After what seems like so many years of struggling due to the death of their big brother and their missing in action father; the triplets, Yasmin, York and Yancy finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mom has a great job, everyone's grades are up, they're all making new friends and have even gotten involved in afterschool activities.
Now their father is back in the picture and it's smooth sailing from there, right? Wrong. Yasmin's father wants to prove that he can bring everyone back together, so he decides to move the family. As a result, the whole house is in an uproar. Though she’s grown in her faith and learned quite a bit about hope, joy and love, Yasmin is challenged to continue depending on God to help her remain calm through it all and find peace in the midst of this new storm. Remembering that He’s still there to comfort her, Yasmin sets her heart on trusting God and enjoying true peace.
About the Author
STEPHANIE PERRY MOORE is the author of many Young Adult Christian fiction titles, including the Payton Skky series, the Laurel Shadrach series, the Perry Skky Jr. series, the Faith Thomas Novelzine series, the Carmen Browne series, and the Beta Gamma Pi series. She is also the co-editor for the impactful BibleZine, REAL. Mrs. Moore speaks with young people across the country, showing them how they can live life fully and do it God's way. Stephanie currently lives in the greater Atlanta area with her husband, Derrick, a former NFL player and author, and their three children. Visit her website at www.stephanieperrymoore.com.
Read an Excerpt
Enjoying True Peace
Yasmin Peace Series Book 5
By Stephanie Perry Moore, Kathryn Hall
Moody PublishersCopyright © 2010 Stephanie Perry Moore
All rights reserved.
Darker Days Come
Life is looking brighter for the Peace family!" Dad said as we were in Orlando together, celebrating New Year's. "And it's only gonna get better 'cause y'all are movin' here!"
Wait a minute. Had he said what I thought I just heard? Don't get me wrong; Orlando is pretty and all. It has its fun attractions, like Disney World and Universal Studios, which could definitely keep us occupied in a big way. I mean, who wouldn't want to live in this hugely fun city?
It was just that I had a lot going on for me back in Jacksonville. And even though I desperately wanted my family to be together, moving to Orlando wasn't the step I wanted to take at the moment. After all, I was in high school and I had a really sweet guy back at home just waiting for me to return. Besides that, I'm cool with my girlfriends too. A move like this was not something I was looking forward to at all.
As I looked over at Mom, she was smiling so hard. But I actually thought that she would be bummed out too. She had a good job and things were getting better for her in Jacksonville. But I wasn't naïve. I knew Mom wouldn't just pick up her things and change her world on a whim. She was a strong, independent Black woman. Other than my brothers and me, Mom really had no ties to Dad anymore. They weren't married any longer and I saw no new ring on her finger. Besides, we couldn't just move in with him. Although he is our father and her ex- husband, I knew this wouldn't be God's plan. So I couldn't help but think that there was more to this story.
"So why the long faces?" Mom asked with concern as she examined the reaction she was getting from the three of us.
I hadn't even realized that York and Yancy were frowning too. I was so deep in my own gloomy thoughts that I'd never even looked over at them. But they didn't appear happy about this news either.
York called out, "We just got our basketball thing goin'." He looked like he wanted to punch the wall or something.
"Yeah, and Coach Hicks said we got a really good shot at winning state. So far, we're undefeated. Dad, why can't you just move in with us?" Yancy added.
"Plus, what's the hurry? Why are y'all movin' so fast?" York blurted out.
The questions were coming so quickly; neither of my parents had a chance to respond. At York's remark, both of them gave him a similar look like, Boy, don't act grown on us.
True, we weren't grown yet. We were growing teenagers in the ninth grade of high school. It was time for them to realize we weren't their little babies anymore. Having seen a lot in our fourteen years of life had helped us mature. We'd lost our older brotherto suicide. We were raised while our dad had been in jail. We'd witnessed our mom struggle to put food on the table. And we had even survived an apartment fire.
And now that things were looking up, our whole world would have to suddenly change? Why were our parents moving so fast? Just a couple of weeks ago Mom didn't even want to join in on the trip to Orlando for Christmas. Exactly what was going on here? How could she have a change of heart so quickly?
"Can I say something?" York asked cautiously, making sure he wasn't gonna get hit for his last smart-aleck comment.
