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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)

TITLE: Ties that Give Hope
By Victoria Catron


The long, skinny rectangle near the center of the baby doll quilt that now rested in my hands bore the only words upon the piece, "Ride Em Cowboy." Yet, every shape, color, and stitch told of a tie that surpassed generations. They recount the story of a mother who made a quilt for her daughter's baby doll some sixty years ago. Unlike many such toys today this quilt lasted through the use of that daughter, her own daughter, and her son's daughter before my eyes saw the love it shared. I thought it curious that such a gift would softly rest in my hands even if I take care of a little monster who would love to keep it as her toy. Though I have let her play with it I cannot seem to completely remove it from my possession. It's not even that I don't have my own baby doll afghan my mommy made for my first baby doll but the hope this antique piece of art emits is incredibly attractive.

The extent of the matter is that though I enjoy a well-written work of fiction it is the real experiences of those I love that are dearest to my heart. My grandma knows this about me and so has told me several stories of her childhood and her life after she married my papa. Psalm 78 (KJV) speaks of God's work throughout Israel's history, but I believe that verse four can be applied to all those who follow him. "We wil not hide them from their children, showing the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done." Psalm 89:1 (KJV) expounds it a little differently, "I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever; with my mouth will I make known they faithfulness to all generations."

Hopefully, you'll understand that it's not just the stitches and knots that hold the baby doll quilt together but the ties invested from one person towards another. Proverbs 31:28-31 makes it clear that a virtuous woman would receive praise from her children, husband, and others. I am a witness to the wonderful woman who made the quilt and the endearing woman who held onto to it in order to share it with others. If you've never been given such a gift and don't know its significance I hope that you will consider what kind of ties you were passed and what you can leave to those generations that follow you. I would like to leave you with the first two stanzas of an old hymn that wrap this concept together better than I could:

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love:
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father's throne
We pour our ardent prayers:
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

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This article has been read 268 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 03/08/13
I love the story at the beginning about the quilt.

This felt a bit... disjointed to me at times, perhaps because you seem to ask permission to share your thoughts. If you're writing a devotional, feel free to just tell us. You don't have to ask first. :)

Nice job, overall. Keep writing.
Bonnie Bowden 03/09/13
I liked the beginning of this piece. I just wanted you to share more about the individual squares and what each one meant to the corresponding family member.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/10/13
I think you did a great job on this lovely story. I found a big lump in my throat as I was reading it. There is something special that ties us to our family members. Even though we may know they're in a good place,it's still hard to grieve on earth.

You might want to consider the old adage, show; don't tell. It's not an easy concept for writers to understand and many will struggle with it their whole life. For example, take the first bit of your second paragraph, just by rewording it a bit you can show your reader your emotions. This is just an example to show you what I mean. I enjoy curling up with my nose in a good book. A smile spreads across my face as I get engrossed in the characters. Oh, but when I hold that baby blanket against my cheek, my heart pounds as I close my eyes, sniffing the heirloom and allowing it to take me back to Grandma's house.
I know that may not capture the right feelings, but I wanted to give you an example of what I mean by showing or painting a picture.

You did a nice job of covering the topic. I liked how you used something many people can relate to, in order to get your message out there. I also enjoyed the ending, just make sure you cite the composer and lyricist in an author's note. That doesn't add to the word count, so you don't need to worry about that. I truly enjoyed your story and found myself mulling over treasures I've saved. I look forward to reading more of your work.