Thursday, March 1st, 2012
“Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go” (Isaiah 48:17).
I have growing list of things I never thought I would do, but am doing now. I never thought I would lead a girls’ discipleship group, play the oboe, work on a bus route, or do any writing besides school assignments. Never in my wildest nightmares did I envision myself serving as Florida Honey Queen, and certainly not working with honey bees. Yet, without doubt, that is where God led me.
The lessons I ignored while serving in church ministries, a comparatively easy training ground, I was forced to learn as Honey Queen. I don’t like starting conversations with strangers, I don’t enjoy being in large crowds (come to think of it, do I even like people, let alone love them?) and I don’t like being the center of attention. Guess what being a Honey Queen involves?
This year I’ve had to face my pride, an ugly task. But the pain was for my profit and God’s glory. As Florida Honey Queen, I gave 28 presentations reaching over 10,000 people. I participated in 1 radio interview, and 3 newspaper/magazine interviews which generated over $8,000 of free publicity for the Florida beekeeping industry. I traveled 3,378 miles across 8 counties. Truthfully, 2011 was the most difficult, most stressful, and the most wonderful year of my life.
To conclude my year, I traveled to the American Federation of Beekeepers convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Florida Beekeepers require their honey queen to compete for the title of American Honey Queen or Princess. It was an event-filled week. I, along with 5 other State Honey Queens, gave a beeswax marketing presentation, assisted with three auctions, spent a morning educating 300+ local homeschoolers about honey bees, participated in the Honey Queen Quiz Bowl (TaBee), interviewed with the Queen Committee, and met countless beekeepers during session breaks. At the end of the week, the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin Honey Queens were chosen as the 2012 American Honey Queen and Princess. They will spend the year traveling across the country speaking at fairs, schools, and promotions. I, on the other hand, received the title of Miss Congeniality (aka second runner-up), which entails the blissfulness of no responsibilities or time commitments. However, since Florida was unable to find a Honey Queen for 2012, I’ll continue to do some promotions this year, but hopefully not 3,000 miles worth!
I’m grateful for the lessons God has taught, and for the merciful—and unexpected—paths in which He has continued to guide me.
“Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done , and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered” (Psalm 40:5).