The Adventures of Lilly
Book Two – A China Escape
Thirteen year old Lillian Hill, called Lilly by her family and friends, awoke to the sound of raindrops falling. She immediately threw open the pink and yellow curtains which adorned her bedroom window, smiled, and thanked God for the rain drops. The delicious smell wafting into her room and the boisterous noise coming from downstairs prompted Lilly to hurry and dress. She attempted to tame the unruly crinkles which fell around her face, on the left side, then on the right side, only to watch them squiggle back up.
“Well, this is all the attention you guys are getting from me. The day has already started,” she muttered, giving her hair one final tug. With that, Lilly took the stairs leading to the first floor of her family’s San Diego home two at a time. She walked into the kitchen and affectionately greeted her family consisting of her parents, a father and mother professionally known as Mr. and Mrs. Hill, and her 9 year old brother, Marco.
“Morning, sweetie,” Mrs. Hill replied rushing a stack of plates to the dining room table.
“There’s my Lily flower,” Mr. Hill said giving Lilly a hug and dropping a kiss on her forehead.
Lilly grinned. “You say that every morning,” she said.
“That’s because you go to sleep every night,” Mr. Hill replied.
“Well, I’m glad to see you still in your PJs. I take it you’ll be staying home with us today.”
Mr. Hill nodded. “You got that right. I’ve got three months to prepare for battle.”
“You mean prepare another case before you go to court, right?”
“Yes, yes,” Mr. Hill chuckled, “and you know where I do my best work. In my home office surrounded by my three noisy musketeers.”
“I know you’re not calling me a musketeer,” Mrs. Hill said over the sizzling of the frying pan. She winked at Mr. Hill and playfully swatted Lilly with a spatula.
“See, Mom’s the ringleader,” Lilly whispered as she ducked swiftly.
“I know it. I know it,” Mr. Hill agreed.
“Hey, sis,” Marco said, sliding out from inside one of the kitchen’s V-Groove patterned clear glass cabinets. “Guess what we’re having for breakfast?”
“I see bacon and waffles,” Lilly said.
“There is far more than meets your eye,” Marco replied, rubbing his hands together like a mad scientist. “We’re having, drum roll please, waffle tacos!” he announced dramatically.
Lilly was surprised. “Cool idea,” she said grabbing a waffle and folding it into the shape of a taco.
“Thanks. Syrup is your sauce.” He plunked the bottle down in front of her. “I saw the waffle tacos on a restaurant sign, and mom said she could make it healthier at home. So, here you have it! Give me credit for spotting the sign announcement thingy.”
“Don’t worry. We can’t all be geniuses and recipe inventors too,” Lilly remarked.
Marco blushed at being called a “genius.”
“O.K., but I’m one,” Mr. Hill said with a grin.
“How’s that, Dad?” Lilly asked.
“Well, knowing you already consider me a genius, put this on your taste buds.” Mr. Hill handed Lilly and Marco a piece each from a strawberry filled whole grain bar. “Toasted,” he proclaimed. “That bit was my brilliant idea!”
“Gooey wonderful,” Lilly said, while Marco exclaimed, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” at the same time. They were excited. Mr. Hill beamed.
“Alright, people,” Mrs. Hill called, breaking up their mini taste test. “Honey, you know it’s not right to brag and stop encouraging them to eat sweets before the real food.”
“But, Mom,” Marco began, “sweets are real food.”
Mrs. Hill cut her eyes at him. “You know what I mean.” Marco pretended to look befuddled.
Around the dining table, Mr. Hill led the family in devotions. “Father God,” he prayed. “We thank You for waking us up this morning. We thank You for being so faithful to us and for providing for all of our needs. Bless the hands that prepared this good food before us. Please help us to use the energy gained from eating this food to do great, purposeful work throughout the days. Continue to lead us on the right path and give us strength to shine as light in the world. Speak to us through Your Word today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“Amen,” everyone echoed.
Marco held up his hand. “I have something to say,” he declared, a look of mock seriousness on his face. “Lilly, I hate to break it to you, but your hands won’t be blessed today because you didn’t help make breakfast.”
Lilly burst into laughter. “Sorry about that,” she apologized. “I overslept.”
“No worries, sweetie,” Mrs. Hill said. “When school starts back in two weeks, you’ll be up early every morning.”
“I can pray that God bless the hands which shall clean these dishes bearing the good food we are about to eat,” Mr. Hill offered, half-jokingly.
“You got me,” Lilly said. “Sure. Thanks.”
Mr. Hill prayed again for that purpose. Afterward, everyone opened their Bibles as he read aloud Philippians 2:4 – the family’s focus scripture for the week. “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Marco, you can go first this time. What do you think this scripture means? How is it speaking to you?”
“Well, according to the text, I believe Paul is encouraging us to look for ways to help others, especially those who don’t have as much as we do,” Marco shared thoughtfully. “We ought to be considerate of others and not be selfish. But that doesn’t give us any right to butt into other people’s business unnecessarily either.”
“Very good,” Mr. Hill commended. “Was your last statement a jab at anybody in particular?” He chuckled.
Marco hesitated. “My conscience is giving me no peace to lie about this matter. You have read my mind, Dad. I was talking to big sis here. You always ask me what I’m doing so many times in every day.”
Lilly laughed. “You don’t remember, but I even asked you when you were a baby! Before you were born, your response was always ‘chillin’ in the womb. Too bad you’ve trapped yourself out in that crazy world so soon.’ Then I’d poke mom’s stomach just to get back at you.”
Mrs. Hill joined her daughter with laughter.
“That’s called being a responsible older sibling,” Lilly continued.
“True, Lilly,” Mr. Hill agreed. “And through Paul’s writing, God is calling us to be like Him. He also wants the best for us. You see, when we care for others and put them before ourselves, we live a better life because we are happier.”
“Amen,” Mrs. Hill said. “No wonder I’ve got such a happy hubby. Looking on the things of others is your profession.”
Mr. Hill bowed his head meekly. “Thank you, dear.”
“Selflessness trumps selfishness any day,” Lilly said.
“Preach,” Mr. Hill encouraged his daughter. “Now, let’s eat.”