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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Savory to the Taste (07/26/12)

TITLE: Taste and See
By Tim Pickl


After a loved one dies, acceptance is the last stage of the grieving process.

Jenny was finally at the point of accepting the major change in her life after her grandmother passed away. Jenny’s mother passed away when she was born, so her grandmother raised her, and she thought of “NaNa” as her mother. NaNa was a devout Christian lady, and raised Jenny in the church.

Jenny discovered that day something she never knew about her grandmother: she faithfully wrote in her prayer journals until she physically no longer was able to do so. On this sunny Sunday afternoon in August, Jenny worked up the courage to enter her grandmother’s bedroom. There she discovered the journals, hiding in old shoe boxes in the closet. Fascinated, she pulled them out and started reading them. Within minutes, Jenny started crying as God’s Spirit touched her. One of the first entries caught Jenny’s attention:

September 22I praise You, Father for all you have done for me. Thank You for helping me through this great trial. I write this journal with great tears of sorrow and joy, mixed together, like life itself. Losing my daughter was so, so difficult… but You have blessed me with a wonderful granddaughter. Thank You Jesus, thank You. Help me, Jesus to raise her to fear You and acknowledge You in all her ways. I pray she loves You all the days of her life.

Fascinated, Jenny read the journals until late into the night. Finally, at 3:00 in the morning, emotionally exhausted, she went to bed and passed out. As she slept, she had a vivid dream about NaNa. NaNa came to her bedside and said in her sweet NaNa way, “Child, I love you. See April 22.”

“NaNa?!?” Jenny was instantly awake, startled by the dream. She blinked her eyes and squinted at the clock radio on her bedside table. “It’s noon already. I need to get up and get going.” As she started about her day, she remembered the dream, what NaNa said, and the prayer journals. Curious, Jenny went back into NaNa’s bedroom, sat on the bed and discovered the journal with the entry from the dream:

April 22 - You are the apple of my eye, my child. Keep me in the apple of your eye and focus on me, every day:

I am the fresh baked bread, filling your house—your life—with necessary nourishment. I am the delicious fountain of living water, like cold water to a dry and thirsty soul lost in the desert. I am the sweet golden honey, dripping from the honeycomb: my mercies are new every morning. I am the shining light of your life, tastefully enlightening your heart and mind and soul. I am the perfect pure milk on which you lived when you were first born again. As you grow in me, I am the meat—the solid food of righteousness—so you can discern the difference between good and evil. I am the truth: seeds from me will spring forth and accomplish their purpose, forever. I AM The Word of God.

Jenny sunk down, kneeling beside the bed, like she did so many days and nights when she took care of NaNa. Crying, she read aloud what God had spoken through her grandmother.


There was a postscript at the end of the entry:

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8 Oh, how I savor Your Word, O Lord!

In that moment, Jenny carefully placed the journal back into the yellowing shoe box and wept as she did so many times since NaNa died.

Suddenly she stopped.

“NaNa, is that you?”

Jenny felt someone’s hand on her shoulder. She turned to see, but no one was there, and the sensation passed.

“I know what I need to do.”

Jenny rose up and made her way into the kitchen and opened the “junk” drawer—the place for all the miscellaneous things in her life that really could not be categorized. She pulled out a spiral-bound notebook, leftover from her college days, found an ink pen and sat down at the kitchen table.

Jenny wrote:

August 13This is my first prayer journal entry. First, I dedicate this to my precious Lord and Savior, You: Jesus Christ. You are The Word of God. Secondly, I thank You for my grandmother who has shown me the revelation of who You are, even in her death.

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This article has been read 521 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ellen Carr 08/03/12
I enjoyed your story and the ending. Being a person who keeps a 'prayer journal' myself made it especially touching. Thanks.
C D Swanson 08/03/12
This touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I thought this was fantastic and resonated with a true authenticity. Dreams are vital connections at time to the Lord. As the Bible shows so many were touched and instructed through dreams, and interpretations. So, I really connected with that part.

I loved the ending withe the granddaughter starting her own journal, and the way she clearly spoke to God praising Him first, and thanking Him for her grandmother.

Outstanding job. Thank you.

God bless~
Janice Cartwright08/03/12
What a blessing to be gifted in writing that connects to the reader and involves one on an emotional level. Thank you and God bless you and continue to use you to point your reader to Jesus.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/03/12
I so enjoyed this delightful journey into Grandma's mind. Often the literary dream can become stale and an easy way out of a conflict, but you used it as a tool to show that God does talk to us in our dreams, when our guard is lowered and we allowed him in.

The beginning, in particular felt more like telling than showing. You could switch that easily by restructuring the sentences some. For example:
Jenny was finally at the point of accepting the major change in her life after her grandmother passed away.
After grieving the death of her grandmother, Jenny took a deep breath and opened the door to NaNa's bedroom. She swallowed hard and licked her lips. Her hand trembled as she reached for NaNa's journal.
Though I took some liberties, I wanted to show you how an opening like this hopefully helps the reader connect with the MC and form vivid pictures in her mind.

Later on in the story, you did a nice job of showing. This sentence tells us so much about the emotional state of the MC: She blinked her eyes and squinted at the clock radio on her bedside table. We know she is still in that waking period, not sure if she is awake or dreaming still and we see a bit of trepidation in the blinking of her eyes. You did a nice job with that sentence and others like it. If you just push the showing a bit more, your stories will go from great to outstanding.

My mom kept a prayer journal too. I remember slightly feeling like I was invading her privacy while simultaneously wanting to hold on to the words and bring her to life in my mind. You captured those feelings in your MC as well. Nice job.
Edmond Ng 08/06/12
A nicely written piece and an enjoyable read. Well done!
Hiram Claudio08/06/12
I enjoyed this SO much! I could truly feel that MC's heart as she sat and read her grandmother's journals. You were able to place me right there with her. I thought ending it with the MC carrying onthe legacy of journaling (writing) was so precious. So well done ... from beginning to end!
Leola Ogle 08/07/12
I love prayer journals and this story was so touching. I love it. God bless!
Noel Mitaxa 08/09/12
Wow! This is the framework for a novel that keeps bringing the wisdom from NaNa into the present for your MC, so NaNa keeps speaking into whatever scenario arises. Scripture confirmation would overcome any tendency towards ancestral worship, but there's something here that could parallel Hebrews 11 in alonger story.
God bless your further steps.