strawberry chapstick

Here’s this week’s Regarding Annie Column, pasted in.

“I have discovered something wonderful. Strawberry chapstick.

While Jason was gone this past month, my darling little two-year-old June Bug transformed herself into the most destructive child ever. From desitin to powdered crystal light, this place was a war zone. At one point I almost called one of those disaster relief hotlines, but I didn’t think they could handle her.

And then, on a whim, I bought her some make up. Hey, she’s getting into mine all the time, in addition to the destroyed carpet and routine chocolate syrup incidents, how much more damage could she do?

None. Absolutely none.

In fact, from the moment I put that chapstick and eye shadow in her oh so anxious and capable little hands, she’s been a virtual angel. Makeup in each paw that she’s not about to put down for anything, equals peace for mother. I’ve had an entire week of bliss, thanks to some sweet pink grease in a tube.

But today her “lipstick” disappeared. She woke up and looked in her bed (because of course she sleeps with it), and for the next three hours rolled around the floor of the house crying for her makeup. I tried to look a little here and there, but have you ever misplaced a tube of chapstick? Say farewell to soft lips baby, those girls never turn up.

And so, while lounging on my boudoir trying to read a book and ignore my children, she pushed me past the point of parenting.

“Look,” I said to my very small child, “Just…ask Heavenly Father to help you find it.”

Of course, while offering up this bit of spiritual guidance I forgot to remember that she might be a little young to put prayer and faith into effect without some hands on mentoring. Of course, she jumped at this suggestion and immediately began praying about the food.

And so, I had to put my blasted book down and help her. It felt like such an effort. Yesterday I was supermom, cleaning and playing and parenting, and today the well is dry, dry I tell you. The last thing I wanted to do was drag my pregnant self around the house to find a missing tube of chapstick.

But you know, we found that darn chapstick in about four minutes. And the moment we found it, I had an overwhelming sense of someone telling me that her prayer had been answered. Not mine, hers. It might sound lame, but it brought tears to my eyes to remember how aware Heavenly Father is of her and what’s important to a two-year-old.

It might not have been a huge grown-up spiritual revelation that will lead me to salvation, but that moment filled my bucket in a way I can’t explain. It was better than a sermon and as good as a southern revival. Never underestimate the things a kid can teach you.


  1. I love this! Sometimes, it’s the small things that are truly testimony builders.

  2. It doesn’t sound lame at all, silly. It sounds true.

    (And I’m a huge strawberry chapstick fan, myself.)

  3. My children’s prayers have brought dead animals in the wild back to life. Not kidding. Chapstick prayers happen all the time around here. I think God wants me to learn a lesson.

  4. Camille says:

    So nice! I really love this.

  5. That is beautiful, Annie. I’m so glad you posted it. I love these small miracles.

  6. What a sweet lesson for all of us. Heavenly Father is aware of every little thing.

    What book are you reading?

    • annie valentine says:

      I just finished Orson Scott Card’s “Enchantment”. Really good if you like a little urban fantasy mixed with good old fairy tales.

  7. Well, I absolutely love the story. But shocked, shocked! I tell you, that the Vidette printed it, Heavenly Father and all. It gives me hope in mankind that a newspaper will still let those words get into print. Amen, sister.

  8. Love this post today! We all have those strawberry chapstick moments. The trick is learning recognize them when they happen! Heavenly Father really does hear and answer prayers.

  9. Oh what a smile this brought to my face! We don’t always realize whats going on in our childrens heads. Giving yourself to her and helping her even though you just wanted some peace and quiet is so meaningful. I’m always telling people to just m\ stop and think for a second, make sure this isn’t something you would sit back and regret later in life. Such a little thing, small amount of time but means the world to the little ones.

  10. Awww…

  11. Loved this! and yes, I agree with Kelly, happy but shocked it got into the Vidette. But, oh, soooo glad!! Keep up the good work!

  12. LOVED this post, Annie (brought tears to my eyes, actually)!!! And, you can bet I’ll be remembering strawberry chapstick in my arsenal for keeping my girls entertained during the next few weeks… such a great idea!