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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Banquet - deadline 8-16-12 10 am NY time (08/09/12)

TITLE: The Barbie Doll
By Sharon Eastman
08/15/12


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At sixteen I was a voluptuous teenager, physically advanced for my age. My legs were slim; my hips were curvy; and my blouses popped open at the placket, as you can kindly imagine. Being this way was not a true blessing. As I received the attention of the male population, I played my little Lolita role to the hilt. To my parentís dismay, I concentrated on boys, clothes, and make up, not my studies.

One night my parents allowed me to attend a DeMolay Installation with my friends and their folks. (DeMolay is a young manís organization and part of the Masonic Order.) I donned a madras skirt and a cranberry shell, which was the fashion of the day. When I met with my friends, I saw that they looked attractive, too.

We sat through the long, boring installation, but the fun began afterwards. We mingled with the guys and laughed and danced. I received lots of compliments and attention from these 18 to 20 year old DeMolays, and I soaked it all in like soda on a sponge. When they asked me to be Chapter Sweetheart for the coming year, I was elated! Tears spilled down my cranberry shell.

A year seemed like a very long time, especially for a young girl. I tried to forget about the DeMolaysí sweetheart proposal, but a few of the guys kept in touch calling and visiting. Therefore, I focused all my attention on the high school dances and football games. I even enjoyed my status as class flirt. Still, all the male attention was making me self-centered and haughty.

I must have left an indelible image as the DeMolays didnít forget me. A surprise call from them came to my home one night, and a group of them came over. They announced that I was the new Chapter Sweetheart.

First, I had to be installed, which was another heady experience. Standing in front of 250 people, I was electrified. I was dressed all in blue taffeta, and I felt like a princess or a Barbie doll. When the Master Counselor (a president of a DeMolay Chapter) placed the tiara on my head, the ribbon over my shoulders, and handed me a bouquet of roses, my spirit soared. My soul became overwhelmed, and I felt like Cleopatra at Solomonís temple. Again, that night ended with my calendar full of dates.

I had lots of fun as Sweetheart, and I went to DeMolay Installations and other activities. I met many people, but my main concern was flirting with all the guys. The few girlfriends that I had would become jealous and gossip about me.

One night a contest and banquet was held to elect the District Sweetheart, a Chapter Sweetheart chosen to represent several chapters in the state competition. Everyone assumed that I would win the competition; after all, I was the ďprettiest.Ē

It was a lovely banquet with roast beef and vegetables served. Because my nerves were in high force, I could hardly talk or eat. Finally, the emcee, a local radio personality, strode to the podium. The contest was about to begin, and ten contestants waltzed to the stage. The emcee introduced them, and each candidate said a few lines. I mumbled mine. Each contestant had to answer a trick question. My question pertained to a broken shoe. My mind went blank; my heart raced; and I fumbled and jumbled my words. All was quiet when the emcee announced the winner. And, the winner was Cheryl Watkins, a hawk-nosed, beady eyed charmer!

I was heart-broken. I didnít win. And, I was so sure of a victory!

As ďprettyĒ as I thought I was, this loss made me realize that the old adage was true: beauty is only skin deep. I must develop more inner qualities to be truly beautiful.

I ate humble pie at that banquet, and it was dreadful. My head hung in shame the rest of the night; I felt mortified. But, Iím thankful God forgives and teaches us many things. Mine was a lesson in pride. I changed my attitude from flirt to dainty, and I became a better person and a better student.

Many, too many, years have passed since that night. Iím a grandmother now, and I often tell my children and grandchildren about it. Iíll never forget the lesson humble pie taught me.































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This article has been read 168 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/16/12
Oh how sad it is that we place so much value on physical appearance. I'm at the point where I refuse to have my picture taken. If I don't look in the mirror my mind pictures the super skinny girl I once was. Your story really woke me up. There are far more important things in life. You did a wonderful job of relaying that message.
CD Swanson 08/16/12
A good lesson that can apply to many. The old cliche, "beauty is skin deep" is an adage that can be applied today and is as ageless as time. Something good to ponder, since time can be so cruel to our "outer image" as we age.

But...to grow old is through the grace of God, so ostensibly, "how beautiful" is that?

Thanks for this fine story.

God Bless~
Genia Gilbert08/18/12
This is a very good lesson to learn. You showed that very well, and built it around the topic. Good job.
Catrina Bradley 08/18/12
What a tough lesson to learn, but God was gracious to show you early enough in life to to set you on the right path. Well written - great story.