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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)

By Norma-Anne Hough


“Thank You Lord for this time we have shared together.
Be with us both as we go our separate ways today, bless our home, those we love and bring us safely together tonight we pray in Jesus name.” Dave prayed as we finished our morning devotions.
Sitting on our porch outside watching the rising sun over the mountain, we drank in the peace and tranquility.

“Are you happy leaving the young ones to do the lights outside?”
Dave asked.
“I am sure it will be fine. They have been planning this for the past week. Dylan’s one friend is an electrician and he is coming over to help.”
“As long as nobody falls and hurts themselves and they act responsibly.”
“Stop fussing, didn’t you pray just now” I teased.
We had this year decided to decorate the trees in the garden as well as the top of our porch. While on a trip to the UK, I had purchased all the special effect lighting we would require. Rope lighting with about two hundred coloured lights. I was more than confident that they young ones would do a grand job.

Barking dogs and slamming of car doors announced the return of the young ones from the beach.
“There goes our peace.” Dave said smiling as he went through to put the coffee on.
Dylan, Gabi, Mandy and Jamie came through with the two dogs.
“Best time of the day to be on the beach” Dylan said as he bent to kiss me.
“Love you, Aunty Anne” Jamie said climbing onto my lap giving me a hug.
Hugging him closely I kissed the girls and went through to prepare breakfast.

Dave called Dylan, Mandy and Gabi aside telling them to be careful when they did the lights and not to allow Jamie to do anything foolish.
“He is much younger than you all and could get hurt.”
“Dad” they mocked, “us allow Jamie to get hurt, no way. You are beginning to sound like mum.”
“Heaven forbid” he replied laughing.

After breakfast was finished, Dave left for the office and I went to get the lights for the children. Soon a group of friends had arrived to help. I looked out the window as they stood in the garden planning. Jamie stood with Dylan. He really loved him and the girls. I had a lump in my throat as I thought of how unfair it was that his parents were killed in that accident last year.

“I sometimes do not understand Father why these things happen,”
I silently prayed, “but thank you for the gift of Jamie.”
Calling out to them that I was leaving for my coffee date I once again cautioned them to be careful.
“Stop fussing” they yelled in unison.

Later that morning upon returning home I found a hive of activity going on in the garden. About ten other friends had turned up and all were hard at work. I was informed that I was not allowed outside until they had finished.
Standing in the kitchen preparing salad rolls and juice for the crowd, I listened to the happy sounds of their laughter and chatter.
I felt a peace within me that had been gone for a long time.

“Mum, may we have a barbeque for supper so all our friends can be here for the switch on.” Gabi asked.
“Sure, I’ll phone dad and tell him to bring extra food home. They deserve a barbeque after all their hard work.”
Phoning Dave I made the necessary arrangements.

“Aunty Anne, Dylan says you must not come outside until we are finished. Uncle Dave must also stay inside when he gets here.” Jamie informed me.
“Can’t I even peep?” I teased.
“No, that would be cheating” he said with a naughty look.

Upon Dave’s return we sat in the lounge waiting.
“You can come now,” announced Jamie.
Walking outside Dave and I stood speechless as we looked upon our garden that had been transformed into a wonderland.
Tears fell down my cheeks as I read the sign they had made up with the rope lights. JESUS BORN TO SAVE.

After we had eaten, Dave and Dylan brought out the guitars. Sitting in our garden, we sang and gave praise to our Heavenly Father for His gift of Jesus and our salvation. The most priceless gift of all.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter11/10/08
I wonder if this is fiction or autobiography? It has the ring of authenticity about it, and I enjoyed reading it. Well done.
Leah Nichols 11/11/08
Lovely story! I like all the small elements that make it personal. You might review the formatting in Level 4 pieces to see how to lay out your piece. That would help it to read better. Nice work!
Celeste Ammirata11/11/08
What a sweet story! I loved how the kids remembered to honor Jesus with their light display. Nicely done. Keep writing!
Jacquelyn Sturge11/22/08
This is a very beautiful story, I would have been proud of them also.. Thanks for commenting on my article.