Passionate For Him

The King's Daughter is all Glorious Within

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Ellie Coulter Part 7

This is the seventh of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog https://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/

Part 7.

I had a wonderful day.

Ellie took Mrs. Stewart’s advice, and Saturday after lunch she donned a sturdy shirt, vest and split skirt, slapped on a hat she had “borrowed” from Jem, rented a horse from Blake’s Livery Stable, and headed out to the ranch.

She rode up to the house and dismounted.  A ranch hand wandered over and took her horse.  Ellie thanked him, and then stood in the yard wondering what to do.

A door slammed and Ellie was nearly run over by a figure bolting from the house.  Andi stopped herself just in time.  “Ellie!”

Ellie smiled brightly.  “Howdy.  What’s the matter?”

Andi looked beside herself with joy.  “Chad said I could learn to trick ride!”

“Really?”  Ellie concealed her pleasure with difficulty.

Andi grinned broadly.  “Yes!”  She took off running again.  “I have to go tell Riley!”

Ellie watched her race to the barn in search of Riley, then turned to the house.  Chad leaned against a column of the porch smiling.

“I see you kept your promise.”  He called with a wave.

Ellie smiled back.  “I see you kept yours.”

He jumped off the porch and came to stand beside her. “I couldn’t help it.  You were right.”  He ran a hand through his hair, then plopped his hat back on.  “I’m glad you came.”

A little embarrassed, Ellie shrugged nonchalantly. “Thanks.  I was hoping Andi would show me around the ranch, but I suspect that she’s busy, now.”

Chad started walking toward the barn.  “Well, don’t just stand there!”  He teased.  “Come on!”

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Ellie Coulter Part 6

This is the sixth of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog https://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/

Part 6.

I’ve never been more surprised in my life.  I wonder what new secrets I’ll discover next.

A light was burning in the window of Mrs. Stewart’s boarding house as Chad helped Ellie down from the buggy.

Ellie opened the door cautiously, and made her way quietly to her room.  A squeaking floorboard made her jump.  This felt like the time she had snuck out of the house with Jem to see the full moon. Pa had caught them and sent them back to bed, smarting from his rebuke.  The memory made Ellie smile.  A sudden rush of tears caught Ellie unawares.  She wiped them away, and pushed open her door.

“Miss Coulter.”

Ellie jumped.

Mrs. Stewart stood in the hallway, a candle in her hand.

Ellie let her shoulders sag.  Not another lecture, not now!

“Miss Coulter, I apologize for my rude behavior last night.” Mrs. Stewart’s voice was cold and distant.

Surprised, Ellie couldn’t say a word for a minute.  Then she remembered herself.  “No, Mrs. Stewart, Iapologize.  I had no right to speak to you in that manner, and I have regretted it ever since.”

A slight tremble in Mrs. Stewart’s lips betrayed her feeling. “Thank you, Miss Coulter.”

Ellie reached out to hug the older woman.  “Just call me Ellie.”

A sob shook Mrs. Stewart’s shoulders.  The usually stern woman suddenly dropped her mask and clung to Ellie.  Bewildered, Ellie held her in a hug and waited for an explanation.

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Ellie Coulter Part 5

This is the fifth of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog https://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/

Part 5.

Chad’s family is beautiful. They welcomed me without a second thought.

Supper was wonderful.  Ellie found Chad’s family friendly and refreshing, a welcome reprieve from Mrs. Stewart’s stony glare across the table.  She said as much to Andi.

They were sitting together in the parlor after supper. Andi’s formal manners had faded away as she became more comfortable with Ellie.  Andi laughed.  “I know Mrs. Stewart, and I know exactly what you mean.  I’ve gotten that look before, especially if I’m doing something she doesn’t see as proper.”

Ellie joined the laugh, a little ruefully.  “I got a lecture last night; it was awful.”

“Really?”  Andi looked curious.  “What did she think was improper?  You don’t seem at all like you would be caught riding astride in a split skirt, which was the offense I committed.”

Ellie shook her head.  “Mrs. Stewart thought I shouldn’t have let your brother walk me home from school.”

Andi looked surprised.  “He walked you home?”

Ellie flushed.  “Yes, we haven’t seen each other in a long time, and he wanted to hear how my brother, Jem, was doing.”

