By: Jean Boonstra
Genet wasn’t feeling very hopeful. The past year was a difficult one for her. Maybe it was for you, too. Genet felt much better after Lana gave her something to think about, and we can have hope this new year, too.
“Mr. Simon,” Genet asked with a sigh. “Do you have anything for a sore stomach?”
Mr. Simon scratched his chin thoughtfully. “Are you feeling sick, Genet?”
Genet slumped against the counter at Trekkers. “Nah,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders. “My stomach just feels all flippy-floppy. I thought that some of those chewable tablets could help with that.”
“I see,” Mr. Simon said. “Those chewable tablets are for when your stomach is upset. Not flippy-floppy.”
“Ok,” Genet sighed. “I’d better get going now, my mom’s waiting in the car.”
“Genet,” Lana said running through the front door. “I forgot to tell you!”
“Hi Lana,” Genet mumbled.
“Mrs. Lee is bringing us all new journals tomorrow. I just love journaling!” Lana said, her excitement tumbling out with her words. “Don’t you?”
“It’s ok,” Genet said. “Thanks again Mr. Simon for the sparkling water.
“You’re welcome Genet,” Mr. Simon said.
“Mr. Simon!” Lana almost shouted. “I have an idea.”
“Oh, do tell,” Mr. Simon teased.
“I want to buy everyone a new pencil to go with our journals!”
“The pencils are down that row, middle shelf on your right,” Mr. Simon answered.
“Come on, Genet,” Lana said running down the aisle.
Genet shuffled along behind her. Lana quickly found the pencils and began inspecting each one.
“Do you think Logan would like a blue pencil or a green one?” Lana asked shifting through the pencils quickly.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Genet sighed.
Lana stopped sorting pencils and turned abruptly towards her. “Genet,” she asked seriously. “What’s wrong?”
Genet started to answer and then stopped. She didn’t expect Lana to ask her that question. “Well,” she answered slowly. “I’ve had a tough year.”
“Of course, you had to move to a new town,” Lana replied.
“Yes,” Genet answered, “I haven’t been able to go back and visit my old friends, or my family like I thought I would.”
“That must be hard,” Lana said quietly.
“I like it here in Discovery Mountain,” Genet said, “but I’m nervous about the new year. Everything still feels funny.”
“Funny?” Lana asked.
“I’m not sure that this is my home yet,” Genet heard herself saying. She couldn’t believe that she was admitting her biggest worry to Lana in the middle of Trekkers!
“This new year won’t be perfect,” Lana said quietly. “But it’s like a new journal. Full of brand-new chances to learn and explore things.”
“You’re right,” Genet said. “This new year doesn’t have to be like the last one.”
“Nope!” Lana said as she swung her backpack off of her shoulder and unzipped it.
“Listen to this,” Lana said taking out a rumpled journal. “I write this on the first page of my journal every year. It’s Revelation chapter 21 and verse 5. It says ‘Behold, I make all things new.’”
“I like that verse,” Genet said. “So, the new year is a new chance.”
“A new chance to have hope. Hope that this year will be easier than last year.” Lana said. “Here, you can borrow my journal if you want and copy it for yourself.”
“Really?” Genet asked taking it in her hand.
“Of course,” Lana said seriously. “Just don’t read all my secrets,” she added with a grin. “Now, can you help me choose pencils for everyone?” Lana asked.
“Sure,” Genet laughed. “I’d love to.”