Karen stood at the kitchen counter, knife in hand, carefully cutting a large red apple into very thin slices-just the way Ivy liked them. She glanced at the clock mounted on the wall. It read 3:05. Ivy should be home any minute. She took out a plate and neatly arranged the apple slices around a glob of peanut butter so that it looked like a sun and, then, began pouring milk into a pink plastic cup.
The front door slammed open causing Karen to jump. Ivy stumbled in, her face stained with tears, and tossed her book bag against the hall tree. Without glancing at her mother she ran up the stairs and into her room. Karen heard the bed groan in protest as Ivy threw herself on it, sobbing. She sat the milk carton on the counter and hurried to her daughter’s room.
“Ivy, dear, what on the earth is wrong?” She took a seat next to Ivy, who lay face down on her bed, and gently stroked her back.
“I hate being me!” Ivy turned away from her mother. “I wish I was someone else!”
Karen sat quiet for a minute, silently asking God for wisdom.
“You want to tell me what happened?”
“No, I don’t!” Ivy spouted, and then turned her head so that her face was only half buried into the pillow. “I’m too skinny! I look like a boy! And my hair is too curly!” She grabbed a fist full of hair, holding it up towards her mom as if to make her point. “And I have to wear these big, ugly glasses!” Ivy sat up and looked at her mom. “Why can’t I have pretty glasses like Emma at school? Hers are tinted pink with a rhinestone on each side.”
Karen sighed. They didn’t have a lot of money. Dave had been laid off 6 months ago. He now worked two jobs in order to make ends meet, but money was still tight, and glasses aren’t cheap. They had gone with the least expensive pair. Karen knew Ivy’s glasses weren’t the real issue.
“Who said these things?” She asked gently, drawing her daughter out from behind the wall of anger she had come home with.
“Jimmy Culbert!” Ivy twisted a curl around her finger. “He was making fun of me on the bus in front of everyone!” Tears threatened to spill down Ivy’s cheeks again.
“Jimmy Culbert was very unkind to you,” Karen said, taking her daughter’s hand. “He embarrassed you in front of your peers.”
Ivy looked down and nodded.
“Unfortunately, this won’t be the last time someone, or something, makes you feel embarrassed. There are some things in life you can’t control. There IS something you do have a choice in, whether or not you let a person, or circumstance, make you feel ashamed of who God made you.”
“Hmph!” Ivy exclaimed. “Well, I wish He would’ve made me someone different!”
Karen smiled. “Do you know how God says He made you? Fearfully and wonderfully!”
Ivy didn’t say anything, but Karen could tell by her wrinkled brow and slumped shoulders she wasn’t convinced.
“I made you an apple slice sun for snack today.”
Ivy nodded. “Thanks, mom.”
“Ivy, when God made the sun there was a purpose behind it. He made it hot to give us heat. He made it bright to give us light. And, He placed it exactly where it needs to be in relation to the earth, so that it doesn’t burn us up or freeze us out. The sun exists as it does because of the purpose God has for it. It would be ridiculous for the sun to wish God had made it the moon, wouldn’t it?”
Ivy fussed with a loose thread on the comforter. “I guess.”
“You know what I see when I look at you?” Karen shifted her position to snuggle up close to her daughter and place one arm around her. “I see God’s infinite creativity. I see it in those darling curls that bounce around you head. I see it in your petite, thin frame. I see it in that smile of yours that crinkles up your noise and exposes the dimple in your cheeks.”
Ivey smiled, crinkling up her nose and exposing her dimples.
Karen laughed. “When God made the sun, He didn’t make a mistake. He didn’t make a mistake when He made you either…no matter what Jimmy Culbert says.”
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