A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
As I Imitate Christ
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church
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Be Careful What You Itch For!
By Wendy Lynn Decker

"Hi, Honey, wash up for dinner. You look like you just crawled out of rabbitís hole," Mom said, and pointed me toward the kitchen sink.

"Mom, you should see Dylanís new bikeó itís awesome!"

"Thatís nice, Jesse, now wash up."

"Mom, this is no ordinary bike. Itís a BMX bike. Itís especially made for jumpiní over hills and curbs. It does all kinds of tricks. Iíve been itchiní for a bike just like that one."

"Yeah, I know. You were itchiní for a skateboard like Dylanís last month."

Dad walked into the kitchen. He ruffled my hair. "Howís your day Jess?" He asked, and sat down at the table.

"Pass the rolls, please," he said, and stretched his arm out in my direction.

"Hey, Dad, you should see Dylanís new bike. I wish I could get one like that."

"You just got a new bike for your birthday," Dad replied, and bit into his roll.

"Yeah, I knowó but this bike does tricks."

"Can it pull money out of a hat?"

"Huhó not tricks like that, Dad!"

"Then youíll just have to wait until you grow out of the bike you have now," Dad said in his Ďdonít ask me againí voice. Maybe my bike couldnít do tricks like Dylanís bike. I could still check out the new trails and jumps he made, I thought.

After dinner, I dashed out the door to the garage. I grabbed my goggles, gloves, a new pack of basketball cards and my water bottle. I tossed everything into a canvas bag, put on my helmet and took off for Dylanís house. One hand held the bag and the other one steered.

I finally reached Dylanís house. Dressed in yellow goggles and a cherry red helmet, he zipped down the trail like a professional BMX rider. His bike looked way cool. Tons of colorful stickers covered the rims of the bike.

"My parents said, Ďno way,í to the bike," I told him.

"Just use yours. It wonít work as good, but itíll do," Dylan said.

"I donít know. Itís just a regular mountain bike," I said, not sure I should do it.

Dylan barreled down the hill then shot back up and flew over to the other side of his make-shift ramp. It looked so cool.

"COME ON," he yelled.

I figured Iíd try itó my bike could handle it just once, I thought.

I peddled as hard as I could, but only made it half-way.

"You gotta get up some speed" Dylan shouted from the other side of the hill. "Give it another try, youíll make it."

I turned around and drove back to the fence. I stood up from the seat and peddled as fast as I could. The cold wind pushed my helmet back. My nose ran like a faucet. I zipped up the hill, onto the ramp and sailed into the air. It was awesome!

When I hit the ground, my body flew over the handlebars. I tucked my head under my chin and did my stuntman-roll. I tumbled onto the dirt, but didnít get hurt. Falling was my specialty.

"Awesome," Dylan roared.

I got up off the ground, wiped my nose with my sleeve and gasped. My bike lay on the ground all twisted and mangled.

"Man, your bikeís toast," Dylan said. "Sorry, dude. Maybe we could fix it. Iíll hunt for some tools in the garage."

He returned with his dadís toolbox. We looked at the bike, the tools and then at each other. We hadnít a clue what we were doing.

I dragged my bike into Dylanís garage. "Iíll have to leave it here for now," I said, as my heart sank into my stomach. I traipsed out of Dylanís back yard and headed home.

I plodded through leaf piles and played soccer with acorns while I straggled home. The garage door was still open. I snuck in as quietly as I could. I ripped my gloves and goggles off, threw them in my canvas bag, and tossed the bag onto the floor.

"Is that you, Jesse?" Mom yelled.

"Yeah itís me." Rats, Iíd hoped to sneak passed her.

"That was a short visit. Why are you back so soon?" Mom asked with one raised eyebrow.

"Trust me, you donít really want to know," I said as I stared down at the floor purposely avoiding her face.

"What did you do?" she asked, dropping her voice to a deeper tone.

"I broke my bike," I mumbled.

"You broke your bike! Your new bike! Howó what happened?"

"Remember the bike I told you that Dylan hadó the one that does all the tricks? He said my bike could do tricks too if I gave it a try. Only it didnít end up the way Iíd expected. My bike got all messed up. I couldnít even ride it home."

"Oh, Jesse! I donít know what to say. Go to your room until your father gets back."

I went to my room and waited. My stomach rumbled just like it does when Iím waiting in the dentistís office for a filling.

"JESSE," my dad called from downstairs. "COME ON DOWN."

"So I hear you ruined your bike; is this true?" He asked.

"Yes, sir."

"Did you do this on purpose, thinking Iíd buy you a bike like Dylanís if your bike got ruined?"

"No, sir, I wasnít thinkiní that at all. I just wanted to ride on Dylanís BMX trail."

"Now you have no bike at all," He announced. I could tell he was trying not to yell.

"I know," I mumbled.

"Jesse, if we spend all our time wanting what someone else has weíll never be satisfied. There will always be someone who has something better than we have or something we donít have. God tells us to be content. We have to be thankful for the things we do have. Does that make sense to you?" Dad asked, tapping his foot while he waited for my answer.

"Yes, sir, I understand and I am sorry."

"Everyone learns this lesson at one time or another." Dad admitted. "I think having a broken bike is punishment enough, so I wonít punish you further. Weíll go to Dylanís tomorrow and see if we can fix your bike. If we canít fix it, youíll be without a bike until your next birthday."

"Okay," I said. I trudged up the steps to my room. I sat down on my bed and read my BMX magazine for awhile and then fell asleep. I must have been really tired because I slept all the way until morning. When I woke up I felt really itchy. I strolled into the kitchen scratching my arms, neck and face. I said, "Mom, somethingís wrong with me. I canít stop itching."

"I bet," she said as if she already knew.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Dylanís mom called on the phone this morning. It appears heís as itchy as you are. I guess you finally did get something that Dylan hasóchicken pox!"
Wendy writes from NJ and gets most of her ideas from watching and listening to her children. She's still a tomboy, but likes to dress up once in a while. Wendy has written a children's manuscript entitled,†"Aly M. Bellesher "Shines" for†the 8-12 year old reader. It's a fun and contemporary story about a little girl who strives to do God's will but her habit of embellishing often gets in the way. To see more of her work check out http://wendylynndecker.com

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