Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Girl gets role

Think back to your teen years and you may remember this movie. Girl is extremely talented in some area, maybe dance, or drama, or ice skating, or art but she doesn't come from money, or the right part of the country, and her parents, while supportive, have no idea from where in the gene pool her talent has come. So, they do everything they can to give her the training she needs to develop that natural talent that everyone says she has. She finds out about a specialized camp or training school, in the right part of the country where all the talented folks are, and applies for a scholarship. In a scene with upbeat music playing in the background, she goes to the mailbox and finds the letter telling her that she should pack her bags, she got that coveted scholarship! But once at camp she finds that she doesn't fit in. It's not about talent after all. Here it's still all about who you know, how many years you've been coming, how many accolades your parents received in this field back in the day, and how much money you've got. So at the climax of the movie, Girl gives it her all and outshines everyone there, but the prized spot on the team, the lead role, the whatever, goes to the less-talented girl with the parents who make a sizable donation every year, who has been coming since she was three, and whose mother held the very same standing in her younger years. Oh, and adorable, funny, and kind Guy, the one who has been so encouraging to Girl, gets the longed for spot next to the girl with all the luck.  But then you know how it ends, Winning Girl falls or gets sick or wakes up with a pimple and Girl jumps in at the last minute, starring with Guy, showing that she had the most talent all along. Girl ends up with Guy, they both win for the rest of their lives, never grow old, and live happily ever after.

I think of these movies, or the books that I admit I read back in the day, because these specialized camps and training schools really do exist. And they do often run on politics, not talent. I know, because my daughter has chosen to attend one of them for each of the past two years. The scholarship letter of my 80s movie has been replaced by an email but the reaction was the same.  She packed her bags for the experience of a lifetime; learning from the best of the best. She found out very quickly after arriving that first day, that most of the campers have been going for years, many of them spending the whole summer there, not just one session like she would be. It didn't take long to be told that only those who were "lifers" and those who were the oldest, and those who spent all summer at camp, would get the lead roles. But that was okay with her. She was there to learn. Sure, a great role in the big show would be nice, who isn't going to dream big, but she made up her mind to attend every lecture, every master class, every learning session she could. She was going to put that scholarship to good use and not waste a minute of her time; she was there to develop her talents. And that first year, she proved the whole Girl goes to camp and meets Guy movie all wrong. She did land a role in the owner's show, the one known as the Big Show, the one that you have to have all the connections to land. It was an ensemble role but even so, her cabin mates told her this was unheard of for someone without camp clout. She knew who to thank and praised God for the opportunity.

Getting another scholarship this year, she packed her bags and headed off for round 2. Again knowing that she was the underdog but with prayers that she would learn more about her craft and be a blessing to others, no matter what. Late last night the news came, and once again, a miracle. This time she was given a lead, again in the owner's show, the Big Show. And not only that, four campers were chosen for Improv Troupe and she is one of the four. I am so proud of her for her willingness to step out of her comfort zone, for her desire to be a blessing, and for the words that came after the exciting announcement. Her prayer requests were not that she would be the most amazing actor there, or that she would be a stand-out in her role. Instead she recognized that she has been given favor "for such a time as this" and she asked us to pray that in this position where she is getting to know so many people that she would be a blessing and encourager to them. She wants to love on everyone she meets.

I suppose it wouldn't make as great a movie, but it makes my heart sing.


  1. Awesome! -Les W.

  2. What rocks my world is that instead of "being blessed" and telling everyone how "blessed they feel" (like I see so often these days), Mariana IS A BLESSING. A subtle yet profound shift.