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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)

TITLE: Oh, Baby!
By Kristen Hester
10/16/07


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Gloria Stephenson stared in shock as the preacher’s wife drew what appeared to be pornography on the dry erase board. Two dozen women were crowded around the board yelling and jumping up and down. Gloria frowned. She didn’t think this was appropriate behavior for a baby shower.

“Labor,” a tall, thin women yelled.

“Gynecological exam,” a shorter, rounder woman hollered with enthusiasm.

The preacher’s wife, Laura, shook her head rapidly and kept drawing, adding details to what Gloria considered an obscene picture. She was shocked when Katie, her very pregnant daughter and baby shower honoree, jumped up from her seat, threw her arms in the air, and shouted “episiotomy!”

“Yes!” Laura exclaimed. The right side of the room erupted into cheers.

This was not how Gloria had envisioned her first grandchild’s baby shower. It was bad enough that her daughter and son-in-law had moved from the large city where they were both raised to this small town after their wedding, but then they “got saved”. The new couple spent much of their free time going to church and doing God knew what.

Gloria looked around the room and sighed. Things here were not as sophisticated as she was accustomed. Instead of an elegant catered affair, this was a casual pot luck in a church classroom. The ladies had put considerable effort into the event, decorating the room with streamers and balloons, but Gloria disapproved of the paper plates and silly games. She wondered if all church parties were like this.

After the ladies hooted and hollered through the game of baby pictionary, the host of the party stood in front of the room and addressed the giddy women. “We have enjoyed getting to know Jeff and Katie since they joined our church. It’s clear they love the Lord and love each other. Those of us who have children know that kids can make it difficult to keep the spice and passion alive in a marriage. Jeff and Katie are such a cute couple. We’d never want that to happen to them, so we’ve pitched in and bought them a present.”

Gloria and Katie looked over their shoulders to see two women enter the room holding opposite ends of a long metal pole. The room erupted into laughter. “What? What is it?” Gloria was confused.

When Katie could catch her breath she said, “Mom, it’s a, um, stripper pole. You know, for dancing....for your husband.”

Gloria glanced nervously at the preacher’s wife and a few of the older ladies at the shower, but they were laughing with the rest of the group. She’d never really mixed with religious people before, but this was not what she expected. The ladies from the Junior Service League never acted like this.

After the crowd quieted down, another lady whose name tag read “Marge” stood up with a worn Bible in her hands. “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you, Isaiah 66:13,” Marge began. She read more verses and shared a message for Katie. Marge then asked everyone to gather around Katie and Gloria. The ladies surrounded the mother and daughter and laid their hands on them and prayed. Gloria was very uncomfortable. The prayer ended and the ladies hugged Katie as they wiped their misty eyes.

“Time for presents!” one of the ladies joyfully announced. The quiet group immediately erupted into a dozen lively conversations. Gloria couldn’t keep up as this schizophrenic group switched between moods.

Katie began opening her presents and Gloria neatly recorded each gift and giver in Katie’s baby book. Whenever Katie lifted a present for all to see, the visiting and laughter stopped and the women simultaneously said, “Oooooh” or “Ahhhhh.” Then as quickly as it had ended, the chatter resumed.

As Gloria wrote, she listened to bits and pieces of the conversations around her. She was amazed that these ladies were so candid with each other. They weren’t discussing the weather. They were sharing their frustrations, shortcomings and beliefs. No topic seemed off limits, and they covered sex, marriage, children, politics, and religion. They laughed together about their common frustrations and offered encouragement and support.

That evening after the shower, Gloria and her husband started the long drive back home. Gloria was quiet as she thought about the party. Suddenly she burst out laughing.

“What’s so funny?” her husband asked.

“I was thinking about Katie’s baby shower. Those ladies were crude, loud, emotional and lacked discretion.”

“And...”

“And I’ve never had so much fun.”