Andi didn’t look convinced.  “Oh.”

Ellie changed the subject.  “You love horses, I understand.”

“Oh, yes, I do!  I could talk for hours about horses.  I want to learn to trick ride, but Chad won’t let me.”  Andi’s voice grew sad.  “Riley said he would teach me, but only if Chad agrees.”

“Riley.  Isn’t that the young man you were with when Chad introduced us?”  Ellie asked.

Andi nodded, and Ellie wondered if there was more to this than met the eye, but Andi didn’t appear conscious of anything more, so she pushed the idea away to consider further.

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Ellie Coulter Part 4

This is the fourth of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog https://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/

Part 4.

The Circle C Ranch is huge! I knew it was big, but I had no idea it was this big.  Chad is very proud of it, and rightly so.

At the end of an hour, Chad drove the buggy through the entrance to the Circle C Ranch.  Ellie’s lips parted in astonishment as she surveyed the large yard, barns, and hacienda style, white house.

Chad stopped the buggy in front of the house.  He threw the reins to a ranch hand, stepped out of the rig, and held his hand up for Ellie.  As Ellie got down, the horses were led away and Ellie stood looking at the busy ranch.

Chad crossed his arms over his vest and thoroughly enjoyed her evident surprise.  “Welcome to the Circle C Ranch.”

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Ellie Coulter Part 3

This is the third of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog https://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/

Part 3.

Thank God for Chad’s invitation.  I’ve looked forward to it all day.

The next day was awful.  It seemed everything went wrong.  Ellie had stayed up late pondering her apology to Mrs. Stewart, and was almost late to school the next morning.  And then school was terrible.  The Belstead children deliberately caused trouble, this time, real trouble.  The commotion they caused kept even the most determined pupils from concentrating.

After school, Ellie sat at her desk and felt like crying. It will turn around.  She told herself.  I just need to take charge, not take any nonsense, and give it a new approach.

I’ll start tomorrow. 

 Thank you; Lord, for Chad asking me to supper.  I don’t want another meal with Mrs. Stewart ever again.

A sudden shout outside made her blood run cold.  “Fight!  Fight!”

Ellie sprang to her feet and tore out of the schoolhouse. The sight that met her eyes turned her stomach over in fear.

Tom Belstead and another older boy were ganging up on Jimmy Morgan.  Beth was sobbing close by.  Already Ellie could see blood streaming from Jimmy’s nose and one eye looked dangerously swollen.  He was fighting gamely, however.

Ellie waded into the mess as her anger rose.  She caught Tom’s accomplice by the shoulder and threw him away from Jimmy.  As she tried to separate Tom and Jimmy, a figure grabbed both by their collars and jerked them apart.

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Ellie Coulter Part 2

This is the second of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog https://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/

Part 2

I have to confess, I am excited to meet Chad Carter again.  I’m more excited than I should be.

The soft murmur of the children’s voices as they recited their lessons filled the schoolroom.  Ellie checked the small timepiece pinned to the bodice of her green sprigged gray dress.  Almost time to dismiss class.

Ellie folded her hands on her desk and studied her new pupils. There were fifteen to twenty students. Most of which behaved well.  The Morgan twins:  Jimmy and Beth would cause no trouble.  They were obedient, polite, and already Beth had won her teacher’s heart.

And then there were the Belstead clan:  the blacksmith’s three children with ages ranging from six to ten.  They were unpredictable, but not mean, and prone to harmless mischief as Ellie learned early in the day when she found a grass snake in her desk.

Ellie sighed regretfully at having to punish them the first day of school.  It had been a harmless prank, but such disrespect, on the first day of school, could not be tolerated.  The worst part about the prank was that Ellie had ended up punishing all three, even though she doubted the guilt of the younger two.  However, all had confessed since it seemed their motto was “all together, or not at all.”

The children’s voices stopped, recalling Ellie to the present.

She nodded.  “Return to your seats.”  When they were all seated, “You may put your books away, class is dismissed.”

Laughter and discussion erupted as the children rose and stampeded for the door.  Ellie sat watching them go.  At the door, the oldest Belstead, Tom, turned back and glared at Ellie.  She had lost her chance with them already, they disliked her now and it would take a long time to regain their trust.  Her face fell.

