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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)

TITLE: A Mothers Inheritance
By Jessica Schmit


Shannon stopped at a table which held a sign reading “Garage Sale: 25 cents per item.”

She picked up a beautiful gold plated jewelry box. It looked out of place sitting amongst used pencils and rusted tools.

“I’ll buy this,” Shannon said to the woman manning the cash table.

As the woman turned to give her the change, Shannon caught sight of a deep scar along the side of the woman’s face. Embarrassed to be caught staring, Shannon hastily grabbed her change, said a quick good bye and headed down the driveway to her car.


“I’ll put you here!” Shannon said proudly as she placed the jewelry box on her living room mantle.
I wonder why you were so cheap.

Shannon picked up the little box and examined it closely. Something seems so strange about this box. I just can’t …
Suddenly, the phone rang. Shannon, startled by the noise, accidentally dropped her new purchase.

“Oh great!”
As Shannon knelt down to pick up the box, she discovered that there was a third piece to the antique box, that’s why it looked so weird. It has a false bottom. Shannon noticed a small piece of paper wedged in the hidden drawer.

Help Her God.
James 1:17

That’s a strange note. Who’s James?

Over the next few days’, curiosity won over Shannon and she found herself sitting in her car outside the garage sale house.

I hope this lady doesn’t think I’m nuts. Shannon thought to herself as she made her way up the driveway. Maybe this was a bad idea… Shannon’s thoughts were interrupted by a woman’s voice.

“Can I help you?”

Shannon recognized the lady from the garage sale.

“Um… I’m here about your old jewelry box.”


“There’s something inside it that I think you should see.”

The look in the lady’s eyes told Shannon she needed to stay.

“I’m June. Please, come in.”

“Would you like anything to drink?” June asked while showing Shannon around the living room.

“No thank you. I’m fine. I’m sorry for barging in like this. It’s just...I dropped the box, and found this.” Shannon handed the note to June.

June let out a little laugh. “Figures you’d find this…This box belonged to my mother. She left it to me when she died five years ago. ”

“I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be. We weren't close. I hated looking at this box. I’ve never opened it…The last conversation I had with her was over twenty years ago. There was a car accident. It was my fault. I was young and stupid and … had my brother in the passenger seat. I don’t remember much about that night except my mom screaming, “He’s gone. Sam’s gone.” I figured it would be better for everyone if I left. I moved out the next day…This note...She would write little notes to God and stick ‘em everywhere. Our sock drawers, our homework, in the fridge… “James 1:17?”…James was my dad’s name. We lived on 1st street in condominium #17…I wonder if my dad still lives there.”

“Why don’t you go and see?”

“What? No. I don’t think that could…”

“I’ll drive.”

June could see Shannon wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

“Don’t think about it June, just come.”

“It’s this street.”

June looked deathly sick as Shannon pulled onto the street and stopped in front of condominium #17.

“You go, I’ll stay here and wait for you.”

“I don’t know if I can do it…”

“You can.”

June slowly got out of the car and walked to the front door. With shaky fingers she pressed the doorbell. Within seconds the door opened.

June gasped as she looked into the frail mans’ familiar eyes. A smile came across his weathered face, “I’ve been waiting for you.”

And with that, her father picked up a Bible sitting on a shelf and handed it to her.

“This was your mothers. Open it. You know where.”

June fumbled through the pages until she found the verse she was looking for, “James 1:17.” A letter was waiting there, taped on James 1:17. June carefully opened it.

My Junebug,

James 1:17 has always reminded me of you and Sam. Both of you are my treasured gifts. Nothing has ever changed that. I love …

“I’ll read… this later…dad.”

Her father gently wiped away his beloved daughter’s tears. A note fell from his pocket.

It read,

Thank you God for a mother’s answered prayer.

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This article has been read 970 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg02/28/06
This is wonderfully written. I like the way you tied the address and the verse together. Reads well and held my attention.
Brandi Roberts03/01/06
I definitely liked the connection here. Just something I noticed - to portray a jump in time, all you need is a few dashes, or asterisks. Otherwise it's a very cute story! Well done!
Jessica Schmit03/02/06
I didn't have enough sapce to type out the verse (James 1:17) so here it is, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Hope that gives a clearer picture of the love the mom had for her daughter.
Jan Ackerson 03/02/06
Some clever plotting here!
Valora Otis03/03/06
The lines were a little distracting.I can see this story as an ispirational book for women.The woman's scar speaks volumes by itself. Wonderful plot.I'll keep the scripture reference on file. Thanks!
James Clem 03/03/06
Your writing is good Jess. You might get more comments in level 2. You have the ribbons to show consistent good writing. Weaving the verse throughout was clever. You can add description to your scene and characters, but you'll have to escape the 750 word limit to do it.
Cheryl Harrison03/03/06
I liked the way you used hidden messages in your story. It reminded me of an old story about a son who wanted a car, but his father gave him a Bible instead. In his disappointment the son didn't open the Bible for many years. When he finally opened it, he found a check tucked inside that was enough money to have bought the car. Good job.
Zac James03/04/06
June's decision to come seems illogical, in the speed at which she decided to go. If the narrator was an old friend, maybe, but with an event that tragic?

Asides from that, I liked it. Just make you don't go from point A to point C without making a point B. I also realize your difficulty with word count constraints. Hope that helps :).

Zac James03/04/06
BTW, my favorite part about this article was how the little details were woven into the piece. Well done :).

Shari Armstrong 03/04/06
A nice story, good characters. I like the way you tied it all together.
Edy T Johnson 03/05/06
A little problem with the title. "Inheritance" is something one receives (the mother isn't receiving, but giving). Perhaps "legacy" or "bequest" would be more accurate.
c clemons03/08/06
A good story but not very believeable of a complete stranger coming into someone's home and then going with them to find her father. I agree with the other reviews to leave out the dashes and clean it up a bit and add a little depth to the characters and this would be a good piece. Practice, practice, practice and I know you will move up soon.