“Oh, I just don’t know what to do.” Ruby Randall spoke the words aloud to herself, going into her bedroom and dropping onto her bed. She rested her chin in her hand and gazed out the window. “I had Dad’s and Mom’s blessing to start this business with Amber and everything. And, I even got the pictures taken.” Ruby sighed. “I guess I’ll have to give it up for months, and if I do that, life will be getting busier with things outside, and it may never happen.”
It was Tuesday afternoon. Ever since Sunday, Ruby had been in turmoil. The Marshall family from church had just had a baby a week ago. He was born early and was in NICU where he was expected to be for the next few months. The Marshalls had 3 little girls, and the parents needed someone to watch them while they were in the hospital. Their grandparents were in town keeping them for a few days, but they would have to go home.
On Sunday, Mrs. Randall had suggested to Ruby that she could keep the girls with Amber’s help. Normally Ruby would have been nearly jumping up and down since she loved helping people and especially enjoyed spending time with little children. But this time, Ruby knew she would not have time to babysit and start their headband business for little girls at the same time. Plus, the babysitting job would be on a volunteer basis and not bring in any money.
Ruby sat up and swiped her hand over her eyes. For as long as she could remember, it had been her dream to run her own small business and make money. Now that she finally had everything lined up, it looked as though her dream was collapsing. Not only that, but she had been hoping to earn enough money to buy some beautiful glitter paper she had seen in the store. She wanted to make snowflakes to send to her pen-pals and give to her family and friends.
“Winter will be over before I even get started trying to earn money,” she mourned. Ruby stared out the window at the golden leaves floating to the ground. A squirrel scurried up an oak tree with a swish of its bushy tail. From up in the branches, it stopped to scold Amber who was walking by.
Giving a half-hearted smile, Ruby stood up and straightened her shoulders. “Of course I wouldn’t choose the business over helping the Marshalls and spending time with their sweet little girls. I knew that all along; it’s just hard to actually say it and give up my dream. But, it’s settled. I know Amber is ready to babysit since she never was as excited about the business as I was anyway. I’ll go tell mom she can call the Marshalls and offer our help.”
Now that the decision had been made, Ruby felt a weight lifting. Sadness still clung to the back of her mind, but she pushed it aside. “Babysitting is one of my favorite things, and we’ll have fun keeping the girls,” she told herself.
On her way out of the room, Ruby saw her Bible lying on her nightstand. Her mind returned to a verse from the chapter she had read that morning.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
“I don’t quite see how God will bring this business to pass.” She stopped to consider. “Well, I guess He doesn’t promise that all of the dreams we have will happen. He will bring about His will when we surrender ours to Him.”
Ruby still felt the pain of surrender, but her heart was comforted. With a smile on her face, she went to tell her mom what she had decided.
* * * * *
Knock knock. Ruby stood behind her mom, holding a casserole dish. Her mom knocked on the door with one hand without losing her grip on the salad bowl in the other hand.
Mr. Marshall opened the door, and took the casserole dish for Ruby. She used that opportunity to go back to the vehicle for the rolls and cookies.
It had worked out perfectly. When Ruby had told her mom what she had decided, she had found out that they were taking supper to the Marshalls the next evening. So, that would give them the opportunity to offer to babysit the girls.
When Ruby walked into the house, she found her mom talking with the Marshalls and Mrs. Marshall’s parents. Rhoda, the oldest Marshall girl at age 4, ran up to Ruby.
“Did you bring cookies?” She looked eagerly at the bag in Ruby’s hand.
“What makes you think that?” Ruby teased. She put the bag of cookies behind her back and laughed as she looked into Rhoda’s twinkling eyes.”
“‘Cause I saw them. And I know that you make very good cookies.”
This was more than Ruby could resist. She set the rolls and cookies on the countertop and swooped Rhoda up in a hug.
“Yep, I made cookies. And you know what? They’re even you’re favorite kind: M&M cookies!”
Rhoda squealed. “Oh, goody, goody!”
She grabbed Ruby’s hand with her own little hand and led her into the living room. Ruby smiled at the sight of the Marshall’s twin two-year-old girls, sitting on their grandpa’s lap as he looked at a picture book with them.
Ruby sat in a chair and took Rhoda onto her lap. Mrs. Randall was listening to an update about baby Luke. His parents were spending nearly all of their time in the hospital. They had both come home for a couple of hours and would go back again after supper.
The conversation lulled, and Mrs. Randall took the opportunity to offer the girls’ babysitting services.
“That’s so nice of you to offer,” Mr. Marshall began, “But we really are too tight right now to pay a babysitter.”
Mrs. Randall interrupted him. “Oh no, they wanted to volunteer. Not for pay. Both of the girls love children and are excited to keep the girls.”
Over in the corner, Rhoda cuddled up in Ruby’s lap while Ruby smiled contentedly – validating Mrs. Randall’s words.
Mrs. Marshall tried to speak but ended up wiping her eyes instead. “Thank you,” she managed at last. “We didn’t know what we were going to do. My parents have to get back to the work on the farm, even though they really wanted to stay. We thought we might have to send the girls with them. But it’s so far, and we wouldn’t be able to see them.”
Mr. Marshall and the grandparents tried to express their thanks as well. Ruby felt her heart filling with joy. The decision had not been easy to make, although she knew all along what she would choose. But, after surrender came joy! Joy in knowing that she had made the right decision. Joy in seeing her decision touch the lives of others. And, joy in watching the Lord bring to pass His will in her life and make her content right where He had her.
Rhoda put her mouth up to Ruby’s ear and whispered, “Can I have a cookie now?”
Ruby chuckled. “You’ll need to wait until after supper, Rhoda. But, you know what? You’re going to come visit me and I’ll let you help me make M&M cookies. Would you like that?”
Rhoda nodded emphatically. “Let’s go now,” she cheered.
Do you want to hear what happens when Ruby and Amber babysit the Marshall girls? Read the story Christmas Eve Under the Lights!
Have you ever struggled with surrendering a dream to the Lord? Have you felt the joy of surrender? Please share any thoughts you have on surrendering our wills to God!
Until next time, commit your way to the Lord each and every day!