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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Wash, Rinse and Repeat
By Linda Gage


Wash, rinse and repeat, at age 15, I read the back of the shampoo bottle wondering where it would end. It was a small part of my complicated teenage ritual when getting ready for a day of high school. First, my best friend and I would consult and coordinate our clothes on some days but for other days coordinating was forbidden. We would trade jeans, jewelry, belts to put together the perfect outfit. My nails had to be painted an exact matching color. Then it took at least 30 minutes to plaster on the make-up that would make me beautiful, all this to look good for guys. I desperately wanted to be noticed, like the cheerleader girls. I wanted to be in the spotlight, like a homecoming queen. I wished I was ‘hot’ so a guy would talk to me or at least glance my way. All of my efforts were in vain. I was just one of those girls that had boy ‘friends,’ but not boyfriends. Wash, rinse, repeat was a part of my daily routine to try and make myself look good.

I had read that bottle tons of times and one day I asked my brother why would such a stupid thing be on it. He said it was so you would use more shampoo and have to buy more. He was a little cynical and a lot right. Because, for me it really was wash, rinse and repeat at least two or three times. I was trying very hard to make myself pretty enough to be accepted. But no matter how many times I repeated, it never worked.

I look back on those days and think, “What a foolish girl I was.”

I have since found Jesus and accepted Him as my Savior. He gives me a new perspective on my life.

Then I go to my daily routine. I wake up on the morning and tell myself, “Today will be the day. Today I won’t get angry. I will be truthful, nice and pleasant to everyone. I won’t steal anything. I will do everything perfectly right. God will notice and love me.
But, I mess up. I argue with my husband before leaving for work. I talk about my boss behind his back. I play games on my work computer and lie about it. I can’t even mention the thoughts that I have about my co-workers. My mind drifts to all the terrible things that I have ever done in my whole life. I am such a failure. I am never going to be good enough to be loved.

I pray and think, “What a foolish woman I am!”

I know that God sent His only Son to live the life that I could not live. He is the only perfect One. I know that Jesus’ blood was shed on that cross for my sins. He paid the debt that I couldn’t pay. I know that He rose again to life. He provided the Way, so that someday I can live perfectly in eternity with God.

I can never make myself good enough. If I could, I would have not needed a savior.

I look back and I wish I could tell that 15 year old girl about Jesus and how He saved her precious life. I wish I could tell her to not live to impress others, but to live in thankfulness to God who sent Jesus. I’d give her a BIG hug and say wash, rinse and repeat is not the important thing in life, but to wash in the blood of Christ, remember that He loves you so much that He saved you and repeat until that day you meet Him. In doing this, He will change you from the inside, making you a new creation, more beautiful than you can imagine. God the Father’s love is infinitely better than any high school boy can give.

I can’t go back and tell her. It’s my past. I can’t change it. But from this day forward, as part of my daily routine, instead of trying to live a perfect life and trying to earn something that is already there, I can acknowledge that the God of the universe loves me. He is faithful to change me from the inside. With a thankful heart there will be less anger, less criticism, more love and faithfulness to Him who saved me. I will wash, remember and repeat. With Jesus it will be never-ending.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Judith Gayle Smith01/31/13
Poignant. Absolutely lovely.
C D Swanson 02/02/13
Touching and engaging.
God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/04/13
I think this is a brilliant take on the topic. In fact, I thought about doing a story on the shampoo bottle instructions, but couldn't get very far with it. You did a great job of building an important message with it.

I think if you go back and count the number of times you start a sentence with the word I, you will be surprised. By switching up the sentences just a bit you can avoid it. Ex: Yearning to be noticed, I covered my face with make-up.

I think the transition from real life into your message was a smooth one. You covered the topics in s few different ways. I think this was a delightful read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/07/13
Congratulations on ranking 9th in level two!