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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: It’s Christmas Day (in the present or living memory) (11/27/08)

TITLE: Lookin' For Peas
By Dianne Janak
12/02/08


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It's Christmas mornin, and my litter of grandkids are ‘ bout to hear my story , so they don’t hafta spend too many years lookin for answers to life’s puzzlin dilemma. Hopin I can dazzle them with somethin pro-found, since now I’m a "pro" and finally "found" what was right in fronta me.

***
It was Christmas Eve of ‘58, and I 'member my dad was fallin asleep at the midnight service. I feared he’d make a scene by passin out over the church songbook and shockin the women with fancy hats on who didn’t know what it was like to have a drunk dad.

When Pastor Hayforth read the Christmas story up front, one word stood out, makin tears form behind my eyes. I’d learnt the hard way years before to hold onto tears, for fear of dad’s meaner moods, when he had his bottle- breath.

When I heard about “peace on earth” .. I wondered what was that supposed to mean?

Years before I’d asked Mom what was the big deal about havin “peas on earth”, since I figured peas weren’t egg- zactly a new invention.

When she told me it was “peace” , I was then bent on findin it , it had such a good ring to it and all.

All I got out of Mom was that it was the kind of quiet she longed for but never had it with us kids fightin and dad makin her life a misery.

I asked Dad durin a rare sober moment, and he said “peace” was somethin nice people talk about but no one really gets any, at least not in this life, so I wondered if the preacher was just messin with us.

I started askin around. “ What is peace?”

When the angels was singin bout peace, I kinda figured they wouldn’t lie since they’re sorta special with wings and halos and all.

Then I was sixteen, and some of my buddies started raisin their thumb and two fingers callin it some kinda peace sign, and I got all interested.

Some movement goin on protestin the war and growin long hair, and I figured if it was about peace, I needed to figure it out.
I smoked some dope, and did some protestin , but somethin in me knew that wasn’t it.

This invite of “peace” had its pull on me for sure, … like an invite to a long journey, and I knew I wouldn’t stop till I found out where on earth it was, since it came to earth that night with those famous sheep people.

I got married and had a famly, still lookin for it , but that wasn’t it either, no offense to my woman.

It still kept runnin from me, and I guess I was lookin in the wrong places.

Then one day my boss took me to a special church thing and there it was.

I watched some people worshippin, hands raised and lookin to heaven like they knew somethin. That’s when I saw it. All over their faces… a peace… it just lit them up like a Christmas tree on the inside comin out, and I hungered for it even more.

Pretty soon, I got it.

Actually, there’s no way a soul can splain this peace I’d had a front seat to witnessin. It has to be spirienced, and that is too long a story for Christmas morning. But I will tell you this, young uns..

It comes in knowin Jesus personally, not just doin the motions of church goin.

Our Jesus is real and wants to come right into your hearts. When I caught that message, I finally rested and quit trivin so hard’ cause I’d found my answer.


***
Well, that’s my story, and then I’m hopin they have lots of questions and get all into it, but then again, this could be just some plantin seed that God will water later .

I’m prayin it’s gonna become their story and on and on and on.

Yep, this Christmas Day is special. If God could give His Son, make this heavy heart fulla peace even now, when I’m old and my retirement just disappeared, for reasons outa my control , then I’m ok with it.

I know God’s got my back, and I can take one promise to the eternal bank for sure that won’t need no bailout … He’s gonna come through ,

'cause He’s the Prince of Peace.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Clarence (Sonny) White12/04/08
Priceless! A very good write.

It's similar to a little boy I knew born in late 1938 in the South. He looked for peas a lot of years also. God was merciful and gave him the time to find it.

"It comes in knowin Jesus personally, not just doin the motions of church goin."

Amen
Lynda Schultz 12/04/08
Loved the voice and the home-spun logic. Well done.
Laura Anne Harrison12/04/08
Well done! I loved the "voice" in this piece.
Sharon Kane12/05/08
Great writing. Loved the child's voice!
Betty Castleberry12/06/08
Great voice. Loved this common sense grandpa who is sharing his wisdom with his grandkids. Well done.
Joanne Sher 12/08/08
Oh, this is just wonderful. The voice and the dialect are superb. Just masterfully written and a joy to read.
Karlene Jacobsen 12/09/08
I love yur homey way of talkin to yur younguns and keepin everthing so natural.
Smilin all the way through this un.
Sharlyn Guthrie12/09/08
Welcome to masters! With writing this good, you definitely belong here!
Charla Diehl 12/09/08
Ditto on the "voice" comments. You brought this story to life with your talented writing.
Beth LaBuff 12/09/08
I could see these women in "fancy hats" and imagine their "shock." -- love that image. :) Your title is great… I really like your message with this quest for peas (peace).
Leah Nichols 12/10/08
Nicely done! You kept the dialogue absolutely consistent throughout the peace....er....piece. :)
Loren T. Lowery12/10/08
You're so right, so many times the things we go looking for are right there, directly under our nose - be they peas or something else. Great writing, truly enjoyed the voice.

Loren
Catrina Bradley 12/10/08
The voice is fabulous - I enjoyed this VERY much!
Pamela Kliewer12/10/08
Love it! Great voice, and it kept me reading with anticipation throughout.
Teresa Lee Rainey12/10/08
This is fabulous. Love the voice. So glad your mc finally found his peas! :)
Sharlyn Guthrie12/11/08
Wow! A first place your first week in masters... that's the way to do it! Congratulations!
Sheri Gordon12/11/08
Congratulations on your 1st place. You really nailed the voice. Nice job.
Loren T. Lowery12/11/08
Way to go! I tried twice to comment on your entry yesterday, but my pc kept crashing. I loved this article and its innocent revelation(s) and it and you are so deserving of your 1st place award. Congratulations! Loren
Joy Faire Stewart12/11/08
What a message and love the voice! Congratulations on your first place EC.
Pam Carlson-Hetland12/11/08
This is absolutely wonderful. Congrats on your 1st place and EC.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge12/11/08
Congratulations on your EC!I love the idea of grandparents sharing what it took them a lifetime to learn!
Beth LaBuff 12/12/08
I'm so pleased for you, Dianne! Congrats on first place!!