As Rebecca arrived at the Bradley’s house one snowy winter day, Mrs. Bradley opened the door and let her in. “Miss Rebecca!” Bethany called. “Mama has a baby!”
“You are pregnant?” Rebecca asked Mrs. Bradley.
“Yes,” she replied. “The baby will come in the spring.”
The rest of the day passed happily. Rebecca skipped home.
“Honestly, Rebecca,” Mother admonished as Rebecca came tiredly through the door, “You really ought to stop running. Ladies do not run.”
“Yes, Mother,” Rebecca replied politely. Although she knew she had only been skipping, she dared not reprove her mother.
“Now please go and check on Joseph,” Mother said. “He is playing in his cradle.”
Rebecca thought about what her mother had said. She knew that she often ran when weather permitted it. It must not be proper for me to be running like a little girl anymore. When she saw Joseph, all of her thoughts slipped away. He was so cute. He looked at her and smiled. Ruth was on the floor with Amelia, practicing her vowels.
“Hello, Rebecca,” they greeted her.
“Hello,” she replied. She picked up Joseph and held him for a while.
Then she heard Mother call, “Supper is ready!” Everyone gathered in the kitchen. As they were sitting down to eat, a knock was heard on the door.
“Who is that?” Mother asked.
“I do not know,” Amelia said, and she opened the door. It was Walter.
“Hello, I did not mean to interrupt supper,” Walter said.
“Oh, we were just about to start. You may eat with us. We did not know you would come,” Mother said, surprised that Walter had come without notice.
“Oh, yes, I am sorry I did not give you any notice.”
“That is alright, Walter. Sit down,” Mother said. Amelia and Walter were very quiet during supper. After the meal they all went to the parlor. Walter had come to see Amelia before, but never without notice. As Rebecca sat there intently sewing, she wondered why Walter came unannounced. After much pondering, she looked up and saw Annie smiling at her. Sarah and Rachel had their ears pressed against the kitchen door.
“What is happening?” Rebecca asked.
“Amelia, Walter, Father, and Mother are in the kitchen. And they closed the door behind them!” Annie said excitedly. Ben smiled.
“Is she going to marry Walter?” Matthew asked.
“I believe so!” Annie squealed. Rebecca just stared in wonder at the thought of Amelia being married! After what seemed like eternity, Walter and Amelia came out.
“Your father gave his consent, so I asked Amelia to marry me,” Walter said.
“And what did you say?” Annie asked, even though she knew the answer.
“Yes!” Amelia said, her whole face shining brightly. Walter and Amelia talked until late at night in the corner of the room. Rebecca wanted to go to bed, but Walter and Amelia were still talking. They had decided that they would marry in the spring.
“Congratulations, Walter and Amelia,” Rebecca said as she headed to the stairs. “You will make a wonderful couple. Goodnight everyone.”
“Thank you, Rebecca. Goodnight,” Amelia replied.
As Rebecca went to sleep, she remembered Mrs. Bradley’s baby. This had certainly been one very exciting day!
Two days later Rebecca was eating breakfast when she heard a knock. “Is it Walter?” Amelia asked, rushing to open the door. Daniel and Josie came in with a baby!
“Your baby!” Rebecca called as she bounded across the room. “What is her name?”
“Her name is Charlotte,” Josie answered. “I thought she was old enough to come and see you.” They were all happy for them. Amelia told Josie and Daniel of her engagement. They were excited for her. Josie and Daniel could not visit for long, but it was a wonderful time.
As soon as they were gone, Rebecca ran down the snowy streets to the Bradley’s house. She soon realized that she should not run, so she walked. She had a good day at the Bradley’s house, even though the twins were being a little naughty.
When she arrived home, she saw Rachel and Annie lying on quilts on the parlor floor. “They are sick,” Mother quickly explained to Rebecca, as she handed Rachel and Annie washcloths for their foreheads. And so it was for two whole weeks as the sickness spread through the family. Rebecca tried to help when she could. Benjamin did too. They were the only ones who did not get sick. It was bad, but at last, the whole family was better.
Everyone wanted to celebrate their health, so Mother cooked a special roast. It was so delicious. Walter came to eat with them. He was delighted that Amelia was better. Later, when Rebecca went upstairs to her room to go to bed, she thought of how good things, like Amelia’s engagement, came with bad things, like sickness. She personally resolved to make the best of the good and not let the bad get the best of her. Surely, that is what God wanted her to do.
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