A flicker of surprise crossed Tom’s face as he saw his teacher’s mournful expression.  Then he clattered out the door and ran across the yard to join his siblings.

Ellie crossed the room to look out of the window.  As the crowd of children separated to their homes, one figure turned back and waved.  Ellie recognized Beth, and a smile crept across her face.  She waved as the little girl grabbed her brother’s hand and skipped toward their home.  Ellie was encouraged by the sweet gesture Beth had just offered her.  At least she had made a good impression on one child.

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Ellie Coulter Part 1

This is the first of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog https://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/

 

San Joaquin Valley, California, Late September 1884

 Part 1.

Moving to a new school is always a little frightening.  I hope the Fresno County School Board is more understanding than the last school board.

Ellianna Coulter twirled her pencil between her fingers, then pressed the blunt end against her chin and watched the flat, brown pasture racing away outside of the train window.  Up close, the ground flashed by, making her dizzy; but far away, the mountains stood still, reaching the sky.

The steady thrum of the train had become white noise long ago.

Dropping her gaze to the small journal open in her lap, Ellie pondered her next words.

I wonder if anyone will be at the station to meet me.  Jem sent his old friend Chad Carter a telegram, saying I was coming, and, of course, the school board knows I’m arriving today.

Jem kept insisting that Chad will remember us, but I doubt it.  It has been at least fifteen years since he and Jem have met, probably nearer twenty.  Besides, he is Jem’s friend.  Not really mine.

“Next stop, Fresno!  Twenty minutes!”

At the conductor’s call, Ellie started.  Her stomach flipped.  She shut the journal carefully, wrapping a piece of soft cloth around it and pushing it into the carpetbag at her feet.  Ellie glanced at her hands; they were shaking.  She forced them to stop and leaned back in her seat. Take a deep breath.  Ellie told herself.  You’re fine.  Relax; take another deep breath.  You can do this, there’s nothing to it.

 She tilted her head back and looked at the ceiling.  God, I’ve done this so many times; why do I still feel so nervous? 

A few minutes later, the train began to slow.  The steady thrum of the wheels became an agonized chug, as the train ground it’s way slowly to a stop.

“Here we are, folks!  Fresno!”

Ellie grabbed her carpetbag and made her way to the door. As soon as she set foot on the platform, the busyness and noise struck her.  People hurried back and forth, coming and going.  Conductors called, the train whistled, the engine roared; people talked to each other loudly.

She scanned the platform, brushing a curl of auburn hair aside. A well-dressed man in his mid thirties caught her attention.  His black hair was combed neatly back, and his eyes were also searching the crowd.

He noticed her and after a moment, made his way over.

“Miss Coulter?”

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What To Do When You Feel Like You’ve Failed

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Most of the time, when I feel like I’ve failed, I usually find that I’ve come short of my expectations for myself. I already know I fall short of God’s criteria (“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23), but I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior, so I’m forgiven (“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12).   However, I seem to set expectations for myself that I’m sure I can meet. How much greater my disappointment when I find I can’t even meet that standard!

One of the first things I do when I make a big mistake (besides cry) is sit down and remind myself that God still loves me, and my mistakes don’t change who He says I am (“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.“ Hebrews 13:8). Then I have to forgive myself. This can be challenging. I have to make the decision to get over it. To get up, dust myself off and not look back. Sure, I find out where I messed up, and I try never to do it again, but a big part of life is moving on and not letting your past dictate your future. Also, forgive any other people involved, or ask forgiveness, depending on the situation.

Here are some good things to remember:

  • This did not surprise God. He knows we mess up, that’s why He sent His Son.
  • God has already supplied the atonement for your mistake, your sins are forgiven, past, present, and future.
  • The world will go on turning. It’s really nice to know I’m not the center of the universe sometimes.
  • A lot of times, the problem is not nearly as bad as we make it out to be.
  • It will be okay. Even in worst-case scenario, you’ll probably at least live through it.

I hope this helps you next time you feel like you’ve failed. Please comment and let me know what you think.

Being Kind is Displaying God’s Heart

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There are thousands of ways to be kind, and we all know being kind is important. But do we know why?

