“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

The Queen Mother Goes Grocery Shopping

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 1:16
Yesterday was a fun, silly day. But in all the fun, I got terribly convicted about a huge issue in my life.

You see, it was my birthday yesterday. And when it's your birthday, and you have two elementary-aged children, celebrating is less about you and more about them. I'm not one to want to pass up my birthday (or even "pick an age and stick with it"), but even if I were, it just wouldn't work. They KNOW it's your birthday, and those cute children are going to make a big deal about it no matter what. SO, you might as well go along with it.

My lovely 5 1/2-year-old daughter, Annika, with no guidance, made me a birthday crown out of some of my old scraps of scrapbooking paper. She worked hard on it - even used scalloped scissors on one edge to make it look more "crowny." She was very proud of her creation, and I was thrilled to wear it.
I was the birthday queen.
Only one issue. Monday is the day we go grocery shopping. And when I say "we," I mean all of us. For a minute, I debated what to do with my birthday crown. I could easily just place it on the kitchen counter and put it on when we return. She hasn't even asked me if I'm going to wear it to shopping.

But then I realize that I would rather make my daughter beam and be a bit embarrassed then make her sad and save face. So the crown stays right on my head. And she is so proud.

So, here we all are at Meijer, me with an obviously blue circle of paper on my dark brown hair. It was interesting how people reacted to me. Most, to be honest, either were purposely ignoring me or just didn't see me. I got a couple "this woman should be in the looney bin" looks, too. Several (most who had children with them) smiled or laughed when they saw me. And a few actually asked about it.

The "askers" were, by far, my AND Annika's favorites. Cuz, of course, when they asked, she got to tell them it was my birthday--and I got to share that my beautiful daughter had made the crown for me. And did she EVER glow. It made the embarrasment MORE than worth it.

And that's how it should be in our Christian walk. When we follow Christ's commands, we might look odd to others. And sometimes, we'll try to "tone it down" so we don't get too embarassed of standing out in the crowd. And I hate to admit it, but I do this way too often.

But it's amazing what simply being willing to live for Him, and risk the embarrassment of being different, can do for His Kingdom.

Sure, some may completely ignore you. Others may even give you a hard time. And some will look at you and smile, knowing exactly why you're acting the way you are.

But the best ones are the ones who stop you and ask why you are the way you are. And then, you can tell them why you're a bit different from the others, and Who you are serving. And just maybe, you can make your Savior beam--and maybe even gain Him another follower.

And that is nothing to be embarrassed about. Even if you are a Queen Mother (for a day).


  1. Absolutely delightful—and true. What an amazing illustration. And I take my crown (er, hat) off to you for being such a great mom.

  2. What an excellent analogy this is, Jo. Totally excellent. I won't mention my sore toes but I'll leave that to your well informed imagination.

    You get the bestest of the best mom award, JoDear!! Thanks for the example and the lesson.

    And one last HAPPY BIRTHDAY, sweetie!

  3. Awww! Sooo cute and random-and yet a good message inside. All gift-wrapped even-lol! Loved the picture and your transparency(and JJ, I thought your hair was black...not dark brown. Wowz!!) ^_^

  4. This is EXCELLENT!!! Thanks for sharing the analogy. It is SO perfect because it is SO right. I can picture it all, and yes, the people who ask - it gives you the chance to share and they can go away knowing the truth of the matter. How fun. Tell your daughter she did a great job on your crown, too. Happy birthday to you.

  5. I love this, Jo. YOU are SO adorable!!!! And you took this darling story and tied it in to a deep spiritual application. Wowzer, girl. Happy Birthday, and I love YOU!

  6. Carol WileyAugust 04, 2009

    Joanne, it's so great that you kept your crown on! I went to a birthday party recently for a 75 year old lady whose grandchildren had gotten a crown for her to wear. It was very special that she wore it. They loved it.

  7. Ahhh....

    Guess what, Jo? August 4th was the Queen Mother's birthday!

    What an appropriate analogy!

    You're a great mommy!


  8. What a wonderful Mommy you are! I can remember going out with a necklace my granddaughter made me made from yarn and a LONG chandelier crystal hanging from it. She just beamed from ear to ear, too.

  9. Happy Birthday, Jo! You now have a wonderful memory for all your future birthdays! Also, this is an excellent analogy. We all need to care more what He thinks of us and less what others think. After all, He is the One who loves us!

  10. Happy Belated Birthday! What a wonderful memory you both will have! That's a great story!!! Hope you enjoyed the entire day!

  11. What a great story. I'm so glad you wore the crown. You rock.

  12. Jo, you looked down right REGAL! So proud of you and so happy to see the glow on your little girl's face. Great analogy, too.

  13. What a beautiful anaology. I say that crown looks like it belongs on your queenly head!

  14. Awesome illustration! Don't ya just love when the Lord shows us something about Him in our everyday stuff?

  15. You look so happy and beautiful with your crown on and your daughter by your side, Joanne!

    Very special!! :)

  16. Well happy belated birthday, friend! The crown is a good fit with you. Thank you for wearing it. You will never regret making yourself look silly in the years to come. May we all be so willing to wear our kingdom conferment as boldly.


  17. Love this story, love the illustration and lesson that you teach to us through it and just love how much YOU love your fam! Wonderful!


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