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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Junk Food (08/30/12)

TITLE: Not MY Family
By Genia Gilbert


"That was a great sermon," marveled Lynne as they drove home on Sunday. She had left feeling full, satisfied, and close to God. There was a sense of refreshment and strength in her soul.

After lunch, her husband Colin called from the den. “The game is starting, Hon.”

She joined him and settled into her recliner, pointing to the dish of roasted nuts, which had replaced greasy chips. It was her reminder of their decision about healthier eating habits in their home. Even Casi and Hayden were reluctantly accepting them. Of course, they had an occasional candy bar or salty treat, but the basic rules were firm. Whatever all their friends did, their family would not consume all those sweets, fatty foods, and empty calories.

After the game, Lynne became engrossed in an intense TV drama. Thoughts of the gripping scenes lingered long after it was over, disturbing her night’s sleep.

On Monday morning, Lynne heard Colin’s voice, demanding from the bedroom door: “Honey, it’s getting late!”

She had overslept. She barely had time to dress and get breakfast for everybody. She was careful to fix a healthy meal, and then packed nutritious lunches. After dropping Casi and Hayden at school, she raced to the parking lot at the building where she worked, praying that no one had parked in her spot. Guiltily she realized it was her first prayer of the day.

During her lunch break, while nibbling a protein bar and sipping a smoothie, Lynne caught up on her Facebook page. Then she browsed her favorite websites for the remainder of the hour. The afternoon at work was busy, consuming her mind and causing pain in the back of her neck.

“I’m off to the gym,” she yelled to the kids. With them safe at home, she donned gym clothes and headed for her workout. She knew it was important to de-stress and keep in shape physically. Her weariness faded as she plugged in earphones, started her favorite music, and stepped on the treadmill.

As she prepared dinner, the TV blared in the next room. While chopping vegetables for a salad, and steaming fresh carrots, Lynne listened to world news and financial reports. It filled her mind with worry about the stock market and their 401K.

“But Mom, Amber and I are doing math homework,” Casi complained, phone in hand, when Lynne called everyone for dinner. As a result, the whole family loaded their plates and scattered to the sounds of smart phones, ipads and TV. Lynne reached for her Kindle and the novel she was reading.

Falling in bed later, her eyes caught sight of her devotional book and Bible on the nightstand. She picked them up, making a feeble effort to read, but her eyelids were heavy. She vowed to get up earlier, do better tomorrow, and fell asleep.

“Oh, no,” Lynne groaned, as she awoke next morning to the kids’ teenage bickering. The alarm had failed to sound, or else she’d forgotten to set it. The mad rush was on again. Even Colin had overslept and was cross.

The rest of the week wasn’t much smoother, with little time spent in quiet Bible reading or prayer. Although she managed to keep her busy husband and children well fed, Lynne’s mind became fragmented. She grew increasingly frustrated with circumstances, people, and life in general. Along with the rest of the household, she found herself drained and irritable.

Saturday evening was spent on her phone, balancing the checkbook and catching up on unanswered texts and e-mails.

Sunday morning came again very quickly, it seemed. As her family hurried, arriving at church a bit late, Lynn wondered at the gnawing hunger in her heart.

“Why do I feel so empty?” she quietly asked herself, puzzled. She just couldn’t understand.

Perhaps the pastor would again help her to leave full, satisfied, and close to God. She really needed that refreshment and strength in her soul.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/12/12
You did a nice job of driving the message home without actually stating the message. That's not always easy to do. It's a good reminder for everyone to double check and make sure things in life are properly prioritized.