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Bobbing For Apples


    It was Halloween night, and the sun was just beginning to set.  A twelve-year-old girl and her younger sister had been invited to her neighbor's costume party. The girls wore lovely floor-length lavender dresses with delicate sleeves resting lightly off-shoulder.  The two girls felt like true princesses.  With freshly applied makeup and their hair in boing-boing curls, the two sisters proudly walked in the cool of the evening to their neighbor's house for an evening of fun. 

    When the girls arrived, they were greeted by the dazzling smile of their friend's mother. This tall, thin woman made every child at the party feel special with her kind words and generous actions.  The decorated home was permeated by the aroma of popcorn balls, roasted pumpkin seeds, candy corns and other special treats.  Several games already in progress beckoned the beautifully-dressed twelve-year-old girl, but one seemed to scream "off limits!"  You see, that princess in the lavender gown had struggled with beauty. Not being noticed, time and again, had caused her to be insecure. Being the middle child, she wasn't the oldest or the cutest. She looked in the mirror and saw straight brown hair, unremarkable brown eyes, and "baby chub" that had yet to melt away in a future growth spurt. Tonight her mother had told her she looked beautiful and she agreed, because she felt what beautiful was. And so, on that particular evening, being dressed up and feeling like Cinderella, the twelve-year-old hesitated at dunking her head into the big, silvery washtub full of fresh, red apples. 

As the dusky evening quickly turned into a black night, the party was coming to a close.  The little girl knew her time of waiting was over.  There was a decision to be made, and if it wasn't made soon inaction would decide for her. She wanted so desperately to bob for those apples, but balked at the thought of looking silly to others.  In the midst of her frantic thoughts, she watched a boy emerge from the washtub with an apple clenched between his teeth, bringing it up as if on a rescue mission.  "That's it!" the little girl said to herself,  "I'm going to do it!"  She marched over to that washtub, clasped her hands behind her back (which made the game more of a challenge), closed her "made-up" eyelids and PLUNGED!!!   The cold water immediately took her breath away ... or was that the thrill of her decision?  She pursued an apple, gulping water and opening her mouth even wider to catch the prize. Laughing with joy and excitement, she dove again and again, until the young princess emerged with her trophy ... a shiny red apple trapped by a triumphant smile.  Everyone cheered wildly and congratulated her. The young princess returned home wet, beaming, and beautiful.
Fast forward fifteen years...

That girl is now a teacher, attracted to a kind, handsome but incredibly shy school resource officer. She'd probably be retired from teaching before he made the first step to move their friendship into something more, yet how would he react to her boldness? What if he were already involved with someone? How would she be able to continue a working relationship after such an awkward conversation? How could she stay at the school if he rejected her?
Matters came to a head as she walked down the hallway and saw him walking toward her. Once again her thoughts were in turmoil. She settled it with a prayer.
"Lord, should I ask him if he's seeing someone?  I'll look so foolish if he says, 'yes' but if he says 'no' . . . oh, what should I do?"  The Lord's very personal response to her heart: "Go bob for apples!"  With a smile on her face and that same excitement in her heart, she engages him in a life-changing conversation. . . the two are married today.  

Now you may be wondering how I know about those real-life stories. . . well, I'll tell you. I happen to be the nervous school teacher who was once the twelve-year-old-princess.  In both situations, the Lord gave me the courage to take a chance . . . to run the risk of looking silly.  I bobbed for apples . . . smiling and laughing all the way.

   Many of us have situations in our lives that are both frightening and thrilling.  Every time you think of the possibilities your heart races ... but what about the risks?  Are you facing a decision that you're dragging your feet on because you're just not sure how it will turn out?  You're just not certain it could really happen for you. Do you feel afraid of looking foolish?  Let me share this thought with you.  If there is to be regret in life, wouldn't you rather it be that you tried, and it didn't work out, than never knowing because you never tried?   That little twelve-year-old girl eventually did grow up to become more self-assured of who she was and where her place was in this world.  She looked back on that Halloween night with such gratitude in her heart, knowing she had taken a chance ... or should I say ... taken a plunge!  Today, that girl is now 33 years old, and happily married with two children and another one on the way. You don't have to have a washtub... just search deep into your heart, pull up one of those dreams you just weren't sure about ... ask God for the courage to do His will, take a deep breath, and make the plunge!  Isn't it high time you bobbed for apples?

Copyright © 2008-2015 Cindy Aitken

Reader Comments...
2010-03-11 16:56:09
"This is a really neat story! It touched my heart, and evoked a few tears and a smile. Thank you for sharing your heart with us readers :)."
        - Stacy

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