it’s like having a mental filing system. Evidently it makes it easier to remember the verse when you need it. I guess I’ll try it with this verse.”
Miss Esther looked at the verse card and tried to freeze the first few words in her mind. Then she closed her eyes and said it over and over.
“Have a Daily Quiet Time Mark 1:35 ‘And in the morning,’ Mark 1:35”
Once she was sure she had it, she added the next piece of the verse.
“Have a Daily Quiet Time Mark 1:35 ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day,’ Mark 1:35.” Miss Esther paused in her memorizing. “Now I know why I have my quiet time as one of the very first activities in my day! It’s because on whatever day this was in Mark chapter 1, verses 35-38, that’s what Jesus did!”
Miss Esther said the first part of the verse over and over again. Then she checked the verse card to see the next phrase.
After a few more minutes, she had added all the phrases. Miss Esther closed her eyes and said the whole verse through without looking.
“Have A Daily Quiet Time Mark 1:35 ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.’ Mark 1:35”
She glanced back down at her card. “Yes! I got it! Thank You, Lord!”
Miss Esther said the verse over one more time and then slipped it back into her Verse Purse. She’d work on it again the next morning.
“Perhaps I’ll have time later today to start coloring in the design.” Miss Esther thought of her colored pencils up in the library. She was already trying to decide whether to do the flowers orange or yellow.
Miss Esther laid her Verse Purse aside and reached for her quiet time journal. She wrote in the date and then paused to ask the Lord to help her understand what she read. Soon she was reading the story in John chapter 5 about how Jesus healed the man beside the pool in Bethsaida.
“The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.” (NKJV)
Miss Esther read the fifteenth verse with a happy sigh. She thought about the story for a moment.
“Jesus can do such wonderful miracles!” Miss Esther’s eyes shone with the thought of it. “That man had no one to help him till Jesus came.”
She looked back at verse fifteen. “Well, I can certainly tell others Who it is that has made me well inside. Perhaps when I talk with Princess Ella today I’ll be able to tell her about how the Lord has helped me in my life.”
Miss Esther wrote down the verse in her Quiet Time Journal and what she liked about it. Then she pulled out her prayer pocket and spent time talking to God.
“And Lord, would You watch over our breakfast time with our guests and my trip to the castle? Please help my sisters and I to be a great encouragement to the people we meet today. Help us to be ever ready to tell what You have done for us.”
Miss Esther paused a moment. “My mind is so full of all that needs to happen today, Lord. Serving our guests and going to tea seem to me to be the big things to do. But if you have other plans, please redirect me. I don’t mind at all. I want to live out Your plans for today. Thank You. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”
Miss Esther rose from her knees and tucked away her quiet time things. It was going to be a very busy day! But deep down inside Miss Esther knew she’d already done the most important thing – she’d spent time with the Lord.
And with that happy assurance, Miss Esther climbed the stairs to the library.
It was time to make breakfast!