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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: Wisdom Is Worth What It Costs
By Kathleen Tollifson


There is a lot to be said for youth! Everywhere you look, it is clearly a coveted condition. I have decided that if it was possible to sell it, you could name your price!

There is no arguing that the benefits of youth are very attractive; beginning with having most of your years still ahead of you, to mundane things like having tons of energy. History shows that many of the explorers of past eras were searching for the fountain of youth. I did a Google search for ‘fountain of youth’, and the very top match was for Sephora, which kind of sums up our present day quest.

Since adopting my two grandsons 5 ½ years ago, I have been privileged to experience a second youthful era. My good friend from church thinks it’s hilarious that I am a 59 year old Soccer Mom. I’m not sure that I think it’s as funny as he does, but I can say that my enthusiasm hasn’t waned in my years away from the soccer field! And parenting hasn’t gotten any easier than it was when I was young, and didn’t know half of what I know now.

In our years as a family, which includes my daughter, their aunt, we have learned a lot about what it means to be a family. In an age that is questioning traditional family values, we have had to find for ourselves what makes a family in the eyes of our God. It has been an interesting journey, to say the least.

Recently we have become intentional about the idea of honoring each other. The Bible tells us to “honor your father and your mother (Matt 15: 4)”, but it does not explain how to do it. We know that God will judge the secrets of our heart (Ro 2:16), so we can assume that more than an outward show is required. We must genuinely honor them, and each other, in our hearts. This challenges all of us. After all, no one has more opportunity to hurt and offend us than our closest relatives!

Recently I realized that I have experienced changes in my ability to handle some projects. It didn’t seem like a big deal; I was giving everything the ‘old college try’. Until the day that a project that I had unwisely begun resulted in an ‘Oops’, and a big mess. I found my family looking at me with exasperation. I wanted to explain myself, but I could hear the ‘Oops’ echoing in my ears, and I realized this was not the first time I had overestimated my ability.

As I thought about it, I began to understand that I do not honor others when I don’t ask for the help I need. One disadvantage of age is the loss of youthful strength and vigor. However, age has the distinct advantage of wisdom, some of it hard-earned. It has always been hard for me to ask for help, but I have wisely decided that it is the best way to avoid those tense Oops moments! And my young strong grandsons are always happy to give me a helping hand!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 01/21/10
Yes, wisdom is indeed worth what it costs. Good message in here, and nice, easy flow in reading. Thanks for sharing this!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/24/10
I'VE ALWAYS GOTTEN A WONDERFUL FEELING WHEN I HELP OTHERS. I REALIZED IF I WANT MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO SHARE IN THIS GOOD FEELING, I MUST AT TIMES BE ON THE RECEIVING END, OTHERWISE I'M DENYING OTHERS the opportunity to have that feel good feeling. (Please know I wasn't yelling I just didn't realize my caps locked was on, oops! plus I'm too lazy to retype) Thank you for the great story.
Jan Ackerson 01/25/10
Well done--I feel as if I know you after reading this.

A few suggestions: I'd like more details about the "oops" moment, and it's best to avoid exclamation points in narrative.

I've started a thread in the message boards specifically for Beginner and Intermediate writers, and I'd love to have you stop by. http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=67

Your writing it very good, and I look forward to reading more in the coming weeks.