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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: Little Is Much When God Is There
By LaNaye Perkins


The hot sun beats down on the wood shingles of the log house. The creaking of a rocker can be heard over the slight rustle of leaves in the surrounding trees. On the covered front porch a young mother is rocking her three month old baby as she nurses him. Sweat rolls down the sides of her face from the oppressive heat. She looks lovingly down at her 2 year old son who is playing with the family mutt. She feels the stirring within her and gently rubs her belly as she silently communicates her love toward the new life that is beginning to stir. She feels honored to be blessed with her children.

She is content and loves her life here in this new land. Its beauty stirs her soul deeply as she is grateful to God for the new life He has provided for her and her husband. There are few neighbors and it is a hard life. However, she and her husband love it, and feel blessed.

As the baby finishes, she covers herself and gently pats him on the back while she waits for him to burp. Very gently, she rocks back and forth till the infant belches and quietly drifts off to sleep.

Laying the baby in his homemade crib she prepares to do the laundry. The water for washing is hot now and she begins to wash up the dirty clothes. She hums a soft tune as she scrubs them with the washboard. She rinses them out in another tub of fresh cool water, wrings them out real good, then places them in the tub to be carried outside where she will hang them on the line her husband put up for her near the porch.

She looks often to the wooded path leading up to their home. Her husband should be coming in soon. She says a prayer that his hunt has been successful as she once again wipes the sweat from her brow.

The baby wakes as she finishes up the laundry. With practiced ease she makes a sling for the baby to rest in, gathers up her oldest son and heads to their garden to pick some green beans, tomatoes, and other vegetables from their garden. Her oldest son helps her as they walk through the garden looking for produce that is ripe for the picking.

Her eyes squint as she looks at the sun and determines it is time to start preparing dinner, so she makes her way back to the cabin.

As her husband makes his way toward the cabin he can now see in the distance, his heart lifts and he quickens his pace. They are both a picture of contentment, and peace lies securely in their souls.
Two hundred years later, on this same piece of ground, the hot sun beats down on the metal roof of a home. The hum of an air conditioner whines and drowns out the slight rustle of the leaves in the surrounding trees. The ground is no longer manicured and taken care of. There is no garden now; all is overgrown and neglected.

Inside the double windows you can see a young mother rocking a three month old baby nursing a bottle. Her home is untidy and needs a good cleaning. She watches her favorite soap opera and yells at her two year old son to be quiet when he tries to get her to hold him. When she feels the stirring from her newly discovered pregnancy she openly despises its existence. The unborn infant squirms in agitation sensing already how its mother sees him as a burden.

The phone rings and she begins a lengthy conversation of complaints as she glares at the piles of laundry sitting in front of her washing machine and dryer. She doesn’t see the beauty of the land she inhabits, and totally misses the fact that she is blessed. Her days have become a blur of mindless complaining and discontent.

Her husband makes his way home through rush hour traffic. He sees his home and his heart sinks as he slows his pace. Their life is surrounded with conveniences that neither appreciate. There is no gratitude in their hearts toward God for all He has provided. They are both a picture of discontentment, and peace eludes their souls.

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This article has been read 722 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judy Bowers05/02/08
How sad and, unfortunately, true for so many. Truly, much is little without God.
Debbie Wistrom05/02/08
I love the disparity here. You did a great job depicting the lifes of these two different women, and what a perfect title. Great job!
Beth LaBuff 05/03/08
I enjoyed reading of this pioneer woman and seeing how her day was spent. Her love for her children and husband was heart-warming. Your second vignette was sad and happens all too frequently today. Your title says it all, "Little is Much When God is There". This entry is nicely written.
Betty Castleberry05/04/08
What a great comparison of how things have changed, including attitudes. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all appreciated the little things God gives us? Your message is powerful. Nice descriptions. Well done.
LauraLee Shaw05/05/08
You have a really natural way of building a plot and setting. Just beautiful. Some inner dialogue from your main POV character would give it a more personal touch and would engage the reader more, helping me to understand why she is what you're explaining. Your ending was unique in that you left me contemplating the message of blessings left on the shelf. That was brave and very effective in this piece. Makes it more than just a story...a message too.
Chely Roach05/06/08
What an interesting piece...I loved the vivid descriptions of the first mother, and cringed at the second. The contrast was distinctly sad...
Holly Westefeld05/06/08
The contrast works well, and shows how spoiled we have become, and how ungrateful we can be, especially without a relationship with the one who has provided us with everything. I also liked your title.
Myrna Noyes05/07/08
What a contrast between the two mothers and their homes! I savored the peace and joy you portrayed in the first scene, and I recoiled from the unhappy picture of the second. Good job! :)
Joanne Sher 05/07/08
Excellent job with the contrast. Your descriptions, especially in the first part, are very sharp.
Sara Harricharan 05/07/08
Your title sums up what was not directly pointed out. Nicely done, I liked how you let the reader figure it out for themselves. The contrast between the two familys, with practically the same circumstance was amazing! I liked the first half best though-lolz. Nicely done! ^_^
Loren T. Lowery05/07/08
Indeed one of the secrets to a good life is a grateful heart and the way you contrasted these two generation showed this very well. Red ink: in the first scene I think staying with one POV (point of view) would be more effective. Keep the reader in the way the woman perceives things. Even when the husband returns you could let her look at somethng that he gave her to show his love. Do this rather than jump over into his thoughts.
In the second gernaration theme, I think getting into the woman's POV would once again work, comparing it in some way to the things the first woman experience. I'm rambling, but hope this makes sense, because I really enjoyed the way you contrasted the two and delivered a great message to boot. Loren
Catrina Bradley 05/07/08
Very nice! I love the similar lives and contrasting attitudes of these two mothers. For Red Ink - Some sentences need a comma - don't be scared to use them if you need to. :) If she (the first mom) has only 2 sons, you should use "older" instead of "oldest". And try not to start a sentence with "There are..". Rearrange the sentence - "Neighbors are scarce" for example, instead of "There are few neighbors".

Very thought-provoking. You've made me reexamine my own attitude. And the title is awesome!
Laury Hubrich 05/08/08
Oh my, Naye, how clever. I loved this. Great writing, my friend!