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Just Following Orders

Just Following Orders

Have you ever read the popular children’s series Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish? In the books, Amelia constantly finds herself in some strange predicaments as a result of her not understanding certain figures of speech. She takes everything literally. For instance, when her employer asked her to prune the hedges, she took actual prunes and stuck them all over the branches of the bushes.

As a parent, I often feel like I live with Amelia Bedelia. We must be careful what we say. Your comment of, “Aunt Gail was tickled pink,” will be followed by lots of confusion.

“I didn’t see anyone tickle Aunt Gail. Why do you think she looks pink?”

When my daughter Grace was three, we were eating dinner at a local restaurant. She asked if she could have ice cream for dessert. My husband and I both shook our heads “No,” and told her we didn’t need dessert.

But like most three-year-olds, Grace wasn’t satisfied with that answer. “Please! I want ice cream! I do need some. We never get dessert! I want ice cream!”

My husband placed a firm hand on Grace’s leg and said again, “Grace, we don’t need any ice cream. We are not ordering dessert tonight. And that is enough talk about it.”

Grace proceeded to cross her arms, poke out her lips, and crinkle her eyebrows. She gave her daddy the death stare.

While the other two kids giggled at her expression, Grace huffed to make her unhappiness known – as if there could possibly be any question as to her true feelings.

My husband caught sight of Grace’s unhappy display and said in a stern voice, “You better wipe that look off your face.” At the tone of his voice her eyebrows shot up and she grabbed the closest napkin and wiped from one side of her face to the other.

Then she turned to her daddy and said, “Did I get it all wiped off?”

Kids are literal. When it came to her father’s command, Grace did exactly what she was asked. Maybe I need to take some cues from my kids and learn to follow my Heavenly Father’s orders just as quick.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6 NIV

By: Carol Hatcher is a former elementary teacher turned writer. This sassy southern author and speaker lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Come visit her at

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