Isaiah 66:13 (NIV)


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This article has been read 1075 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Pam Carlson-Hetland10/18/07
This is hysterical and, oh, so right on! A wonderful story of true women's fellowship within the body of Christ..all the drama, all the candid conversations, and--yes--all the fun. Excellent story. Very true to life. Great writing.
Joanne Sher 10/19/07
OK - this is VERY creative! I never would have thought to approach the topic this way, but you pulled it off AMAZINGLY. I love that your Christians were completely and totally human - and that THAT was what drew Gloria to them. Just great.
Laury Hubrich 10/20/07
I've read some things this week that are off the charts! Flatulence, stripper poles, and I believe an enema was talked about:) What has FW come to? LOL!! This was very funny. Sounds like a baby shower like no other!
Laury
Mo 10/20/07
Great ending.
Gregory Kane10/22/07
As the first man to comment on this story, all I can say is that in my experience men’s meetings are much more staid and tedious! Unless you are into sports statistics, that is.
Actually I was nearly put off the story by the very first sentence. My eyes lighted on the word ‘pornography’ and my first thought was to move on quickly. The Internet is so awash with such filth that the casual reader could easily jump to the wrong conclusion.
Paula Muir10/22/07
Finally..a story that reflects the reality of todays Christian woman. I think it is refreshing, frank, and very funny. I know that Christian fiction has stricter standards than secular fiction but does it have to be so B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!
If people wrote stories that related to life instead of how June Cleaver wished it was in the Ozzie and Harriet household I would read Christian fiction. Great Job and thanks for keeping it real!
sarah rauch10/23/07
fun! finally! great job - yeah and real too :)
Betty Castleberry10/23/07
This was a hoot. Unfortunately, we have a couple of older ladies in our congregation that would frown on this sort of thing. However, they weren't invited. ;0).
This was fun, and real, and wonderful. Thank you.
william price10/23/07
Hey, I got to look up a word I will probably never use in a conversation on the Links, and read a very well written story, for women, yes, but I enjoyed it too, as soon as I was able to forget the meaning of the word I just looked up :). In fact once wife pronounced it for me, I knew what it was, but still probably won't use it. Great job. God bless.
Dee Yoder 10/24/07
Yep. I go to a church where 90% of the women are 30 and under...need I say more? Our last Women's night out included some VERY interesting conversation! I couldn't even tell my husband some of what was discussed, so this is very realistic to present day Christian women. They are infinitely more open and honest with their lives. (Especially when the guys are at home.)
Sharon Henderson10/24/07
Outstanding!!! As always...
Sara Harricharan 10/24/07
ROFL! This was so hilarious! I laughed through it to the end and was so happy that Gloria had a good time afterall. This is a great piece, excellent writing! ^_^
Loren T. Lowery10/24/07
I've heard stories, but never really knew what went on at these affairs - and now I know...and you all aren't all that different after all. : )
Great story and message.
George Parler 10/24/07
I'm with William on learning a new word. I usually try to go through the day and use a new word in my daily conversations. I don't think I'm going to go there with that one.

This was definitely a unique approach to the topic, but I love the way your mind works outside of the box. Good job.
Peter Stone10/24/07
Oh dear, I was in stitches reading this. Even had to look up 'episiotomy' and, ah, ouch! And the pole? What a riot. I can just imagine a bunch of ladies teasing each other like this. And what a wonderful presentation for a bunch of Christians to relax with each other like this. Makes me envious. I wonder how many would feel free enough to do so? The words "It's just not British" spring to mind. (Sorry, my heritage...)
Amanda D'costa10/24/07
Awesome. ;-) Remarkable presentation. A write worth reading. (Please prescribe this for all those who go through bouts of depression). Thank you for sharing such humor, and insight into Christian real life. Praise God ! You pulled it off beautifully at the end.
Sara Harricharan 10/25/07
***Congrats!***
Amanda D'costa10/25/07
Yes, Congrats.. you earned it.
Sheri Gordon10/25/07
Congratulations on your EC. This story is hysterical. I love it. And great writing, as always.
Lynda Lee Schab 10/25/07
I love it! I happen to know a few people like Gloria. Fortunately, I know even more people like the "churchies." Too fun!

Congrats on your EC placing. This one is so well deserved (not that the others aren't - LOL)
Beth LaBuff 10/27/07
To quote Lawrence Welk, "Wunerful, wunerful, wunerful!" (you probably don't remember him. :) This is great Kristen! Congratulations!
LauraLee Shaw02/12/08
This is so funny! And creative! And well-written.

I can't think of a better way to draw the non-Christian women of today into the church than to let them see Christian women enjoying each other's company in good humor. I like that you were brave enough to 'keep it real.' Great stuff.