Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BLESSED (03/07/19)
- TITLE: The Blessing Book
By Yvonne Blake
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Reverend Hudson had preached on the verse in First Thessalonians 5, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God, in Christ Jesus, concerning you.” It was like he was preaching right to me. I knew that covetousness and discontent were my downfalls. Only I disguised them with names like dreaming and wishing. There was nothing wrong in dreaming, was there?
My husband and I never seemed to have any money for nice things. I may not have nagged Gleason about things, but I sure murmured a lot to myself. It seemed every time we were going to shingle the roof or fix up the kitchen or buy a new rug, the money was needed somewhere else. The transmission blew in the car. A neighbor’s kid was in the hospital. An uncle’s funeral was out of state.
As the kids grew bigger, the house grew smaller, until we were tripping over each other, and we needed a number for our turn in the bathroom. That’s when my dream house beckoned me into the sin of discontent. Every day I passed an enormous captain’s house. I had never been inside, but with all those windows, there had to be a dozen rooms, at least, not including a carriage house and barn.
It was for sale.
The more I dreamed of living in that mansion and furnishing its room with oak tables and thick rugs, the more I despised my home – the one that Gleason had built for me, the one that had sheltered our family through the years. I knew it was wrong. I knew I was hurting our marriage by my attitude. It was on that Monday morning that I decided to look for something every day to be thankful for. That’s when I bought my blessing book.
As I flip through the pages, faces and places parade by. The entries aren’t dated, but I remember the stories. At first, they were the typical things a person might say around Thanksgiving.
I’m thankful for food on our table.
I’m thankful for my husband.
I’m thankful for the sunshine.
But sometimes it was apparent the blessings were hard to find.
I’m thankful for the wood stove. (We couldn’t pay the light bill.)
I’m thankful it didn’t rain till morning. (Roof leaked over our bed.)
I’m thankful for my memories. (Mom came to live with us.)
Some entries were blurred, and I could only read a few words.
. . . Jimmy . . . called (Our son was deployed.)
Mom smiled . . . (She’d had a stroke, but recognized me.)
. . . Gleason . . . home (He had lost his job.)
There was one entry that filled a whole page.
That wicked Ol’ Devil knocked me down again today. I thought my old enemy of Discontent was conquered. I should have known better. I shouldn’t have put down my shield. That’s when he hit me with his poison dart.
I was tickled pink to be invited to the company party at Ms. Marlow’s house. The driveway was lit with lanterns, and candles glowed in each window. Our winter things were hung in a closet the size of a room. A stone fireplace and high vaulted ceiling graced the cathedral-like living room. I let my old dream awaken. With the excuse of needing the restroom, I explored “my” house. I wandered through the hallways, peeking into room after room . . . until I was caught.
Ms. Marlow found me in her bedroom, admiring the most elegant quilt I’d ever seen, made of suede and silk. “Isn’t it gorgeous? I found it on sale for only $2000.”
The shame of wishing for things I’d never own or even need overwhelmed me. I didn’t want a big, fancy house. I wanted my home –the one that Gleason built, leaks and woodstove and all.
I turn to the last page to write today’s entry. I’ll need a new book soon. My pen poises above the lines. Slowly I form the words.
I’m thankful that heaven is my real home, where Gleason waits for me.
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