Hi! I’m Dianna. Here’s my story.
Usually my Mom and Dad never agree on anything. That is just the way it is. I kind of like it when I want something. Like the time when I wanted a certain pair of really cool jeans. I waited until mom was in a good mood and then I asked her, “Mom, I need some jeans. I found a pair that don’t cost too much. Could we go pick them up after we get groceries today?”
Mom answered sounding tired, “No, you are doing just fine on clothes. You can only have some more if you can afford them from your own money.”
Well, no problem! I thought. I don’t have that much of my “own money,” but I’ll just ask Dad the next time I’m with him.
That weekend at Dad’s house when Dad was relaxing in his recliner watching TV, I came into the living room with my oldest pair of jeans on. “Mom says I can’t get any new jeans for school right now, but look how ragged these are getting.”
That’s all it took with him. He was convinced. He doesn’t want everyone to think his daughter is dressed in rags, and the extra thought that my mom had said I can’t get the jeans seemed to convince him to let me buy them. I got new jeans just like that!
However, this time seemed to be different. For some reason they both agreed that I should be grounded. All I did was go to the mall with Megan and Kate. Kate has a car and a driver’s license.
At the mall, we found Justin with some of his friends! He is seventeen and a senior at our school. He is absolutely one of the cutest guys ever! He has the biggest deep brown eyes and long, dark eyelashes! He has these dimples in his cheeks when he grins, too! He’s way cool. He asked if I’d like to go see a movie and I just had to say, “Yes!”
Well, Mom went ballistic when Justin dropped me off in his truck instead of the girls dropping me off in Kate’s car. The time was a little later than I said I’d be home, too. All right, I said I’d be home by 9:00 and it was about 10:00. Um, OK, it was almost 10:30, so now I’m grounded for two weeks!
I Was Wrong!
I figured I could sweat it out at Mom’s because the school party was on Saturday night and I would be with Dad and Jan for the weekend, Oh, no! Mom had to fill Dad in on the whole thing and I’m stuck. It’s not fair!
OK, laugh if you want to, but we’re talking boring, boring, boring! When I get grounded, it means no going anywhere except with the family, no TV and absolutely no talking on the phone. I’m only fifteen and can’t drive alone yet or there would be “no car driving” added to my sentence. They might as well have shipped me off to the Sahara Desert!! I got my homework done on Friday after school, and then I had a blank weekend to look forward to.
Well, that’s what I thought until Dad came in from work that night and handed me this bag with a book inside. “You’ll have this new book to keep you company this weekend. I’m going to require that you read it. As you finish a chapter, you are to write one paragraph about it, one paragraph for every chapter.
“You are to bring it to me when you finish,” he continued, “And then we can talk about it. If you don’t happen to finish this weekend, you can come back to it in two weeks when you have another four days with me. You’ll be grounded at my house until you finish this assignment.”
“Ooooh, thanks a lot Dad!” I sounded thrilled and rolled my eyes. I grabbed the back and headed for my room.
I read and wrote all weekend and was only up for air at meals and for church. Well, I did get to play cards with Dad, Jan, and Josh on Saturday night. My older step-brother, Blake, was at the party I was missing. Are you wondering what the book was about? Just guess! My brilliant dad went out and found me this wonder book on Christian dating and marriage.
Dreaming in the Sunshine
On Sunday afternoon I figured I might as well be outside enjoying the great outdoors, so I put on my sunglasses, grabbed some sunblock cream, my notebook and Dad’s wonder book. Actually, I wasn’t minding this assignment quite as bad as I could have. I mean, it had some pretty decent stories in it about teens.
The chapter I was reading right then was about this girl who was so on to God that He really was everything to her. She had plans for life, too. She kept this picture in her head of the family she was going to have someday and the great Christian man she would marry. She was thinking ahead so she chose to not let guys make out with her and stuff. She was going to save all of herself for the man she marred. She wanted a godly Christian home someday. Eventually she really did find a guy who had chosen the same way and they lived a happily ever after life! That’s cool! I thought, but is it, like, real?
Then, the book went on to tell of the kids, guys and girls who have taken an abstinence pledge to save sex until marriage. I lay out on the chase lounge that afternoon on the green grass that Dad had just mowed. I read and thought about God and me and what he might have waiting for me if I remembered I had given my life to Him.
I really don’t want to put my kids through what I went through when Dad and Mom split up. I sighed and felt a little sleepy. Before I knew it, I was dreaming. In this dream I was Mom (funny, huh?) and she was crying and crying as Dad drove off in his car. She looked down at her little babies, (my brother and I) and hugged us close and cried some more. I felt her pain.
Then in the dream, I was me and I was crying and holding my stomach. I was pregnant and Justin was in front of me. He was backing up and shaking his head. Soon he ran off, jumped in his truck and drove off. He left me standing there. I cried and cried until I woke up pretty upset. I wondered if the heat was getting to me. I went inside and got a cold drink, splashed some cold water in my face and went back out in the yard.
Thinking Things Over
That book and then my dream got me thinking. What would happen if I really let God do what He wanted with my life? What if I did like the other kids in the book and laid off dating until I got old enough to get married, and then I only dated a man I knew would be someone I would want to marry? Now, waiting years would be hard with all my friends dating and cute guys asking me out. What would people think of me? I hate being different and left out of things.
Hmm, my mom didn’t wait, and look where it got her! My dad is a lot different now than he used to be, but it’s too late for our family. Now, he’s got Jan and Blake as well as Josh and me, a new family. Then, l thought about my friends’ parents. When people do marry, there is a lot of divorce going on! Did I really want to make the kinds of mistakes they all made? My mom says she wants me to make better choices than she did, and I get mad when she says that. Why didn’t she just make “better choices” herself? But what did I want?
Didn’t I want to live for God and have a great home? Didn’t I want a great husband and kids someday? Thinking ahead is kind of scary. I supposed I could just go with groups of friends and still have lots of fun, so that is what I have done. I have had to pray a lot and ask God to help me be strong. Still, I don’t have to go on a date with a guy to have fun. I still go to school parties with all my friends, and I get involved with music and clubs at the school. I still hang out with my friends.
After all that reading in Dad’s wonder book, I felt much better about myself and making good decisions. OK, Dad! Your book got to me! I smiled as I thought that afternoon in the sunshine. I did want to make good choices in my life and I wasn’t starting out so good, but I would do better because I would ask Jesus to help me.
I know I will make some mistakes, but God can do a miracle in me like He does in other people. I know I can’t be good and do good and all that. The book talked about giving our lives to God every day, making good choices and letting God be in control. I decided I wanted that to be me every day like it says in Psalm 23:3 about God guiding me along right paths, and He sometimes even uses my parents to help!
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.