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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: House-Crazies
By Laura Anne Harrison


Anna was drowning in a full-blown case of “House-Crazies.” The ailment, caused by endless days of an ice-storm confinement to the house with a set of vivacious five-year-old twins, was shredding her patience.

Her ingenuity for “creating new things to do” for the constant “What can we do now, Mommy?” was reaching the exhaustion point. Sibling picking turned attitudes upside down, and defiance tiptoed in, as one of the twins took her sister and her mother to the limit.

The last straw of Anna’s patience snapped into fragmented pieces of perseverance, as Abigail sank her teeth into the shoulder of her twin sister, Isabelle. Separating the two, she soothed the injured Isabelle with hugs, kisses, and words of comfort. She then turned her attention to Abigail who refused to sit in the “pouting chair” and think about being nice to her sister.

“Please, God, renew what little scraps of patience I have left,” Anna prayed, as she picked the child up and carried her to her room. Abigail’s body stiffened and writhed like a little wild animal sensing confinement, yet determined to be free. As Abigail’s protesting screams continued, Anna spoke firmly, but softly, “You need to stay in here and think about being nice to your sister . . . and until you can tell Isabelle that you’re sorry.” Without another word, she walked out of the room.

As Anna made her way down the hallway into the kitchen and began preparations for supper, Abigail’s crying ceased. In the silence that followed, she opened the pantry door, scanned the shelves, and retrieved a jar of corn beef and a half-filled, 5-pound bag of flour. I guess it’s chip-beef gravy and biscuits with the left over green beans for supper, she thought to herself.

Fifteen minutes later, Anna was engrossed in chopping the corn beef, when she heard paper being pushed up the hallway toward the kitchen, followed by a quick, quiet scurrying back down the hall. Turning toward the sound, she spied the folded, rumpled piece of paper that lay at the foot of the refrigerator door. She reached for the paper and opened it to find that Abigail had drawn her apology.

On the crumpled paper was a huge smiley face with brown hair and a capital “M” (for Mommy) scrawled above it. Beside “Mommy” were two smaller, blonde haired, smiley faces the letters “I” (for Isabelle) and “A” (for Abigail) above them. Moments later, Abigail, towing a well-worn teddy bear in one hand, ran up the hall with a smile, a hug, and an “I love you, Mommy!”

Abigail then turned to hug Isabelle. “I’m sorry, Isabelle,” she said, as she placed the treasured teddy bear in her twin sister’s hand, “You can play with my Baby Bobby Bear.”

* * * * *
Later that night, as the two little girls nestled in sleep, Anna sank into the old, cushioned chair by the front window. In the peace of quiet tranquility and restored patience, she reached for the Bible that lay on the end table. She opened the Scriptures to Ephesians 4:2 and began to read aloud, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” . . . As the passage of Scripture stepped into the depths of her mind and heart, she prayed, “Lord, continue to renew and strengthen my patience that I may do what your word commands.”

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This article has been read 591 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/29/08
Sweet story that mothers of young children will really relate to.

I think it's "corned" beef and "chipped" beef, but this might be a regional difference.

I love the note and the opology...precious.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/29/08
Yours is a very sweet story that any mommy can understand and appreciate. The verse is most appropriate to the story.
Ellen Dodson08/29/08
What an endearing apology. The work of prayer (even--or especially--those simple, quickly uttered ones of mothers) is evident in the ending here. But, I would like to see the reflection embedded more with the scene of the sleeping girls. It seems too separate.
Mary Alice Bowles08/30/08
I really enjoyed this story..
I could relate to everything. It was a writing very well done....