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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Deep End (03/06/14)

TITLE: Wigging Out – Adjust Your Attitude and Try Again
By Judith Gayle Smith
03/12/14


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I once huddled in the shallows, controlling my volatile emotions around my already stressed-out family, erupting in rage under my pillows and blanket. Bathing, I gnawed wet washcloths, blew my sopping nose on reachable towels, picked my toenails and groused. Amazingly, I calmed while watching soap bubbles lose their iridescent fairylike radiance to shimmer into the wet nothingness. So brief a life, so soon disappearing.

That was yesterday. Today isn’t looking any better, reason and rationale flew off with that wicked little bluebird of so-called happiness. Today my fingers are gnarling into talons, ready to scrape visible misery on the closest flesh – mine.

The cable box for the ever-present, often obnoxious television refuses to work. My sister just announced her television is acting weird. I feel prickly heat raising the hairs on my neck. I am building rage to a level where I justify exploding. Most often, I just implode, collapsing within my emotional misfires.

Okay. So I had no intention to go off the deep end this week – nary a defined thought to throw me frantically thrashing to keep afloat into nine feet of turbulent churning water. I often tell folks that I will postpone my nervous breakdown until a more convenient time.

Now is a convenient time. Especially when the only viewing screen is on this maladjusted computer operator’s crowded dog-filled lap. Grrrrrr. I sit, in a thin caftan, crawling with hot flashes. At age seventy, those hot flashes still unnerve me.

A dear friend has stopped by, anxious about an upcoming surgical procedure he must confront tomorrow morning. I strangle my frustrations to calmly be the mother he needs. I read aloud what I have written here, and his eyes bulge in disbelief. I must hide my emotions well, for him to react so.

Relax. Calm down. Take a deep breath and concentrate on Whose child I am. Am I enslaved to Satan, willingly offering emotional sacrifices designed to hurt others? Or have I pledged my soul to the Christ, eager to resist the temptation to violently spew my anger, making all around me as miserable as I am?

I must stop thrusting His Holy Spirit from me in moments of self-justifying pity parties. I have so much time and love invested in Him, I cannot afford to throw Him away because I am so easily tempted to lose my volcanic temper.

Dear Father, it has been an extremely trying day. I concentrate on the me-me-me and lose my kavanah focus on You. I am so easily tempted, and much too eagerly yield to Satan’s demonic nudging. When he pushes my buttons, I must not thrust my mind into frustration and rage.

Thank you Lord, for Your love preventing me from going off the deep end – again.


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This article has been read 285 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 03/13/14
This "life journal" was entertaining and realistic providing a great message and timely reminder in the process.

Well done!

God bless~
Toni Hammer 03/14/14
This was chilling until the end--mostly because I could have easily written it. Fantastic emotional writing here. Well done.
Noel Mitaxa 03/15/14
There's a transparency here that invites your readers to relax with the reality of dark emotions still being no barrier to God's grace. Yet you have skilfully and lightly touched these emotions with self-deprecation that keeps it from descending into introspective self-absorption. Good work.
Danielle King 03/15/14
I agree with the above comment but couldn't have put it so eloquently. I always enjoy reading your entries and this one is no exception. You tell it like it is, and the reader can identify with your emotions and trauma. This was spot on for the topic and your message came over clearly. Great job!
Rachel Malcolm 03/17/14
Your writing is very open and real with emotions right on the surface. I can relate to the intense struggle for self-control. It is a day-to-day battle!

Watch out for run-on sentences. This sentence contains two independent clauses: "Today isn’t looking any better, reason and rationale flew off with that wicked little bluebird of so-called happiness." You could use a semicolon between better and reason or use a conjunction and keep the comma.

Your words are a reminder to me to seek God's presence when I am tempted to go over the deep end. I love how you remind yourself to relax and remember whose child you are.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/18/14
Your prayer was right-on for your frustrated emotional state. God Bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/19/14
I totally enjoyed the first paragraph. Nothing like picking at one's toenails to pull me into a story. It created a vivid picture and also set the tone for the rest of the story.

Although I'm not sure, I think I'd like it even more if you had given some more emotions. When you mention fingernails cutting into flesh, I automatically thought the MC was a cutter or someone into self-abuse. If that was the case and not just a metaphor, that would have been the perfect place to expand on it and maybe even help the reader understand why someone would go in that direction.

I think your ending was great. I love how God knows just what we need. When we wallow in our own self-pity, he sends someone along and allows us to pull ourselves out of the deep end to rescue someone else. What a brilliant and powerful message. It touched my heart for sure. I don't think you needed the last line. It almost felt like you were worried that people might think it was off topic so you added it just to be sure. I think the prayer would have been the perfect place to stop. There is no doubt (in my mind) that you were on topic. Emotions can definitely drown us if we allow them to. So many people have no idea how to pray, so I especially enjoy it when a prayer is included. In fact, I've had one of those days and am going to read and pray it one more time. Thanks for touching my heart in just the right way.

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/20/14
Congratulations for ranking 7th in your level and 16 overall! The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.