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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)

TITLE: First Words
By Lauri Gruen


Five-year old Jake could hardly contain himself when he saw his mother waiting at the bus stop for him. The school bus doors had just closed when Jake announced with great excitement, “Guess what, Mom, I have homework!”

As far back as he could remember, Jake had watched with envy his older brother and sister doing homework around the kitchen table. Their activities always seemed so important to him. He couldn’t wait until he started school and had homework to do.

“That’s terrific, Jake,” replied Diana, his mom. She quickly calculated how she would now need to divide her attention during homework time into three instead of two.

“What‘s your homework assignment tonight?” she asked.

“Mrs. Harper said we have to practice writing any three letters we want and think up words that start with that letter. And you get to write the words out for me,” Jake told his mom.

“So you mean this is team homework, sweetie?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Let’s have a quick snack and we’ll get started.”

The tantalizing aroma of buttery popcorn filled the Saunders’ household. Two heaping bowls were gobbled up quickly by three hungry students. Time to hit the books.

Jake took out his new writing pad and a shiny, newly sharpened pencil. He was used to practicing his letters often with Mom, but this was different. He sat up straight in his chair, poised for success in his new adventure and felt quite important like his brother and sister.

“Wow, Jake this is a special day. Your first homework assignment. How about we start with a prayer?”

Jake bowed his head and began, “Dear God, Thank you for my school and my teacher. I love you, Jesus, and want to do a good job with my letters for You. Please help me. Amen.”

“OK, Mom, these are the letters I choose. . . B, G and J.”

Diana was a bit caught off guard; she was expecting the usual A, B, C and already anticipated the corresponding Apple, Boy, Cat. What did her young scholar have in mind? J for Jake?

“Let me see how well you write those letters out – nice and easy.”

With his head bent over the table and pencil moving slowly across the paper, Jake started writing with great care.

B. . . G . . . J.

Without hesitation, Jake went on to the next part of his homework and recited,
“B is for Bible, G is for God and J is for Jesus.”

“Mom, I’m finished, can you write these words out for me please?”

“Sure, sweetie, I would be thrilled to do that,” Diana replied, holding back a tear.

Thrilled she was, to say the least. She and her husband Tom had struggled with the decision to enroll Jake in the Christian school for Kindergarten. Besides the hefty expense which meant certain sacrifices, the school was on the other side of town. That meant a 45-minute bus ride. But the two parents prayed about the decision and God made it clear to them this was the right school for Jake. They trusted His faithfulness to provide.

Watching her son write the letters and listening to him proudly tell what they described, Diana received a precious gift from heaven that day. Her face burst into smiles as she knew in her heart her family was exactly where God wanted them to be.

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This article has been read 558 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini01/19/07
I enjoyed this, great job!
Joanne Sher 01/20/07
Love the enthusiasm of your little boy here! You did an exceptional job with the dialogue. Thanks for sharing.
Mo 01/22/07
I really liked the ending (from someone who shall soon face a similar choice!)
Mo 01/22/07
PS Thought you'd like to know I just added this to my favorites. I've never done that before. But I think I'm going to want to re-read this in the coming months! Thank you!
Sharlyn Guthrie01/23/07
This rang true with me, since I'm a kindergarten teacher in a Christian school. My students love it when I give them a "homework" assignment! Nice job.