Dad said, "Sure, Son, go ahead. We wanna hear from you, but do know that the decision is already made. We know we got strong-willed kids, but your mom and I don't owe y'all any explanations. You gotta understand that we know what's best for you. I know that I haven't been there much throughout you guys' lives. But I do have three and a half years left to spend with you all before you go off to college."
At that statement, York gave him a bewildered glare.
Reading his son's look, Dad went on. "Yeah, York, I know you gonna get those grades together and you're gonna go on to college too, Son. 'Cause having a male authority figure around the house is gonna help keep you straight. Now, what do you have to say?"
"I've just never been a part of anything organized like the basketball team. Now that I've gotten into it, I'm pretty good at it. I may not be as good as Jeff Jr. was, but I do wanna give it a try."
Then York took a deep breath to gather his courage; he was ready to present the rest of his case. "So I wanna stay with Uncle John for a while. And, Dad, it can't be because I like him better than you or anything like that. 'Cause that's not it. You're my dog; you know that. It's just that he lives in Jacksonville, and he's got an extra bedroom. When I watched the kids for them one night, it was cool being over there. I just think Yancy and Yasmin should move with y'all and I should stay in Jacksonville and finish school here."
Yancy quickly protested, "Yeah, but they only have one extra room, and I think that room should be mine. I have more reason to stay in Jacksonville than York or Yas. I mean, no offense, Pops, but Uncle John has always been like a dad to me. Seriously, we've been doing a lot together over the years. It was York who never really liked him."
"Wait, I like him now!" York objected.
"Yeah, okay. Right," Yancy coolly replied. "But really, folks, listen, my grades are up to par. I'm on the honors track and basketball is taking off for me too. I should be the one to stay in Jacksonville. York and Yasmin should move to Orlando with you."
Dad just listened and turned to me. "Yas, I know you have somethin' to say."
I was fuming with anger. Was it finally my turn? How dare they? My brothers just felt so sure that I needed to be the one to move. I was doing everything in my power to hold back the tears. Yes, I was happy for my parents. They were trying to work it out, trying to make us a family again. Besides, I had no doubt that they would do it God's way. That meant wedding bells would be in their plans soon enough.
But even though they hadn't told us everything, I couldn't spoil their plans by wanting things my own way. I just felt like, of all the people, I should be the one to stay in Jacksonville. It just seemed too selfish to express my true feelings, so I didn't say anything.
In my silence, Mom spoke up. "Obviously, she's fine with it since she has nothin' to say. I'm sure she's gonna miss her friends and school, but she'll be okay. That's the problem nowadays. Kids get too many choices in this world. The decision has been made and we're all gonna move. None of y'all are stayin' in Jacksonville. The plan your dad and I have is for the three kids we have left to be a family—all under one roof. And if your dad has to be in Orlando to land the job that's he's been workin' on gettin', then this is where we'll all be when that time comes." Mom flatly put it all out there; she didn't leave any room for changing her mind.
York was furious. "Wow, Mom! How you gonna just forget what we want like we ain't got no say in it? I mean, when is this move supposed to be happenin' anyway? You were the one who encouraged us to get involved in basketball in the first place. So now we've done it, and we're gettin' good at it. But you just wanna pull that away from us?"
She just shook her head and said, "You'd better watch your mouth, boy."
"I'm just sayin', Ma," York responded, trying to persuade her to see it his way.
"It's not what you say, Son. It's how you say it," Dad cut in, motioning for him to calm down.
York just grabbed his jacket and stormed out of the hotel room. I wanted to join him. And looking over at Yancy, he did too. We both knew that York had a tougher spirit, and he was bold enough to pull a move like that.
"York, you'd better get back in here!" Mom yelled.
I screamed to myself, Run, York, run for me!
"Let him go," Dad said. "Yancy, go and check on your brother." Then he told Mom, "The boys need to go and cool down."
"Yeah, well, I need to cool down too," she said as she headed toward the door. Before she went out, she looked over at me. "They're gonna come around, though; they'll be okay with our decision like you are, Yasmin." She really thought that I was on board with the whole thing, and I hadn't given her any reason not to.
