by Cynthia Bugert
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"Mommy!Mommy!" Sierra came bustling into the living room wearing a paper chef's hat and her brand new pink apron, "It's time to get started, right?"
"Almost honey. I need five more minutes to finish this and then we'll get started."
Sierra tried to sit down at the table and wait patiently, but excitement got the best of her. She climbed down almost immediately after she'd gotten into the chair. Then she began dancing around the table, imagining how wonderful the evening was going to be. She had starting singing merrily, something about meatballs and pie, when Mommy came walking into the dining room laughing at her excitement.
"Meatballs? I don't think that's on the menu for today," she ruffled her daughter's golden hair, "but pie is! If you'll get the apples, I'll grab my apron."
"Yay, I love apple pie!" Sierra hurried over to the refrigerator and started to pull out apples one at a time. She had her apron completely loaded when the doorbell rang, "Tommy's here!" The apples went rolling across the floor in several directions as Sierra ran to get the door.
Tommy and Sierra exclaimed how excited they were about their families getting together for another cookout and then ran into the kitchen as fast as their feet would carry them. When they got there, Sierra's mother was picking up apples, "Mommy, I'm sorry!" she exclaimed and started picking them up herself.
"Miss Stacy," Tommy was helping with the apples, "we'll do it really fast!"
Tommy's mother, Jill, came in to lend a hand and soon the pie was in the oven. The four-some was beginning more preparations when Sierra asked, "Mommy, since Miss Jill is here helping, can we go play?"
The ladies laughed and Stacy answered, "Of course you may. I'll call you when dinner is ready."
The two friends ran into the toy room and Sierra went to the chalk board. Tommy slumped into a beanbag and said, "Hey Sierra, I need to talk to you."
A concerned looked crossed her face, "Okay, Tommy. What is it?"
"Something is wrong with Mommy. I don't know what it is, but I'm very worried."
"Did you ask her what's wrong?"
"Well, no," he couldn't pull his eyes up from the floor, "I don't think I'm supposed to know anything. Mommy and Daddy keep talking very quietly. I just know something is different."
Sierra gave him a gentle pat on the back, "I think we should pray."
"Okay," he looked up, "you do it."
She grabbed his hand, "Jesus, I don't know what's wrong with Miss Jill, but You do, and that's good enough for me. Help Tommy to know it's going to be okay and we will just trust You. Amen."
"Thank you, Sierra. You are a good friend, and a good Christian."
"Well, I don't know about that," she laughed, "I just know I love Jesus almost as much as He loves me."
Tommy grabbed some chalk and began drawing a picture. Sierra joined him, humming as they created a house surrounded by pretty flowers, sweet animals, and a happy sun. Just as they finished they heard, "Dinner is ready, kids!"
"Yay!" they screamed together while dropping the chalk in the tray. They ran to the kitchen and out the sliding glass door to the picnic table that was set up just for them.
Sierra waited until her father had said a prayer thanking God for family, friends and good food before loudly asking, "What's wrong with Miss Jill?"
Tommy gave her a shocked, irritated look but she just smiled and shrugged her little shoulders.
The parents stopped their forks in mid-air and looked at her, "There's nothing wrong with Miss Jill," Mr. Thomas answered.
"Well, Tommy said he was very worried and so we prayed for her. If nothing is wrong, what have you guys been whispering about?"
He chuckled and looked at his son, "You're a very perceptive little guy. We were going to tell everyone tonight anyway, so we might as well do it now," He turned to his wife, "Mommy, do you want to tell?"
Miss Jill smiled the biggest smile Sierra had ever seen, "Tommy, you are going to get to be a big brother. Mommy is having a baby!"
Everyone jumped up from their seats and gathered together, hugging, cheering and laughing. Then Mr. Thomas offered up a prayer of joy and thanksgiving and after the amen, gave a hearty, "Now let's eat!"
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