Here are a few reasons from the Bible:

  • When we are kind to other believers, people want what we have (“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35, and “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:46-47).
  • Being kind shows God’s heart to the world, drawing people to repentance and grace (Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16).
  • Being kind is good for you, in Bible terms; it’s called laying up treasure in heaven (But lay up for yourselves treasuresin heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” Matthew 6:20).

As Christmas is getting closer, it’s especially important to keep this in the forefront of our mind and show God’s kindness to the world through the Gift of his Son. Here are a few ways to be kind in every day life:

  • Curb your tongue, if it doesn’t need said, don’t say it.
  • Smile.  We may never know how much it meant to someone.

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  • If you know someone, acknowledge them. This isn’t always possible, but at least smile. Sometimes you can just ask how they are doing, and if you remember their name, use it. I had this happen recently, I asked a little girl how she was doing, and I used her name in my question. She looked up at me and said, “you know my name.” It adds something to a simple question that shows you care.

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  • Hold the door open, especially for elderly folks. They were taught to respect their elders when they were young, it must be sad for them to see an almost total lack of respect in today’s youth. This is really important for young men to do. Little old ladies probably miss men doing this, and in today’s feminist society, it must be nice to meet a young man with a healthy respect for women.
  • Be happy about your chores. There is something particularly aggravating about seeing someone in a huff, so try to be happy about a chore, even when you don’t like it.
  • Serve others. If you can do it, do it. Don’t wait for someone else, take the initiative and serve others.

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  • And, above all: Love God. If you love Him, you’ll do all the other stuff on accident.

Well, there you have it!

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Being God’s Princess is not for the Faint of Heart

Well, I sort of disguised the title so that I would trick some girls into reading this post. Yeah, I know, trick is a rough word. Because I want girls to keep reading this, I will refrain from offering any explanation and get right to the point.

So, admit it. When someone says God’s Princess, you think of this:

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But how many of us young women think of this:

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Or this:

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Or this:

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Or even this (for those of us who like a little action):

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Wouldn’t we all like to be like that?

 

Think of it this way; in the movie Lord of the Rings, I’m sure quite a few young ladies think of Arwen as their favorite character. Wouldn’t we all agree that Arwen is a very regal sort of person?

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Is she strong? Is she dedicated? Is she wise? Is she a good leader?

Yes, she is all of those things, and more.

  • She is strong enough to defy ring wraiths.
  • Dedicated to Aragorn and her father.
  • She is wise in her advice to Aragorn.
  • As Elrond’s daughter, her role would often be to lead servants, and as the wife of the King when Aragorn was crowned, she would be looked up to as the queen. Many women would follow her example.

Would you consider Arwen a Princess? I would. Only a Princess could be as responsible as she is. She was willing to take responsibility for her actions.

Doesn’t it seem a bit odd then that most people think being a Princess is only a little girl thing when the word is used in relation to Disney princesses or being God’s Princess?

Being a Princess is so much more than what is usually portrayed. Being a good Princess is hard work.

Proverbs 31 tells us what a truly royal woman looks like, and let me tell you, that is a high standard.

A truly royal woman is described as:

  • Being able to keep her husband’s heart safe.
  • She is a hard worker, ready to take on a new task and accomplish it well.
  • She is kind to people. Not simply nice, but kind. And she is not afraid of reaching into the mire to help them.
  • She is emotionally strong. She does not take offence easily, and she is not frightened easily because she knows the Lord is her strength.
  • She is honorable, someone to look up to.
  • She is joyful.
  • She is wise; people come to her for advice. She is known for her truthfulness, and for her faithful heart for the Lord.
  • She is diligent. She keeps moving forward in the place God has for her.
  • And lastly, God amply rewards her by the fruit her life bears.

There is a definite need for real Princesses in this world: Young women who are known for their devotion to the King of Kings.

And, here are a few easy ways to start thinking and acting like one:

  • Make Jesus your King; obey Him just like a real Princess would obey her Father.
  • Renew your mind to God’s purpose for your life through reading the Bible.
  • Trust Jesus to change your heart.
  • Think of the consequences of your actions. Decide whether or not they portray your Father well.

 

I hope this helps you realize that you really are special and necessary to God’s kingdom. Don’t be afraid to show others real royalty!

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