My mother would often read to me from her favorite books, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner and Bezzus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. I read them dozens of times as a child and then again when I had my children. As a little girl, I understood the frustration Bezzus felt toward her little sister, Ramona. I was the older sister with a rambunctious younger brother who could not seem to follow the simplest rules – like staying out of my room.
Now, as I prepare to have another birthday, I find myself relating to Ramona more and more. She may not have followed all the rules, but she did follow the ones that mattered. Love family, do not give in and conform, be confident in your abilities, and know that mercy and grace are the best parts to give and receive.
My favorite images of Ramona are of her riding her tricycle in the house, playing her harmonica, and wearing her bunny ears from preschool. She might be seen by some as defiant, in some ways, I believe she was determined to experience life in a way that might actually challenge others to look at life differently too.
One of my favorite parts of Bezzus and Ramona is when Ramona gets into the apple bin and promptly eats one bite out of every single apple. When her exasperated mother asks her why, she responds, “Because the first bite is the best bite.” As if it should be obvious to everyone else.
While I am too big to ride around on a tricycle, I do own a harmonica and I have owned a set of bunny ears -also from my preschool days. Maybe it’s time for me to stop conforming a bit more and begin confirming who I am. Whose I am, and why I am here.
I am a child of God, loved, redeemed, restored, and precious in His sight. I am not here to become part of the world, but to conform instead to the image of Christ and bring glory to Him through my obedience to Him. I am to seek God and join Him where He is working. This is who I am. This is Whose I am. This is why I am here.
Best Beloved – I don’t know where you are today, who you may most relate to in your season. I do pray you will know and receive the love God has for you. Seek Him always. You will never be disappointed.