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

TITLE: Jesus Loves the Jayhawks
By Carol Cook


It was a beautiful autumn day. The warm gentle breeze combed its fingers through our hair and brushed against our cheeks. We drank in the magnificent reds, yellows and greens as we attended our annual mother/daughter craft show the weekend after Thanksgiving for the 7th year in a row. Attending this year were my daughter, her two daughters, her mother-in-law, and myself. This was a wonderful girls’ day out where we could have fun together, see new craft ideas, enjoy visiting with the local artists and artisans as they produced one-of-a-kind works of art, and possibly buy a few Christmas presents.

This was also a time when the Missouri Tigers were soon going to do battle against the Kansas Jayhawks. People in our area were showing pride in our state university team. My daughter was certainly doing her part, wearing a Tiger’s sweatshirt, and dressing each of her girls in Tiger colors of black and gold. She continued to show her spirit when she approached another person with Tiger colors by saying, “Yeah, we love the Tigers, but we hate the Jayhawks!”

Several different buildings contained the craft show, and as we moved between booths and buildings it seemed that she did not miss one person wearing Tiger colors. Each Tiger fan heard how we love the Tigers but hate the Jayhawks. They laughed and we laughed. I knew she was just having fun, but I was becoming concerned about the impact on her 2- and 5-year old girls. “Hate” seemed a strong word, and she went on and on. I knew she was a Christian. She would call me, so excited, to discuss things she had learned in her devotions, or ask for prayer for her family, friends and church. She would tell me that I had to download a message a preacher had given on television, which she had found a special blessing. I also knew what an inspiration she was to different people in her church. Yet, it is easy get caught up and to take things too far.

The craft show was magnificent. We found beautiful bows for the girls and my dogs, luxurious hand lotion that made us feel extravagant, and a John Deer weather station. We soon became tired and hungry so headed to a restaurant for lunch. We sat at a table for four so allowed 2-year old Alyson to sit at the head. Again, my daughter saw a woman with a Tiger sweatshirt and told her how we love the Tigers but hate the Jayhawks. Then she sat down at the table with the rest of us. That is when Aly’s chin went up and she announced in a very determined voice, “Jesus loves the Jayhawks.”

Our table became very quiet. We glanced quickly at each other, smiled and guiltily bent our heads. Something irresistible came over me and I found myself poking my daughter in the ribs, quietly saying, “And?”

She whispered, “Be quiet!”

I poked her again and said loudly enough for Aly to hear, “And?”

Realizing she would not be let off the hook, my daughter rolled her eyes at me and said in a voice that belied her words, “And we like the Jayhawks, too.” We all laughed, Aly looking very satisfied with herself.

We have talked about this story so many times. However, an astonishing thing happened several weeks later. I was in a store getting into line to pay for some items. Several girls entered the same line behind me who were wearing Jayhawk shirts. When I saw them, my first thought was, “Jesus loves you!” An irresistible urge came over me to tell them. Little 2-year old Alyson had made such an impact on me that now every time I see anything related to Jayhawks I cannot help but think, “Jesus loves you!”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/21/10
What a wonderful reminder that our children are sponges and soak up everything we say. This is a refreshing story that will be retold to your great grandchildren and their children. We can learn much from our little ones.
Jan Ackerson 01/25/10
Excellent story for "Oops!" I enjoyed this.

I'd suggest opening with a stronger hook, but otherwise, this was a delightful read.

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

I really liked your title, and your precious 2-year-old.
Allison Egley 01/28/10
First of all, congrats on getting "Highly Commended" (4th place) in level 1!

And second...

M-I-Z.... Z-O-U!

From one Mizzou fan to another... Go Tigers! And I guess I love those Jayhaks too.... or at least like them. ;)
Patricia Herchenroether01/28/10
A great story and lesson. Well done and congratulations.
Charla Diehl 01/29/10
Oh, out of the mouth of babes--and a great message and lesson is learned. Good story.
Tessy Fuller02/08/10
This was such a good story. Congrats on your highly recommended!