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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)

TITLE: Midsummer Soak
By Tim Pickl


Pressing play on my iPhone, I slipped my ear buds on, and leaned back in favorite lawn chair. Immediately the sun hit my face with bright warmth—it felt so good to be on the beach again. The new Ultra UV sunglasses I wore were a birthday present, and I wanted to test them.

Thank God for my husband Gary. He graciously allowed me to relax and was with the kids, building a monstrous sand castle, complete with a moat. Our little Abbie dragged bucket after pink plastic bucket of water from the lake to the fill the moat, splashing water all along the way.

It was so cute.

Using his fancy water-proof phone, Gary captured the precious moments on video. All four kids splashed in the lake, splashed water into toy boats, splashed at each other and their daddy, and jumped up and down and splashed in the moat, and—

They decided to pour a bucket of water on me.

I jumped up, mostly because I didn’t want my iPhone to get ruined, but then I started giggling uncontrollably, and fell to my knees with tears in my eyes. The kids probably felt guilty; Abbie asked me, “Mommy are you okay?”

“Yes, I am okay, sweetie-pie. I am just so thankful and blessed to have you.”

After a group hug, we had a picnic lunch in a nearby park shelter. We could see the kids were getting very tired; so we packed everything and headed home.

That night, Abbie wanted Daddy to read a Bible story to everyone; even as tired as he was, Gary complied.

I love him so much.

He gathered everyone to our bedroom, and as we snuggled on our king-sized bed, Gary brought out the Bible. After praying a short prayer that we would all receive God’s word and hide it in our hearts, he read from Gospel of Mark, Chapter 4, verses 33 through 41 (Contemporary English Version).

The Reason for Teaching with Stories
Jesus used many other stories when he spoke to the people, and he taught them as much as they could understand. He did not tell them anything without using stories. But when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

Abbie blurted, “So Jesus told stories, just like Daddy?”

“Yes, he used stories to teach us spiritual principles.”

“Oh, okay.”

Gary read on:

A Storm
That evening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the east side.” So they left the crowd, and his disciples started across the lake with him in the boat. Some other boats followed along. Suddenly a windstorm struck the lake. Waves started splashing into the boat, and it was about to sink.

“The sounds like us today, Daddy!

“It sure does.”

Gary continued:

Jesus was in the back of the boat with his head on a pillow, and he was asleep. His disciples woke him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re about to drown?”

Jesus got up and ordered the wind and the waves to be quiet. The wind stopped, and everything was calm.

Jesus asked his disciples, “Why were you afraid? Don’t you have any faith?”

Now they were more afraid than ever and said to each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

“That was a big storm, Daddy.”

“Yes it was. Jesus is teaching us today that we need to have faith in Him. No matter what happens in our lives, we know that God—and His Name is Jesus—is in control.”

“Daddy, when I am afraid of the thunder, can I pray that it stops?”

“Sure, pumpkin, you can pray any time for Jesus to help you. You know how I get through life’s storms?”


“I pray that He gives me peace in the middle of the storm—not the peace that the world offers—but His peace.”

“Daddy, I love you.”

“I love you, too. I love all of you so much.”

“Thank you Daddy for taking us to the park today.”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Thank you.”

“I love taking you—we should do it again some time.”

“How about tomorrow?” Abbie suggested.

“How about we get some sleep and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

I reminded everyone, “Tomorrow morning we are going to church and then we are invited to Grandma’s house afterward for lunch.”

“Awesome! Can we swim at Grandma’s house, please, Mommy? Please, Daddy?”

“More splashing?” I don’t know…”

“At least there’s no sand.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dana Anders04/12/13
Not sure I'd be so gracious about the bucket of water - midsummer soak :) But I enjoyed the story, as it resonated with aspects of my own life. You use dialogue really well - I would guess you have a real talent for narrative. Well done.
Dave Walker 04/13/13
Your writing really captured the mood of a happy, contented family; and with a smooth flow into the message about trusting Jesus in the storms. Thank you for a lovely warm up-building story
C D Swanson 04/13/13
Nice job with this interesting story that delivered a special message. I enjoyed it. Thanks.

God bless~
Judith Gayle Smith04/18/13
Sheldon Bass 04/18/13
Very nice piece. I like the way you incorporated the scripture into the story. I'm trying the same sort of thing in a novel, if I ever actually get it right that is. This has a good family feel to it that many will relate to. Good work.