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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)

TITLE: Bleeeeeeeep, Miss Squishy
By LauraLee Shaw
08/21/08


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If only I could’ve cued the beep for content warning that night. Then I would’ve caught my daughter’s words mid-air and tossed them back from where they came.

After an ideal day of mommy/daughter bonding—painting nails, reading several chapters of Nancy Drew and then dancing to praise music in the basement—she had to ruin it at bedtime, of all moments.

“Mom, I know you’re more spiritual than me, but are you sure God is real?”

Her words bounced from the corner of my mind and straight through my heart. A horrified “What?" rolled off my lips.

“I mean, what if God is lying, and He really isn’t God?”

Scooching to sit on the bed beside her, I met her stare, trying to discern whether she was serious or not. “Of course He’s not lying. God doesn’t lie.”

“But how do you know that He’s not lying and that the devil’s not telling the truth?”

I stuttered for the right words. “Well, I-I just know. I feel it. He’s done so much for me. The truth’s in my heart.”

Her eyes looked away with disappointment as she let out a sleepy sigh. “It’s okay, Mom. Squishy just wondered.”

“Squishy?”

“Yeah…” She pointed to her head, “That’s what I call my brain.”

With a half-smile, I leaned close in to say, “Well, I’ll just have to welcome Miss Squishy with a kiss, won’t I? Then she can join us in prayer.”

“Will you pray, Mom,” Morgan begged as she tugged the covers and rolled over on her side. “I don’t feel like it tonight.”


Unsettled in my spirit, I scared any hope of sleep away that night. Even if the snoring on the pillow next to me were silent, my worries were rattling loudly enough to raise the roof. I totally botched that conversation. Squishy, huh? Well, obviously my squishy’s name is Mush. I didn’t get it. How does a child who has been saved, baptized and discipled in a thriving Christian home wonder if her faith is just all a big charade or not?

Tear-filled questions turned to prayers. Father God, please help my Morgan. Help her to believe You—with her whole heart, soul, squishy and strength. Show her that You are who You say You are…


I prayed daily for another shot at the subject with Morgan, and after a month, it finally came.

“Hey Mom, guess what?”

“What?”

“We played charades at school today.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. You know how to play charades?”

“Sure do. Did’ya have fun?”

“Not really, but Squishy got to thinkin’…”

Oh no—Squishy again. “Yeeeeeeahhhhhhh?”

“Um, Squishy got to thinking that—well, God gives us the Bible to talk to us, right?”

“Rrrrrighhhht.”

“But what about people who don’t have Bibles. How do they know God is real?”

“Welllll…God talks to them in their hearts and through His...”

“Just a sec…but I was also thinkin’ that He doesn’t just tell us, He shows us, too. Like remember when you said about how He’s done so much for you?”

Stunned, I stood there like a statue disguised as a mom. Morgan, however, was jabbering faster than high speed internet.

“I was s’posed to stand there and act out the words ‘I love you,’ but I wasn’t allowed to say it, ya know?”

“When?”

“When we were playing charades, Mom.”

“Oh yeah—charades.”

“But when I was thinking about how to act out ‘I love you,’ the only thing I could think of was Jesus.”

My heart began to race. “Yeahhhh…”

“So, I had to try to get ‘em to guess it, only I couldn’t talk, right?”

“Right.”

“Then Squishy reminded me that’s what Jesus did. He could’ve argued and made excuses. But He didn’t. He died on the cross. No liar would do that for a buncha sinners.”

Ding Ding Ding…Way to go, Miss Squishy!

“Oh—and Mom, I’m no good at charades.”

“No?”

“They couldn’t guess by my actions, so I finally shouted out, ‘Jesus!’ Even then, only one got the clue.”

“Well, maybe if we pray about it, their squishies will learn that Jesus loves them, too.”

Morgan paused for a moment and then said, “I hope so, but for their sake, I sure hope their squishy knows how to play charades.”

