The Adventures of Lilly
Book One – The Beauty Pageant
It was the first day of Summer break and Lillian, called Lilly by her family and friends, laid in her bed enjoying the early morning rays of the sun shining behind her glittering curtains seemingly trying to peek inside. She looked around her pink and yellow bedroom. On her bookshelf were many of her favorite books showcasing her love of reading, and the trophies she had won in interscholastic sports competitions rested on the very top shelf. Next to the shelf, certificates awarded her at church and at school graced the wall along with pictures of fun times she had had with her family and friends. Her study desk, laptop and dresser lined the other wall, and an almost full-length walk-in closet covered the third wall ending with a life size glass case holding Lilly’s special collection of porcelain dolls that her Dad had brought back from one of his business trips in China.
She reflected over the past school year. It was a great one. She made new friends and excelled in her studies. Now her mind shifted to the three months of summer break stretching before her. Family vacation was not until the beginning of August. Church camp was not until the middle of July. Vacation Bible School was the first two weeks of July. What am I going to do for June? thought Lilly. I need a new hobby. Maybe Mom can help me. She can probably teach me more about fashion designing.
“Well, no need to waste any more time in bed,” she said as she bounded out of her bed.
“Lilly,” her mother called sticking her head through the bedroom door. “Good morning. Breakfast will be ready in half an hour.”
“Thanks, Mom. I’ll be ready.”
Lilly quickly dressed and cleaned her room. She sat down to review her Sunday school lesson and to pray and have her personal devotion time with God. She had been a Christian since seven years old and loved reading her Bible, praying and going to church.
“Good morning, Mom, Dad and Marco,” she said giving them hugs and kisses. Marco was her nine year old little brother who was helping their mother set the table this morning.
“Well, what do you have planned for the summer?” asked Mr. Hill after the blessing was said for the breakfast.
“Apart from Church camp, VBS, and family vacation, nothing much. I was thinking Mom could show me how to do fashion designing. Would you, Mom?”
“Of course, sweetie. I never wanted to push it on you, but now that you ask, I’ll be more than happy to. In fact, you can give me some insight as to what young girls like in fashion today.”
Mrs. Hill was a fashion designer who worked out of her home. She had converted half their basement into her personal office with a sketch table, art material including pens, pencils, paper, special lighting and a computer. Fashion magazines could be found all over the house. Her focus was on designer fashions for the everyday working woman, but she was branching off into children’s wear especially for girls, so she was quite pleased when Lilly asked to work with her for the summer.
“What about you, Marco? What do you plan on doing for the summer?” asked Mr. Hill.
“Play,” answered Marco laughing.
“I bet you will,” said Mr. Hill. “You can come to work with me some. Your mom and I have some things ready for you to do this summer. I think you’ll love them.”
After breakfast, the family had their daily family devotions. The theme verse for their devotion time was Ephesians 5:16: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Mr. Hill encouraged both Lilly and Marco to write a list of things they would like to do for the summer after which Mr. Hill left to go to the office. He worked as a manager for a law firm.
After cleaning the kitchen, Lilly, Marco and their mom went down to her office. She had an important project she was working on. Lilly and her little brother would watch some cartoons on the television, then they put together their lists.
“Lilly,” said her mother. “Take a look at this and tell me what you think, honey.”
Lilly read the ad her mother showed her in one of her fashion magazines. It was an ad for the annual Dream Girlz Beauty Pageant held for girls ages 13-16:
Dream Girlz Beauty Pageant
Who: Girls ages 12-16
Where: The Dionne
When: June 9th -30th
– 3 fun-filled weeks of competition to kick your summer off
– Prizes & gifts for all contestants
Contact: for more information call 555-555-5555 and ask for Marissa
“How about it?” asked her mom. “Is it something you’re interested in?”
“Yes. I sure am. This would be great! Wait till I tell Adria,” Lilly said excitedly.
“I shared it with your Dad already. I already spoke with Marissa and she seems to be a nice person. She says it’s more like a camp environment. In fact, The Dionne is the new place I’ve been working with on designing some fashion wear for the girls to be used in their winter fashion shoot for the pageant winner in December. Mrs. Roqueville, the owner and director is a very sweet lady. Your Dad and I feel good about it, but the decision is yours. Pray about it and tell me if God is leading you to participate.”
Lilly read the ad again. Here she was wondering what to do for the month of June, and it was as if God had opened up the door for her. She ran upstairs to share the news with her best friend Adria while her mother went back to her office work.
“Adria, you won’t believe this! I have the opportunity to enter the Dream Girlz Beauty Pageant! Remember we watched it on TV last year and Julie Ramsey won!”
“Wow! Lucky you,” said Adria.
“It starts in about one week and it lasts for three weeks before the final competition. What do you think?”
“I wish I could go with you too! But I’ll be staying at my grandparents’ house in Arizona for this month. Anyway, I’m still glad to leave the city for some time. Traveling with Dad and Mom is always fun!”
“Alrighty! We’ll have so much to talk about when you return,” said Lilly. “Can you come over today? We can look at the magazine together.”
“Sure. How about two o’clock? My Dad will drive me up since he’s taking me to a concert this morning. I’ll bring my dog too.”
At lunch, Lilly and her Mom talked more about the pageant. She had already sent off for the application packet which she printed out through their printer for Lilly to read. “I like this because it’s very organized and the emphasis is more on having fun instead of competing,” said Mrs. Hill. “And it’s quite close by – probably about a two or three hour drive away,” she continued.
“So will I have to be away all the time like at a camp or something?” Lilly loved to be around her family.
“Yes. You’ll have to stay on the grounds, but we can visit on weekends, specifically on Saturdays, or you can come home on the weekends. You have freedom to call us any time you need to. That’s another reason I like it. I’ve visited the building and I am quite pleased with what I saw.”
Lilly was so excited that she kept writing and rewriting a list of things to take. She looked at the ad several times as she prepared for this new adventure.
On the ride up to L.A., where the pageant was to be held, her Mom gave her a final word of advice: Remember to put God first in all your choices and to share Him with anyone you can.