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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Groceries - deadline 8-23-12 10 am NY time (08/16/12)

TITLE: Differences
By LaRue Kendrick



Beth went to the pantry looking for a new jar of peanut butter. She wrinkled her nose and pouted as there did not appear to be one. It was a bit hard to tell, though, as the pantry shelves were loaded with dozens of boxes of mac‘n cheese, cereals of every type, crackers, food bars, breakfast bars, packages of cookies and candy, cake mixes, canned goods in every variety of fruit and vegetable, bottles of juice and cartons of pop, etc. She would just have to run to the grocery store real quick – she just couldn’t run out of peanut butter. The trouble with that idea was with every trip to the store, she always came home with a good deal more than what she went for and then had to find a place for all of it.

Carol sat at the table with this week’s sale flyer from the local grocery store. She was making menus for the week according to what was on sale. This took careful planning, but she was determined to get the most food for her dollars. Their family of five ate plenty of food, and she had to stretch the food budget to keep everyone satisfied. She was thankful for the incomes that allowed her to plan and shop and actually have what the family needed each month.

Terry waited in line at the food bank, hoping to receive enough to feed her family of four. She chewed her lower lip and kept looking around to see if anyone she knew might see her here. She hoped not. Since Jack had lost his job over six months ago, they had run out of any compensation from the lay-off, and he hadn’t been able to find anything but odd jobs now and then. She wasn’t working because it would cost more for a babysitter for the twins than she could bring home. She didn’t have any real marketable skills, and Jack could earn more with the odd jobs.

Katie rested her elbows on the table and laid her head into her folded hands. Tears seeped from her eyes and splashed onto the table top. Three-year-old Nickolas tugged at her sleeve until she asked what he needed. “Mommy, I’m hungry.”
“I know sweetheart. Come sit on my lap, and we’ll tell Jesus that we are hungry. Maybe He will help us, okay?”
With his little boy faith, he climbed up into her lap, folded his hands and prayed, “Jesus, we’re hungry. Can you please fix it?”
Katie thought that Nicholas had said it all. She just squeezed him tight. Then she sat him onto a chair and went to the refrigerator. On a shelf in the door sat one lonely egg. That was all; no bread, no milk, nothing. She took a skillet from the drawer below the oven and heated it in preparation to cook the last egg. As she put the bowl of scrambled egg in front of Nicholas, there came a knock at the door. Her neighbor, Peggy, stood holding two sacks of food.
“We are going to be gone for a couple of weeks, Katie. Could you use these things? They are just going to spoil if we leave them in our frig.”
“Yes, oh, yes. We could use them. Thank you so much, Peggy.”
After the door was closed again, Katie took the bags to the table. Together she and Nicholas looked at the wonderful provisions. Tears brimmed in her eyes as she hugged her boy, silently thanking God for His care. He looked at her and said, “Jesus fixed it pretty quick, huh, Mommy?”
“He sure did, Nicholas.”
The little boy reached for her hands in his own and said, “Thank you Jesus. You did good.”

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C D Swanson 08/23/12
Another story that made me cry! Loved it, beautiful reminder of how God will always provide. We walk by faith not by sight...and He always will be there for ALL of us.

Great job. Thanks.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/23/12
I enjoyed all of these different scenarios. Sometimes it's hard to cover more than one plot line in such a limited word count. You did a marvelous job of doing just that. The little boy was adorable and felt so realistic.Nice job of writing on topic while delivering a great message.
Genia Gilbert08/25/12
This story has a really good message. There certainly are differences in where people are in life, and it shows up in the area of groceries and money in general. You did a good job of showing that and God's provision in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.