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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Rest (01/17/13)

TITLE: Even the Lillies
By Francy Judge


Somewhere between the days of catching fireflies and having five kids, I forgot how to relax. On a timeline, I’d bet the answer tips closer to the five kids side.

A familiar nine-year old whistle turns me around. Jordan stands with one hand angled on hip and one arm hugging Charlotte’s Web, her favorite book of the week, against her chest. “Are you ready yet?”

“Just a minute. I have to finish the dishes first.

She’s back in one minute exactly. I’m sure she counted to sixty. “Now?” She asks with her mouth in full pout shape.

“Almost. I’ll throw in the last wash while heating my coffee. I know the wait must seem like an eternity to her. I am tired from changing hats all day: wife, mother, home-teacher, part-time worker, and writer squeezed in the free minutes. My days are this endless cycle, like spinning on the ladybug ride that doesn’t stop. Ever.

What happened to the rest of childhood days? Snow days in December; tasting the chill of crooked ice castle igloos; the steamy scent of hot cocoa calling me home. Without another care in the world. This is my kids’ world now, before bills wear their name.

Finally, we cuddle under her purple throw blanket that we call the Fuzzy One. Wind whistles softly outside as I let the steam from my coffee warm my face and condensate on my nose. I can’t help kissing her just-shampooed hair to smell the sweet strawberry girl scent.

“Should I read first?” Jordan asks in her high pitch sing-song voice. “Or you could.”

“You go ahead while I finish my coffee.” I need a few sips to keep awake while she reads. Her soft, melodic voice rocks me to sleep like an adult’s lullaby.

“Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever…”

I watch the lilies close their petals along the path and think how even the lilies rest at night. A spider spins her web under the porch, and…
I’m rolling.

“Mommy, wake up. I finished the book, but your eyes were closed.”

“Sorry, pumpkin. This was the first moment I’ve rested all day.”
“I think you better buy a different coffee. That one doesn’t work.”

I kiss Jordan and pray before turning off her light. I may have forgotten how to relax, but at the end of the day, with the help of my children, I stumble into a time of rest. Or you could say collapse in exhaustion.

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:2

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This article has been read 329 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/24/13
This is a sweet story. I love it when our kids humble us. As parents it can be easy to forget the little important things that God gives us to recharge our minds and bodies. I could almost smell the strawberry shampoo. You did a nice job on this.
C D Swanson 01/25/13
Tender, sweet and well written story.

God bless~
Carolyn Ancell01/27/13
This is really wonderful. I enjoyed having all my senses involved: sound of the wind, warmth of the coffe, etc. One suggestion (you may think is funny): I think you need to write that she sets her coffee cup down. I could feel that she was falling asleep, and kept wanting to catch her coffee cup!
Ellen Carr 01/28/13
There's a lot of truth in this and you've written it so nicely. Thanks.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/31/13
Congratulations for ranking 25 overall