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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Inspiration/Block (for the writer) (05/20/10)

TITLE: Reality: No Show
By Karen Rice


My children would be quick to look into options of formal legal disassociation if I stood in line to seek attention regarding any of the following popular reality shows:

So-You-Think-You-Can-Sing/Dance/Cook/Live with strangers. Build a better anything, Improve dress/Hair. Raise children, Travel the world, or Prepare a gourmet meal of bugs with a table dressed in such a way to make Martha Stewart weep with envy.

Technically, I over qualify in needing aide and offer the following as proof:

-Children with bad haircuts, gardens unintentionally gone to seed, clothes worn with more wrinkles than a large day group of pooled kiddoes.

-An envelop containing a long lock of hair, the result of an unattended two year old whom discovered a set of pinking shears.

-Kitchen counters finger-painted with peanut butter and our dog decorated with the same.

-A car harboring parts of games, melted crayons, and the identifiable aroma of an apple gone bad.

-Toilets clogged with toys, and a plumber whom knows me by sight.

-Countless unpaired socks.

-Dolls taking up more space in the bathtub than children.

-Limbless superhero toys squirrelled beneath the refrigerator, under beds.

The local vacuum repair folk also know me be name, having retrieved mangled remains of limbs from the above mentioned superheroes along with an assortment of cheerfully colored plastic once squared interlinking building blocks, barrettes and enough dog hair to weave warm blankets for an entire shivering continent.

Breathe in Christian Life.

It changes my focus. Supplies humor. Reminds me that tears are not cement blocks. Keeps me going. Provides me with energy to pick up The Book.

I read of others who believed beyond attitudes adjusted on their worst days. Moses. David. Paul. The Woman at the Well. Peter. Martha trying to throw her sister Mary under the bus. A woman reaching out to the hem of Jesus as crowds press in. Thomas demanding proof. The shunned: Lepers, prostitutes, soldiers of fortune, tax collectors.

The scattering of all as Jesus was raised to a cross, except Judas.

The struggle isnít the goal, is it? The walk isnít always a struggle.

Praise God. Breath. Claim that Joy!

Joy comes from tying up my tennis shoes knowing that no one has cleaned up after the dog, yet daring to walk, participate with a new view. Iíll step in it now and then, but clean up, move on.

Joy comes from holding the aged hand of a loved one as their last breath is exhaled, for the next is one of faith beyond my vision.

Joy comes from the unexpected and finding a banquet instead of a taste. Peanut butter on a cracker of manna.

It is the after effect of an accepted invitation to join a Sunday service while standing at the counter of a vacuum repair shop.

It is the music of a washing machine churning, the symphony of the every day.

Joy, hinted at, can be seen on teens gathered together dressed as themselves in worship. One precious child at a time.

Joy whispers when a home opens its door with potlucks and communities trickle in to stay for Bible studies...then lingers still.

Joy shifts and clears vision of false reality. Enlarges environments beyond the familiar: prayer in action as villages without electricity or musical instruments lift their voices in praise, harmonized by the unseen. One voice.


Joy, this Love, provides Grace as I stumble right into the arms of the Perfect Dance Partner. The competition of Manís reality no longer matters. The counting of steps is less important the closer He holds me. I hear His heartbeat, look into His eyes and feel like Ginger Rogers.

Step. Leap. Twirl. Sing.


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This article has been read 409 times
Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp05/28/10
Enjoyed your uninhibited honesty about some of the realities of "life", of which I have partaken also. Your phrase: for the next is one of faith beyond my vision.is beautiful!
Mildred Sheldon05/29/10
I enjoyed your reality check and all the problems that went with it. How well I remember. Good job.
Joan Campbell06/01/10
This is delightful. It reads almost like a poem, with some really deep thoughts. My only "red ink" is that the topic is hinted at, but not so clearly seen in your piece.
Carol Slider 06/01/10
As a mother, I can relate... life gets messy, even with just ONE small boy! Thanks for the reminder about the things that are most important.
Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse06/02/10
Reality shows aren't the reality; this is. And I loved your honesty. Well done!
Patricia Turner06/02/10
I like the way you show chaos changing over to peaceful living as Christ enters the picture. I like all the detail and the healthy dose of reality shown. A little red ink - breathe is a verb, breath is a noun. Very nice work.
Lollie Hofer06/02/10
I enjoyed this piece and liked the way it flowed. It was prose but had a poetic feel to it. Great message and reminder about what really matters.