As she walked out leaving Dad and me alone, I couldn't help feeling extremely sad. But, Mom, I'm not okay with this, I silently confessed as the tears rolled down my face.
In those few minutes after she left, Dad and I didn't speak. He turned on the TV, and I went outside in the darkness. When I found my brothers sitting on a nearby bench, I sat next to them. The three of us said nothing to one another, but we all felt the same unhappiness. We just looked up at the sky. It was very clear that our world was changing and we were unable to control what was about to happen.
* * *
Three days later we had said good-bye to Dad and were back in Jacksonville. I wasn't sure when we'd see him again, so the huge hug we shared would have to last for a while.
On the day of the basketball tournament, we were at the school gymnasium. This was a big chance for my brothers and they were all geeked about it.
"It just seems so weird," Veida said to me as we sat with my other two crazy best buds. "Why your parents gonna move y'all like that? How am I gonna live without seeing your fine brothers every day?"
"Now ... you wrong for that," Perlicia scolded her. "Neither York or Yancy are thinkin' about you; trust me. You should be thinkin' about missin' your friend and here you are talkin' about some boys. You're a hot mess, girl."
"No, no. Yas, don't get me wrong. I'm gonna miss you. Seriously. All of this stuff I've been goin' through with my parents not gettin' along and my sister trippin', I wouldn't have been able to manage if I didn't have you to call and talk to."
Turning the attention away from herself, Veida continued. "And speaking of boys, these two chicks over here got some new love interests. They keep talkin' about it, but they won't spill the details." She motioned to Asia and Perlicia.
"What? I was only gone for a minute! What boys y'all got?" I asked in complete surprise.
"Veida doesn't know what she's talkin' about," Asia responded, dismissing my question and the subject.
My three friends looked so cute in their Trojanette outfits. Their short skirts and color-coordinated tops really made them stand out from me. I hated so badly that I didn't make the squad with them, but I was proud to see them dance during halftime. My girls knew they were the bomb. I was just glad that they still wanted to sit with me.
"So," Veida started. "Does Myrek even know yet?" She scooted closer to get the scoop.
Her question made me get emotional again. Myrek wasn't just another boyfriend. We'd been friends for years. And every time either one of us wanted to break up, our friendship drew us back together again. How could I tell him that I had to move?
There was still no set date as to when we were leaving. And I didn't want breaking the news to him to make him doubt my feelings. So I hadn't told him yet because I was afraid of how he would react. Besides, if he was gonna be okay with us having a long-distance relationship, then I would be mad. 'Cause if that was the case, then he really didn't care as much as I thought he did. Just thinking about it all was too hard to bear. It seemed like I couldn't win either way.
"I just hope they don't move y'all before we go to state because these boys are on the case!" Veida said, jumping to her feet when Myrek made a basket.
"Well, they ain't so on-point right now," Asia added. "Look at the score. We're goin' into halftime with us twenty points down."
"Hey, Yas. There's your mom," Veida said. I looked up in surprise and saw my mother headed to a seat two sections down.
In fact, I was really shocked. What was she doing here? She was supposed to be at work until 6 p.m., so Myrek's dad was going to take us home. Seeing her show up for the game, even though my brothers would be excited about it, made me hope everything was okay.
This is strange, I thought. "I'll be back, y'all," I said to them as I got up.
"Well, we gotta go and get ready for the fourth-quarter short dance. We'll see you when we get back," Veida said.
"She knows we're gettin' ready to perform. You don't have to rub it in," Perlicia reprimanded.
Veida shot back. "I know she knows. I was just remindin' her that we should be here by the time she comes back. Back off, Perlicia!"
"It's okay, girls. Go out there and do your thing," I told them.
As I headed over to see my mom, the three of them went to join the other dancers. I had to keep my own feelings in check so that the green- eyed monster wouldn't pop up and step into my business. I was happy for my girls; we were true friends. I only hoped when I moved to Orlando that I would have friends just as caring. It took a lot for us to become tight buddies. Now I truly believed that we wouldn't intentionally deceive each other—and that just felt so great.
Even so, I couldn't help but wonder. Would it be possible to have meaningful friendships with some new girls? Or have I found something that I would never be able to replace? Then again, how could my parents do this to me? I never had good girlfriends until now, and they knew that. It made me angrier with each step I took toward my mom.
