Priscilla headed for the stairs and Miss Esther went to water her sprouts. She rinsed them and then set them up to drip dry.

“You’re growing nicely.” Miss Esther smiled at her bean sprouts. “You’ll be delicious for dinner tonight.”

Miss Esther began tucking away the dishes that had been left to finish drying the night before. She hummed a hymn as she worked. Whenever her quiet time was delayed a bit, she liked to sing here and there to help keep her heart in tune.

All glory, laud, and honor
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

Priscilla came back into the kitchen and sang along.

Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s Royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s name comest,
The King and Blessed One.

“Did you know that was written by Theodulph of Orleans about eight hundred years after Christ was born?” Priscilla began filling her own bowl. “He wrote it while he was a prisoner.”

“Sounds like he had his focus in the right place despite his dire circumstances.” Miss Esther took up a cereal bowl and poured some granola into it. “It’s a beautiful hymn. I like singing it. It helps me to fix my eyes on Jesus.”

“Agreed.” Priscilla smiled and her eyes took on a dreamy expression. “Just think! When we have our piano, I’ll be able to just drop down on the piano bench and play as we sing!”

“That will be a wonderful day.” Miss Esther smiled as she thought of her sister’s coming surprise. “Would you like to thank the Lord for our breakfast?”

“Certainly.” Priscilla bowed her head. “Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this breakfast that You’ve provided for us. It’s looks wonderful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

“Amen.” Miss Esther raised her head and reached for a banana. She peeled it and began slicing it onto the top of the granola in her bowl. “Do you have a busy day at the library today, Priscilla?”

“I hope to work on the accounts this morning. This afternoon I have that dictionary class so I’ll be busy for three straight hours.” Priscilla chuckled. “I’m sure the time will fly by.”

Miss Esther nodded and tried not to look too glad. Beverly’s piano was supposed to arrive at the Walnut House during that time. The surprise should be a complete success!

“How about you?” Priscilla added some strawberries to her bowl. “What’s on your day?”

Miss Esther considered. She wanted to be completely honest without giving anything away.

“Well, first off, I want to have my quiet time!” Miss Esther chuckled as she dug her spoon into her bowl. “Then there’s the planning to do for next week, some cleaning and hopefully I can get our dresses ironed for the concert tomorrow.”

“What do you need to plan?” Priscilla looked puzzled.

Miss Esther finished her next bite and took a sip of water before replying. “Oh, I just like to look over my goals and major to-dos for the month, and see what steps I can take toward them in the upcoming week. For instance, next week I have the laundry to do and that’s always a big project. I’ll need to leave plenty of time for that since we do ours by hand.”

“You are so organized, Esther!” Priscilla laughed and her eyes sparkled. “I don’t know how you do it!”

“Do what?” Miss Esther was puzzled.

“Do everything so on schedule! Don’t you ever do anything spontaneously?” Priscilla shook her head with a smile.

“All the time.” Miss Esther chuckled softly. “That’s why I have a plan and priorities – so I can be spontaneous when important things come up or my day goes askew.” She set down her spoon. “Take this morning, for instance. I overslept by mistake! But sleep never changes the fact that my most important priority is my relationship with Jesus. My lifetime habit is to always do my best to meet with Him as one of the very first things in my day, be it for five minutes or an hour.”

Priscilla nodded.

“But sometimes the unexpected happens. Maybe there’s an emergency or for the first time in months I oversleep and am committed to being somewhere else!” Miss Esther smiled. “So on those days I have a back-up plan. I pray, I meditate on a verse I’ve memorized and I sing as I set about to fulfill whatever commitment is before me. Then as soon as I can, I go have the rest of my quiet time! I can be spontaneous with the unexpected, but still stay on track with what is most important.”

“I never thought of that.” Priscilla stared out the window for a moment. “But the next time that happens, Esther, don’t worry about it. Susanna and I can cook, you know.” She smiled. “If we’re hungry before you’re in the kitchen, we can do something about it. Like use your backup breakfast plan of granola!” She reached for the granola jar.

“Thank-you, Priscilla. I’ll keep that in mind.” Miss Esther added some strawberries to her bowl. “But I think tomorrow I’ll use an alarm clock!”

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