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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: Thank you for Mrs. Rothchild
By Marlene Austin


It’s so early, and a Sunday. Don’t I ever get a day to sleep in? Well, quit griping. These tables and beds have to be scrubbed down before the little ones get here.”

Ashley was scrubbing the fourth table, when Mrs. Rothchild stopped by the cottage-style door. Scrutinizing the partially cleaned area through the opened upper half, she announced her presence, “Good morning, Ashley. It’s so good to see a young adult here with adequate time to spare. Seems we are having more and more young people popping through the doors right as, or even after, the beginning bell rings. Disgraceful! You would think these young people could set their alarms a few minutes earlier and get here on time.”

“Yes, Mrs. Rothchild, but many have small children, and so many unexpected things can happen.”

“Of course, dear, but every Sunday? I mean, I have arthritis and it’s very hard for me to get around, but I just make sure I give myself adequate time to get where I’m going. But, I’m of another generation, you know.”

And, you have no one else to get ready, do you?

“Oh, I see you are washing and changing the sheets. You know I saw some on sale just the other day and thought about buying a set or two for the nursery, but they were so plain. I felt the church deserved better.”

The church deserves any that are clean and ready to use. “Well, you know, it really wouldn’t matter. We could always use some new….”

“Well, I don’t know when I’ll be back there. Why, helloooo, Mr. Carter.”

“Hello, Emma. Excuse me, I need to return this rocker. Ashley, I came by after service last Sunday and heard this rocker making an awful screech, so I took it home, oiled it, and tightened the joints. Now I think it’ll do just fine.”

“Thank you, Mr. Carter. We’ve had trouble with that old rocker for some time, but we just didn’t know what to do with it. Why, listen, it doesn’t make a sound. That’s just wonderful.”

Emma chimed in, “You know, I saw that old rocker of Mom’s just the other day and thought about donating it to the nursery in memory of Mom, but it’s about 40 years old, and I figure if I just hang on to it a few more years, it’ll be a valuable antique. It’s in ‘like-new’ condition, you know.”

“Oh, Emma. That rocker ain’t ever gonna be an antique. It was inexpensive when it was bought. Your folks always bought everything down at the old Sears & Roebuck’s. These ladies could really use it in here with all the babies they have to take care of, now.”

“Well, I just don’t know that I could stand to get rid of it, so many fond memories. And, after all, one never knows when there might be a real need of it. I’m not getting any younger, you know.”

At that time, Christy came hurrying in, “’Morning, everybody. I tried to get here a little early, just in case you needed some help, Ashley.”

“Oh, thanks, Christy. Actually, the sheets for the cribs should be ready to come out of the dryer by now. If you don’t mind getting those…”

“Hi. How is everyone? Ashley, here’s a bag with some juice and crackers. I noticed we were getting low the last time I stayed in the nursery.”

“Why, thank you, Sharon. I hadn’t even had time to check the shelves, yet.”

With all the people beginning to come in, and the conversation no longer being carried by her, Mrs. Rothchild proclaimed, “Well, I was glad to keep you company until your teachers got here, Ashley, but, I guess I’d better be getting to my classroom, now. They always expect me to be in my place, you know. Besides, the coffee should be made by now,” she added as she made her noticeable path down the hallway.

As the time approached for the children to begin arriving, Ashley called her workers over for prayer. She thanked God for the day and for the children they would care for. Then, she thanked God for Mr. Carter’s sharing his gift of workmanship; for Christy’s willingness to do whatever was needed; and, for Sharon’s generosity and attention to detail. She ended the prayer by thanking God for Mrs. Rothchild, “And, thank you, God, for Mrs. Rothchild, for this gentle reminder of our purpose here.”

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This article has been read 621 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 02/28/08
This is very well-written. We all have at least one Mrs. Rothchild in our churches! Great job in presenting the topic!
Dee Yoder 03/03/08
Boy, did you hit the nail on the head with this entry! Great characterizations and the dialogue is very natural as well. I really enjoyed reading this entry!
jodie banner03/03/08
Well, you are definately on-topic with this one. Hopefully a few "Mrs.Rothschilds" will read this.
Mandy White03/03/08
I absolutely love this story! Sounds like a nursery I used to help in. Thanks for sharing this.
Debbie Wistrom03/03/08
So astute! What a reminder to be thankful for all out Mrs. Rothchilds. Keep up the good words.
Catrina Bradley 03/03/08
What a great job with the topic! Great dialog and characterization. The prayer at the end is priceless! Wonderful. :)
Lynda Schultz 03/03/08
Excellent story—believable characters.
Lyn Churchyard03/03/08
Well done! This was very believable and I loved the way you nailed the topic. Oh yes, we all have a Mrs. Rothchild (or two) at church. Great job.
LauraLee Shaw03/04/08
Very well-written with great descriptions and realistic thought patterns throughout.
Celeste Ammirata03/04/08
Wonderful story, true to the topic. Very well written. Hopefully this will open the eyes of all the Mrs. Rothschilds out there.
Beckie Stewart03/05/08
This was good. And you know, every church has a Mrs. Rothchild in it.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/05/08
I enjoyed your story--right on topic, and with a wonderful message. I love how you so cleverly showed Mrs. Rothchild's selfishness. The ending to your prayer was a perfect summation.
Julie Arduini03/05/08
Excellent story with a good message!
Sara Harricharan 03/06/08
Heehee, I like how your title was cute. I was waiting for the twist and props to Ashley for praying for Mrs. Rothchild. I liked the friendly setting and the characters of this piece. They were really well done, especially Ashley and her morning thoughts. Very realistic. ^_^