When I approached her, I just blurted out, "Why aren't you at work?" It sounded so cold even to me. I just couldn't keep my feelings in.
"Because I'm here. And watch your tone!" she snapped back. "Look, Yasmin, I know you've been avoiding me. You've been stayin' in your room, having your head stuck in some book, or talkin' on the phone with your little friends. But we need to talk about this. Your dad and I are tryin' not to move until the end of the semester, but we may have to move sooner. It all depends on what happens with this job he's tryin' to get. Life changes and you might not like it, but you've gotta be able to roll with it and adjust to survive."
"All right, Mom." I said whatever I could just so she could stop talking about the move. Right now the attention needed to be on my brothers' game.
"Look at 'em," she said with a frustrated tone. "Your brothers are gettin' beat down bad. Pick up the game, boy!" she yelled out. "York, get the rebound! Hey, Coach, you need to get Yancy up off the bench and maybe y'all would do better!" she shouted.
"Mom!" I said, feeling embarrassed and wanting her to calm down.
"I'm just tellin' the truth."
When the game was over, our team didn't win. Myrek and my brothers were really upset. Mom went to my brothers and tried to give them pointers. But neither of them wanted to hear it. It's like she was mad at all of us for being mad about moving. And her over-the-top frustration was getting the best of her.
When he didn't come up to me, I went over to Myrek. Trying to cheer him up, I said, "It's okay. You'll get 'em next time."
"Yeah, but will you even be here to see it?"
I couldn't believe this! One of my brothers, I didn't know which one, had opened his big mouth. We all agreed that I'd be the one to tell Myrek about us moving.
All I could say to him was, "I didn't wanna talk about it, Myrek. I didn't wanna bring it up because it makes me mad. I don't wanna move. Okay? And no matter what you say about the situation, it's gonna hurt my feelings."
"I don't understand. What do you mean?" Myrek asked me, wiping the sweat from his brow.
I tried to explain the way I felt. "If you tell me you'll miss me, then I'll be sad. If you tell me that it's gonna be okay because life goes on and we're too young to have anything serious anyway, then I'm gonna be bummed out too. Nothin' you say is gonna make me feel better about this move."
Then he grabbed my hand, and I saw his eyes beginning to tear up. "I don't need to say anything. Can't you tell by my face how I feel about you movin' away?"
As a tear, mixed with the sweat already on his face, dropped from his eye, I knew that he was bummed out too. I'm sure some of it had to do with them losing the game and with him missing some free throws. But why in the world did I have to have such bad news?
Lord, I thought, please fix this. I can't stand anything else clobbering my world down.
* * *
I was so glad when classes finally started. I needed to get away from all the tension that was going on in my home. Mom was into planning her future, so she was preoccupied. There were boxes all around the apartment as we prepared to move. My brothers were tied up with their basketball practice and actually getting along for a change. They didn't have time to hang out with me. So, for the most part, I was left alone with my thoughts. But I knew school would keep me occupied until it was time for me to leave.
I had just left the counselor's office after getting my new schedule when I bumped into someone. I looked up and couldn't help but stare. This new guy was cute. We just laughed at our slight collision.
"I'm sorry. I'm so clumsy," he said in the most polite manner I've ever seen on a ninth-grade boy.
I could see the developing muscles poking from under his sweater. But I had to stop staring before people reported back to Myrek that I was looking at this kid a little too hard.
"So, you're new here, huh?" I asked. "I haven't seen you around before."
"Yeah, I'm the new kid on the block."
"Where did you come from?" I asked.
Excerpted from Enjoying True Peace by Stephanie Perry Moore, Kathryn Hall. Copyright © 2010 Stephanie Perry Moore. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsChapter 1 Darker Days Come,
Chapter 2 Holder of Pain,
Chapter 3 Disrupter Never Prevails,
Chapter 4 Calmer Feelings Rule,
Chapter 5 Jumper to Conclusions,
Chapter 6 Helper Needs Help,
Chapter 7 Stranger Things Happen,
Chapter 8 Stumbler over Words,
Chapter 9 Stricter than Before,
Chapter 10 Crazier from It,
Chapter 11 Supporter of Truth,
Chapter 12 Brighter Days Come,