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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Don’t Look Back (04/19/12)

TITLE: Blue Sofa Living
By Margo McKenzie


My grandmother helped put in motion the weekly ritual of going to church every Sunday morning and dinner every Sunday afternoon. Because of her, I attended Sunday School, knew the books of the Bible, and could quote some of those old familiar scriptures. Because of my grandmother I grew up to call Christianity the root of my faith, but if you asked me who I wanted to be most like,I would always say, my mother.

Everybody loved my mother. She knew how to work a room from end to end, and she always left people laughing. When she was my age, she was singing in the church choir and had strengthened her voice so much that she was elevated to church soloist. When she sang, the whole congregation listened with amazement at the timber in the voice of this child, a sixteen year old commanding the attention of seniors.

And her looks would not be outdone by her voice. She was tall, slender and beautiful, but by the time I came around her life had broken into a million little pieces. First pills for pain after some minor cosmetic surgery, and then pills to soften the edges of anxiety that preceded her singing engagements. As the stages for her performances increased beyond the walls of the church to secular arenas teeming with thousands, so did the need for stronger and stronger drugs. Where does a person go after cocaine?

I wasn't looking to establish a "Here lies. . . “ stone emblem like the one my mother left behind for me, I just wanted those intoxicating standing ovations, spotlights, limousines. Since my grandmother had wielded her influence to shape my mother's early career, I was certain that she would do the same for me.

"I want to be like my mother, Nana. I want to bring those happy days back to the family. And I’ll avoid the pitfalls that my mom couldn’t seem to get around. You always told me to press on. Well, that's what I'm wanna do.”. Shuffling through the pictures in my wallet, I settle on one. "I could look just like her Nana. All I have to do is . . ."

“Shh,.. Listen to me.I can see why you might want to be like her. At one point in time, your mother was the best of the best. That’s all over. But there’s something even better for you. You have to stop looking backward. Go over there and get that book by my nightstand.”
I didn’t really want to move. On this blue sofa, Nana nursed my scuffed elementary school knees and my bruised high schoolemotions. I always knew that no matter how crazy the world was before I sat down next to Nana, on that blue sofa, we would put the world back together before I rose. “Life is always good when we sit together in this blue chair, Nana.”

I rose from the safety net of the blue sofa and obtained the book --the King James version of the Bible.

“Now let's see how fast you can find Phillipians 3:13. When you do, read it to me.”

My Sunday school teacher had taught me well. I found myself reciting Galatians, Ephesians, Colosians. The rest was even easier.

“You got it?”

‘“But one thing I do. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus".’

“Anytime you start feeling like you wanna be like your mother was, I want you to remember this verse. Now that’s blue sofa living.”

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This article has been read 406 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Angela Coleman 04/27/12
Very beautifully written. This touched my heart.
C D Swanson 04/28/12
Beautiful job with the topic and such a well written entry. I enjoyed this poignant piece. Thank you.

God Bless~
marcella franseen04/30/12
What a sweet Nana! It is so easy to fall into the trap of our own fame and glory. Paul gives us a great reminder in Philipians. Just like the MC's mother, Paul had it all from a worldly point of view, and yet considered it loss for the sake of gaining Christ. You did a good job of sharing this message through your story.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/01/12
Wow this is so powerful and gripping. I think you did an outstanding job of taking the verse that has been used often this week and showing a modern spin on it that so many can relate to.

My only comment would be I noticed a few spots where the spacing was off between words and maybe one typo. If you don't enter the level you are on until after you have hit preview and triple checked it to see what the reader will see, it will prevent you from accidentally hitting submit before preview.

I thought your POV was perfect. So many young people dream of being famous (old people too) but they only see the good side of that life, not the horrific side. I also thought your title was perfect. You did an outstanding job with this one. It seems like I've said this a lot this week but this is one of my favorites. There is some tough competition but your piece will be a winner no matter where it places because I know God has great plans for this story.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/03/12
Congratulations for ranking 9th in level two!