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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)

TITLE: Wisdom From Pete Seeger and King Solomon
By Sarah Heywood


Wisdom From Pete Seeger and King Solomon

“Mommy! Max’s eating his crayons again!”

Oh no! Tena hurriedly finished wiping Baby Sophie’s bottom and slapped a fresh diaper on her. Depositing the baby into her bouncy seat, she ran out to the living room, where three year old Max was, indeed, chomping away on his crayolas.

“Max, no! You can’t eat these - remember, we only eat food!“ Tena plucked the crayon away from her son, sighing as she did so. If rescuing Max from eating inedible (and often indigestible) items wasn’t an almost daily occurrence, this might have been funny. But it was just another strange behavior that Max’s autistic mind produced.

“TURN! TURN! TURN!” The television set suddenly blared to life as Max punched the buttons. Tena quickly lowered the volume, but had to laugh as she watched the furry puppets on Children’s Television dance and sing the old 1965 hit by the Byrds. That song was older than she was! As Tena hummed along, she thought about Ecclesiastes 3, the passage of Scripture from where the song was derived. Solomon assured his readers that seasons come and seasons go and there is a time for everything. But Tena couldn’t help but think she was stuck in an eternal season.

From the time Tena was young, she knew she was destined to be a writer. Her teachers raved about her literary talents and sent her to every advanced writing class the school offered. By Tena’s senior year of high school, her future was planned--four years of college pursuing a journalism degree, a job writing for one of the country’s leading news sources, marriage to her long-time boyfriend, Nick, and somewhere --way, way, down the road--maybe a baby or two. Tena vaguely thought she might fit in motherhood while cranking out a few best selling novels.

But a positive pregnancy test shortly before high school graduation, followed by a quickie wedding, and then nine pound Luke a few months later, changed everything. Tena never went to college, but stayed home changing diapers and coaxing finicky preschoolers to eat while Nick worked in the lumberyard by day and attended college at night.

Tena mourned for what she had lost. She knew God was One of grace and forgiveness, but it hurt to know that her dreams had to be set aside. Tena still had no doubt that she was supposed to be a writer, but how could she do that now? There weren’t enough hours in the day to care for three young children, tend to the house, and take care of Max’s special needs. It was a challenge to just take a shower most days, let alone find time to write! While Tena loved her family, she fought to not feel resentful at times that they were taking away the time from her that she was supposed to be spending contributing to the world and developing her talent.

Shaking off her gloomy thoughts, Tena retreated to the kitchen, hoping to get a start on dinner before chaos would erupt from the children. As she prepared a casserole, the words from Pete Seeger’s hit continued to run through her mind,

To everything (turn, turn, turn), there is a season (turn, turn, turn)…

Tena suddenly smiled as she remembered something Nick had said to her recently. She had been wailing to him about her endless days and how hard everything was (this was after Max had turned on the garden hose, snuck it through the front door, and had sprayed the living room). He had commented, “You know, Tena, I think you’re just living the experiences now that someday you’re gonna write about!”

Tena didn’t know what the future held. She hoped it would involve writing, although it now seemed unlikely she’d ever be contributing to the big news syndicates, like she once dreamed. But you never know! Somehow, though, that dream paled beside reality. She glanced out into the living room where her three children were. Luke was busily coloring his picture, Max held a small car upside down in his hand and gazed intently as he spun the wheels, and Baby Sophie had drifted off to sleep.

This season of life was what God had given her. Another season might bring other things, perhaps even the opportunity to write. But for now Tena could be content as she waited.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…
Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon06/19/10
I enjoyed this immensely. Strange but life's busyness sometimes interfers with our dreams, but not God's plans for our lives. Thank you for such a tender article. God bless.
Sunny Loomis 06/22/10
I like this. Real life at times becomes the stuff of stories. Thank you.
Susan Montaperto06/23/10
Being the mother of an autistic child, I can't tell you how many times my daughter tried to ingest her crayons and oether things to numerous to mention during her toddler years! Thankfully, I discovered Toddler Computer programs. She is almost 15 now and has grown into other things. I have leaned on those verses from Solomon many times over the years. Thank you for your realism and your understanding. Keep writing and God Bless.