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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)

TITLE: Maude and Joe
By c clemons


Maude and Joe had seen a lot in their thirty-five years of marriage. They had fifteen children and at last count fifteen grandchildren. They were a family of tree loggers, both had come from families where logging was a way of life.

When Maude met Joe she immediately knew she would be spending the rest of her life with this earnest looking man. Joe felt the same way, it was as though Maude could read his thoughts. Maude had a way of knowing his heart before he shared it. They liked a lot of the same things, which was good because they both wanted a lot of children and had prayed that it would be so. In their first year of marriage Maude had miscarried twice and she had doubts about her dream for a large brood of children. Joe kept telling her to have faith in God, so eight boys and seven girls later she was satisfied that God answers prayers.

There had been a few lean times when Joe was sick and not able to work but the family had become very efficient whether they were in lack or abundance. Bath time in the early days was quite an event. There was no indoor plumbing so the little ones would bathe first in the big washtub in the kitchen because they were the least dirty. The girls would be next and then the boys all using the same water. Needless to say older in this case definitely was not a plus.

Joe loved the way Maude never got flustered about anything. She had seen her share of hard times, whooping cough, broken limbs, and teen angst. Everyone called her the solid rock of the clan. Maude took everything to God in prayer. Her motto was “give it to God and leave it there.” However there was one time that the “rock” cracked slightly and to this day the family retells the story at every family get together.

Several years ago as the story goes, Joe and two of the older boys were cutting down trees a couple of miles from the house. There was a slight mishap, a tree branch crazed Joe’s head, not a real bad cut but he did not want sweat and grime getting into it. He told the boys to run home to tell Mom to bring the first aid box. On the way the boys met a couple of their sisters on their bikes and relayed the message to them and they in turn road home and passed the message on to some more of the siblings that were playing in the yard. At each telling the story changed slightly. Eventually the message passed through all fifteen children. The last child ran into the house and yelled to Maude who was in the bathroom at the time, “Mom! Mom! Come Quick! Dad’s been in an accident and his head was cut off!”

Maude ran out of the bathroom with (let’s just say with her unmentionables around her ankles), and was out the door in a flash. Thank God she was stopped before she got to far up the road. The unflappable Maude had finally cracked, the one thing she could not live without was her Joe. And now here they were all these years later at another family gathering and someone was telling the story again at their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

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This article has been read 821 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Brandi Roberts12/12/05
Awwww what a sweet love story. Only one thing (quite funny, I might add) is that Joe's head got "crazed" instead of "grazed" or whatever word you wanted to use... LOL I just imagined this guy going nutty over a branch LOL Thanks for sharing!
c clemons12/12/05
Thanks, should be "grazed" (where is spell check when you need it?)
Marilyn Schnepp 12/12/05
I laughed aloud at this story. Sweet, but funny, but one more blooper..kids "rode" their bikes not road them. BUt all in all I liked it..and thanks for sharing it with all of us. God Bless.
Cassie Memmer12/13/05
I enjoyed this! It has such a light, fun, easy to read feel. It think you could even expand it for a longer tale. Thanks!
Garnet Miller 12/13/05
We used to play a game in school where the teacher would whisper something to a student and the whispers would proceed around the room to the last student. The teacher would ask the last student what the message was. More often than not, the message was not the same as it had started out.

Great story!
Jan Ackerson 12/14/05
Very fun read!
Kenny Blade12/17/05
Thank you for sharing this story. Reading a piece that makes me smile because I can visualize the place and characters as I read is more rare than one would think.
Good work!
Sharon Singley01/10/06
I love this story. It's very sweet and unpretentious.