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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)

TITLE: Grandma Nellie's Pasture Story
By D. Phenes


"When are they going to get here?" I asked myself for the third time in the last thirty minutes. "How I do love these visits with my granddaughter, Lord bless her as much as she's been such a blessing to me" with thankful heart, I prayed to God.

"Grandma Nellie, Grandma Nellie I am here." Shelly declared her entrance into the house.

"Why darlin' I'm so glad ya made it, I have been waiting quite impatiently." laughingly I told her. Shelly jumped upon my lap and smothered me with her kisses and hugs.

"Mom, thanks for watching her for us." my daughter called out as she headed out the door.

After we had some snacks, we sat at our favorite place - the porch swing. Shelly laid her head in my lap and looked up at me and asked “Grandma, tell me some of your pasture stories."

"My pasture stories?" I asked even though I knew what she was asking. It was one of our lil' traditions.

"Grandma, you know what I mean. The stories about you young." declared Shelly.

As I finished my story, my granddaughter lay quietly in my lap. I did not say anything, thinking I may have put her to sleep. "Why you had lots of bad things in your life and not many GOOD ones" my granddaughter finally spoke what she had been thinking.

"My gracious child, there was plenty of good. Your mother, you and your grandpa God rest his soul." I explained to her.

"It was hard for you. Harder than anything I have had." Shelley tried to explain in her seven year old language.

"Oh I get you child." I reassured her. "Many of the troubling times in my life did have some 'GOOD' in them." comfortingly I spoke to her as I ran my hand thru her hair.

"There was a time when I was about thirteen years old and my sister Prudy who was seventeen at the time." I began to recall.

Prudy was always the wild child. She never listened to anyone. My mother would argue with her about what she was wearing or saying. Prudy wanted to be on her own, for then she would not have to listen to anyone.

I loved her more than any other of my siblings and would pray that she would get along with my parents. For I only wanted peace for them and for myself.

One day I came home from school to find my mother in a heap on the floor sobbing. My father was walking back and forth saying some very bad words that I have never heard him say. They sent me directly to my room. I overheard them as I went upstairs, saying that my dear Prudy had run away.

"Aunt Prudy I have never heard of her Grandma?" questioned Kelly.

"Sweet heart she passed away before you were born." I explained.

My parents were so distraught over Prudy. They did not know what to do. Dad searched everywhere and Mom called everyone. My siblings and I went door to door. After a few weeks, they realized Prudy was lost to them.

About this time, my parents decided to make some changes in our family. One change was to spend time with us children. Dad got home early every night and Mom did not play cards with her lady friends as much. My Grandma even got them to take us to her church.

First my brother Arthur got saved and then myself. Before you knew it the whole family had accepted the Lord as their Savior. Our family had added Jesus to our household.

"What about Aunt Prudy?" whispered Kelly?

"Hold on child." laughingly I chided her.

Things in our household had changed so much by the time we had heard from Prudy. One day Prudy showed up with her head held down in shame. I am sure she expected a blasting from my parents. She had not stepped two feet in the door, when my parents smothered her with their hugs and tears.

"You see child, my parents knew what it felt to be lost. They knew Prudy was as lost as they were without God in their lives." with tears of joy I ended my story.

"It's a GOOD one Grandma." my granddaughter declared.

"Yes, child it's definitely a GOOD one." I agreed.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Quinn03/07/08
Wonderful story. Right on topic and beautiful. Thanks for sharing! God bless :)
Marlene Austin03/07/08
Good job. Thanks for sharing. :)
Lynn Jacky 03/08/08
Hi: This story reminded me of the prodigal son in Scripture - only 'prodigal daughter' I enjoyed it immensly.

Had a laugh at the beginning grand daughter's part was great (I have a grandson) had tears in the middle and joy at the end. Stories should touch our hearts. This one did mine. - You should send this somewhere - Hearts stories, God Allows U Turns, or Chicken Soup for the Soul.

"Good one." Grandma - I agree with Prudy.

Thanks and keep up the excellent writing.
Andrea Hargrove03/09/08
This needs a bit of editing. For example, when you attatch a tag after dialogue, such as "I am here." Shelly declared, it should be "I am here," Shelly declared.

Anyway, I liked the way the characters in the story had their own unique voices.
Laury Hubrich 03/10/08
I can just see Grandma and granddaughter sitting in the swing together talking. Lovely story. There are a few problems that can be easily fixed. Keep on learning, keep on writing!
Jan Ackerson 03/10/08
The relationship between the grandmother and granddaughter is very precious.

There are some errors in punctuation--dialogue, missing commas, unnecessary periods, etc. Perhaps check out a website with those rules and examples?

This is a very tender story.
Shirley McClay 03/10/08
Very sweet! I love stories about grandparents and grandchildren! One suggestion that helped me is to be careful not to repeat words... ie.. listen... get creative and use another word that means something similar. Keep writing.. the more you write the better you'll get!
LauraLee Shaw03/11/08
What a beautiful and tender story that tugged at my heart strings.
Seema Bagai 03/12/08
Sweet story. I would suggest working on the grandmother's dialogue. The way an adult would speak to a young child is different than the way she would if she was speaking to another adult. Keep writing. With some corrections, this will be a great story.
Henry Clemmons03/12/08
Sweet, for sure. Even with the punc. errors the story was great and had a super message. Be encouraged.
Catrina Bradley 03/12/08
A heartwarming tale. I love the scene, and your characters. Great story for this topic!