Romans 5:7-9 (NIV)
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”



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This article has been read 929 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Fitzpatrick08/21/08
Oh, this is goooooood! Certainly a concern for us parents who want our children to believe and know what they believe. I have had moments like this with my own children and it is an unsettling feeling. Great dialogue and I love how you showed such a good flow of communication between mom and daughter. Love it! God bless you in your writing. Janice
Helen Murray08/21/08
Wonderful story! You took us right into the terrifyingly curious "Squishy" of a teenager and the frightening, rollercoaster ride it gives the heart of a mother. Loved it.
Gerald Shuler 08/21/08
What a wonderful Squishy you have to come up with such a delightful story.
Catrina Bradley 08/23/08
This is too fun! The mom is so real - at a loss for words just when she needs them. But the daughter got it anyway, even tho the mom felt like a failure. And Squishy is a hoot! Love it!
Laury Hubrich 08/23/08
I love the interaction between this mom and daughter. Very nice writing!
Lynn Jacky08/23/08
HI - liked your story - certainly a concern that our children learning the truth about God. - I like that the mother's burden for prayer and later being able to share. Thank you
Joanne Sher 08/24/08
Perfect for the topic, and a super job telling this engaging story from the mother's point of view. My squishy was quite satisfied :D
LaNaye Perkins08/25/08
Loved your entry! You grabbed my attention from the first sentence and held it to the last word.
Yvonne Blake 08/25/08
Wow!! You captured the torturing fears of every Christian mother. "What if my kids turn from the truth?" You taught them well and they will realize the truth was always there. I think every teens asks these questions sometime along the way. Well written.
Chely Roach08/25/08
Wow...the conversations that await me! Very well done...great dialogue.
Cheri Hardaway 08/25/08
Very well done! Had me from beginning to end. Having raised four kids, I felt that Mama's heart! Blessings, Cheri
Leah Nichols 08/26/08
Wow! Totally kept my attention as I wanted to know what was next! :)
Joanney Uthe08/26/08
Delightful story with real dialogue. Great job.
Tim Pickl08/26/08
Squish-squish-squish...'tis the sound of the revelation
of Jesus in a child's heart...and brain! MasterFULL tale.
Betty Castleberry08/26/08
This is precious. Love the interaction and dialog. Very well done.
Marita Thelander 08/26/08
I loved these lines:

"Stunned, I stood there like a statue disguised as a mom. Morgan, however, was jabbering faster than high speed internet."

Amazing what we learn from our children, huh?
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/27/08
This is truly masterful writing--well organized, creative, thought-provoking, with realistic dialogue and a wonderful message.
Beth LaBuff 08/27/08
Your story is beautiful… I love the "squishy" aspect of it. :) What great thinking by the mother and daughter. Excellent work!!
Kristen Hester08/28/08
CONGRATUATIONS ON YOUR EC!!!! I really enjoyed this story sooo much. The dialogue between mother and daughter was so real and authentic. This story entertained, but it also ministered. Bravo!
Sharlyn Guthrie08/28/08
The dialogue in this piece seems so natural and loving. Congratulations on your EC, Laura!
Joshua Janoski08/28/08
Very authentic dialogue in this piece, and an EXCELLENT message. You are so gifted with being able to teach the Word in a way that is fun and thought provoking.

Sometimes I have to remind my squishy that God is there for me, even though I don't see Him or always feel His presence in certain situations.

Great read! Congratulations on the high placement! :)
Sheri Gordon08/28/08
Congratulations on your EC. This is really cute--I love squishy. Nice job with the topic.
Peter Stone08/29/08
Beautiful Laura, and the 'Squishy' tag for the brain certainly added a humorous aspect to the story. Good to see the perfect answer coming through as to how can we tell who is to be trusted, Jesus or Satan. A tree is known by its fruit, and what better evidence of the fruit of love than Jesus death on the cross for those who do not deserve it.
Patricia Turner08/29/08
I was right inside this story with this mom. I've been in that exact place with my kids too. Wonderful way to show how the Spirit connected with Morgan's Squishy to show her the truth. I'm going to remember this one for a long time. Thanks, and congratulations on your EC win!
Tim Pickl10/25/08
CONGRATULATIONS LauraLee on getting Highly Commended in the Highly Competitive Master Level. Well done.