“You girls are awake this morning!”
Miss Esther and Priscilla looked up from their bowls of granola to see Susanna glide into the library.
“Susanna! Good morning!” Miss Esther rose to give her sister a hug. “How are you feeling?”
Susanna set Carrot’s basket down by the stove and turned towards her sister.
“Better, thank-you.” Susanna gave Miss Esther a hearty squeeze. “So much better I’m really hungry. Is there any granola left?”
“Plenty!” Priscilla pushed the jar across the table with a smile. “Help yourself.”
Susanna pulled up a chair and soon all three sisters were talking over their quick breakfast. Miss Esther prayed inwardly for wise words and tried to primarily listen. From long experience she knew that when she hadn’t had much focused time with Jesus, she was far more likely to say the wrong thing!
“Okay, I should move!” Priscilla glanced at the clock. “I need to be at the library in five minutes!”
Susanna rose from her seat and reached to pile up their bowls. “I’ll do the dishes.”
“Oh, Susanna, I can get them.” Miss Esther hastily stood up. “You should get some rest.”
Susanna grinned. “I’ve had so much rest I want to do something! I’m happy to help, Esther. Just leave the kitchen to me and I’ll try to have it in at least three-quarters of the excellent shape you always leave it in!”
Miss Esther laughed. “Susanna! You’re very good at cleaning the kitchen.” She reached for the granola jar.
Susanna caught her wrist. “I’ll do the kitchen. And take care of Carrots!” Her eyes danced. “You go have your quiet time.”
“Oh Susanna, are you sure? I can help…”
Miss Esther laughed and gave her sister a tender smile. “Thank-you, Susanna.” She glanced to where Priscilla was tying on her bonnet strings. “Have a wonderful day, Priscilla!”
“I will!” Priscilla took up a pile of books and headed for the door. “Enjoy your quiet time!”
“I will.” Miss Esther moved swiftly through the library and went down the stairs to her room. “Ah, it’s so peaceful down here.”
Miss Esther paused at the sight of her unmade bed. “Well, almost peaceful. My bed looks like I took off for a trip to the moon!” She chuckled to herself. “I’ll fix that in a hurry!”
Miss Esther set aside the pillows and carefully pulled up the sheet and blankets. She spread the quilt down smoothly and piled the pillows back on. At last she set her teddy bear down in the center.
“There! That looks better! The late breakfast was successful and now things are getting back to normal.” Miss Esther set aside her shawl and opened her trunk. “Let’s see, what shall I wear today? This is Friday so…yes, I’ll wear my red skirt and shawl!”
In just a few moments she’d changed her nightgown for her Friday outfit of red and white.
“Feels so good to be dressed for the day!” Miss Esther tucked her nightgown back into her trunk and picked up her quiet time things. The birds were trilling outside and the sun was making patterns on the wooden floor.
Miss Esther paused a minute in thought. “I wonder…what if I had my quiet time outside?” A slow smile spread across her face. “I think I will!”
Miss Esther rummaged around for a basket she could use and then tucked her quiet time things into it. She left the basket beside her bed for a moment and went back up the stairs.
“Susanna?” Miss Esther paused where she could see into the library and kitchen.
“Yes?” Susanna was on the floor feeding Carrots some milk.
“It’s such a beautiful morning I’m going to have my quiet time outside on the step.” Miss Esther smiled eagerly. “Just wanted you to know where I’ll be.”
“Great idea! Enjoy.” Susanna focused back on Carrots. “We’re doing great up here.”
“I can tell.” Miss Esther resisted the urge to laugh.
Carrots’ whiskers were white with cream, but he was too busy drinking his milk to notice. Susanna saw his milk ‘mustache’ too and bit her lip. The sisters exchanged grins and then Miss Esther went back downstairs.
Miss Esther retrieved her quiet time basket and went to the door. She unlocked it and stepped out into the spring morning. The air was fresh and crisp, but not too cool.
Miss Esther put down her basket and spread her arms wide as she took in the view. As she looked up at the brilliant blue sky she prayed in a whisper. “Thank-You, Lord, for this beautiful day! As I review my memory verses and have my quiet time, would You help me to see and learn all that you wish me to? Thank You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Miss Esther sat down beside her basket and pulled out her Verse Purse. She reviewed some of her old memory verses and then pulled out her new one, Mark 1:35.
“‘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’”
Miss Esther smiled to herself. “Well, even if it’s not exactly early morning, I am in a solitary place just now. Thank You, Lord, for the chance to follow Your example.” Miss Esther thought back to her conversation with Princess Ella the day before. “It was so nice to have this verse to share with Ella yesterday. I’m so glad You helped me memorize it so I was able answer her question as to why I have a quiet time.”
Miss Esther tucked her memory verse back in her Verse Purse. “How do people do it who don’t memorize Scripture? The Lord uses the verses I’ve memorized in so many ways. Why, just this morning, I meditated on Psalm 34:8 while making breakfast! I couldn’t have done that if I didn’t have it memorized.”
Miss Esther set her Verse Purse back in her quiet time basket. “Well, even if other people decide not to memorize Scripture, I’m going to keep choosing to do so. The Word is something I just don’t want to live without! I’m so glad the Lord gave us the ability to memorize and can write Bible verses on our hearts.”
Miss Esther pulled out her Bible, quiet time journal and a pencil. She wrote the date in her journal and opened her Bible to where her bookmark was. Then she slowly read through John 5:16-23.
“What a wonderful passage this is!” Miss Esther thought a minute. “Jesus has such a special relationship with His Father.” She looked back at verse 17 again.
But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” (NKJV)
“God works. So He is a worker. Just like Priscilla is a librarian, Susanna is a nurse and I am a housekeeper, God has things that He does too.” Miss Esther seized her pencil and quickly wrote down the verse and then her thoughts. “God works. When we work, we’re following His example.”
Miss Esther watched a bird fly across the sky and then looked back at her journal. “So…I can put this verse into practice today by working too! I know there are other verses in the Bible that tell me to work, like 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. But John 5:17 makes those directions extra special because it reminds me that when I work, I’m being like Jesus.”
Miss Esther smiled. “Lord, thank-You for showing me today that You work. Thank-You that I can follow Your example and that You have given me work to do. Would You help me to work with a cheerful and glad heart today? Thank-You.”
Miss Esther tucked her Bible and journal back into the basket and reached for her prayer pocket. She spread the little cards out on the walk beside her and used them to help her talk to the Lord about various things. When she was finished she slipped the cards back into her prayer pocket and tucked it into her basket.
“Thank-You so much, Lord, that I could enjoy my quiet time outside today.” Miss Esther took a deep breath of the spring air. “You are such an amazing Creator. I love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Miss Esther gave herself a few minutes just to sit and enjoy the spring morning. Finally she rose and picked up her basket. She had some cleaning to do before the piano arrived that afternoon!