Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Mrs. Doreen Tamminga
Come with me, for IÕd like to take you on a visit to the JohnsonÕs house. The JohnsonÕs live in a small brick house on Mulberry Street. There are five children in the family: three girls and two boys, along with their mom and dad.

ItÕs Saturday morning, and Mom is busy vacuuming the house. Dad is outside shovelling the driveway, and Chris is helping him. In the kitchen, Darlene is putting away the breakfast dishes, while Cara practises piano in the living room. Rosa is playing in the family room with little Charles. They have just built a big tower of blocks, and now little Charles is begging Rosa to play ring-around-the-rosy with him. Rosa agrees and so they swing around in a circle singing the little song, finally falling to the ground with a big thump. The little boy hops quickly to his feet, ÒDo Ôgain, Rosa! Do Ôgain!Ó And so Rosa climbs back up and starts again, ÒRing around the rosy, pockets full of posiesÉÓ

Everywhere, music is heard. In the living room Cara is slowly, note by note, playing a song. She has finished practising her pieces for this week and is trying to learn a Psalter to surprise her piano teacher. She has chosen Psalter 10, but is having some trouble with the b flat. Still, she keeps practising, and soon she has gone through the whole song twice. Darlene has nearly finished with the dishes and is humming to herself a song she has learned at school. Upstairs, Mom sings aloud as she finishes the vacuuming. Outside the sun is shining brightly and already helping to melt the snow. Dad whistles a tune as he and Chris tackle the end of the driveway together. ItÕs Saturday, the sun is shining brightly, the family is together, and happiness brings a song to everyoneÕs heart.

Once the chores are finished, Mom calls Dad in for coffee and the children to the kitchen for a snack. Sitting around the table she remarks, ÒItÕs Aunt CarolynÕs birthday today, isnÕt it? We should give her a call for a minute to wish her a happy birthday.Ó And so Mom dials the phone number and all the children gather around the phone to sing Òhappy birthday.Ó Aunt Carolyn laughs when she hears little CharlesÕ voice right in the mouthpiece, ÒHappy birsday to woo, happy birsday to wooÉÓ but she is glad to hear the childrenÕs singing; it makes her day brighter.

Setting down his coffee cup Dad says, ÒYou children better get out there and enjoy the snow before it all melts. ItÕs supposed to get warmer in the next few days.Ó And so the children all hurry to pull on snow pants and boots, mittens, coats, hats, and scarves. So bundled up that he can hardly walk, Charles toddles along behind them as they run laughing out the back door.

Maria, their neighbour girl sees them from her back yard and comes over to play. Chris and Darlene are working on a snow fort, and Rosa and Charles are climbing up snow piles and sliding back down. ÒWant to go on the swing set with me?Ó Cara asks Maria. ÒWe can go really high then go flying off. It wonÕt hurt, Ôcause weÕll land in the snow!Ó

ÒOkay!Ó Maria says, and the two girls run over to the swings. They begin pushing off with their feet, then pulling with their arms, to make the swings go higher and higher. Soon Cara can see over the top of the swing set and she begins to sing as she flies back and forth, back and forth.

ÒWhat are you singing?Ó Maria laughs as she goes sailing past.

ÒA song from Sunday school,Ó Cara replies. ÒWe have to know it for tomorrow. Here I go! Watch out!Ó she calls and lets herself go flying through the air to land in the snow. Maria gives a squeal of fright, then closes her eyes and follows. Landing with an oomph beside Cara, she flops on her back, giggling in the snow. ÒDonÕt you ever just want to sing?Ó Cara asks Maria. ÒSometimes I just feel so happy inside that I just want to sing. LikeÉ everything I have is so good. God takes such good care of me. It just makes me want to sing. DonÕt you ever have that?Ó she asks Maria.

ÒNot really,Ó Maria answers. ÒSometimes IÕm happy, but usually itÕs pretty boring and quiet at my house. Like, my dad is never there, and my mom is gone a lot. I go to GrandmaÕs, but thereÕs nothing to do there except watch T.V. And even that gets boring after a while. No one seems really happy at my house.Ó Maria rolls over onto her stomach to draw figures in the snow. ÒLike, no oneÕs mad, or anything, but they donÕt want to laugh and sing. Even the kids in my class at school donÕt know how to have fun. All they do is talk about other people and what shows they watch at night.Ó

ÒThatÕs not very nice,Ó Cara agrees, looking at Maria. ÒIÕm glad my family is usually happy.Ó She thinks for a minute. ÒBut you still have lots of good things that God gives both of us. We both have families and friends. And we can play together like right now. Maybe you can stay over for lunch today; IÕll ask my mom. Do you want to?Ó

ÒYeah! IÕll ask my mom too,Ó Maria agrees. ÒShe wonÕt care. And itÕll be fun to eat over. Are you going to sing from that book again after lunch?Ó Maria asks. ÒYou did last time I ate over.Ó

ÒDo you mean the Psalter? The blue book?Ó Cara asks. ÒYeah, we always do. Because we want to sing to God because He gives us everything. Like, He gives us our family, and us to be friends with each other. He even gives us the sun and the snow to play in today!Ó Cara climbs up to her feet. ÒI guess thatÕs why I was singing on the swing. Because He makes my heart happy, and then I want to sing to Him.Ó

ÒCome on,Ó she says pulling Maria to her feet. ÒWe can learn a Psalter after lunch and then next time youÕre happy you can sing too!Ó

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