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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: All Grown Up
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom



When I was a spunky, little 5 year old, many, many years ago, my parents were going out of town for several days. They sent me to stay with my grandparents. They weren’t sure what day they were coming home, so they packed me enough clothes to make it through the weekend, including my best Sunday dress. It was fun being at my grandparents’ farm, taking care of the chickens and helping Grandma around the house. I felt all grown up.

My grandfather was a scary man. He expected perfect behavior and wasn’t afraid to reprimand any little girl who might happen into trouble. But I enjoyed the first couple of days, without too many scoldings. I was feeling proud of my helping abilities, and when the sun started shining through my window on a beautiful morning, I decided I’d surprise Grandma by getting myself ready for church all by myself. I found my pretty dress, wriggled around to get it zipped up, put on my lacy ankle socks, and my brown patent leather shoes. Next I set to brushing my long red hair, and tying a pretty ribbon in it. I was so proud of myself. I twirled around in the mirror before heading out to the living room to show Grandma and Grandpa my surprise.

I slid open the big sliding door and went into the living room to find my grandpa sitting in his recliner in his red long underwear. I proudly paraded myself in front of him, expecting praise for being such a big girl. Instead he glared at me quite grumpily and said, “What are you all dressed up for, don’t you know it’s Saturday? Now get back in there and put your play clothes on.”

I looked at him, my lower lip quivering, I put my hands on my hips, stomped my little foot and held my head up high and replied, “Of course, I know it’s Saturday. I just wanted you to see how pretty I look in my Church clothes.” I then turned around and ran for the bedroom.

All these years later, I still hate to be wrong. Although I try not to lie quite as blatantly as I did back when I was 5, I will stretch the truth a little to avoid embarrassment. But the thing is God knew that little girl was heartbroken, I’m sure he sent my grandma in to comfort me. Today when I need consoling, God always finds a way to comfort me. He knows everything that is in my heart and doesn’t expect me to be perfect. I know that He loves me no matter if I make a little oops or a huge blunder. I just need to go to Him and ask for His forgiveness and He wraps His arms around me and keeps me safe. What a wonderful Father we have.

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This article has been read 788 times
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Sara Harricharan 01/22/10
Indeed what a wonderful Father we do have. I'm glad she had a grandmother to comfort her. I've done that before though-gotten all dressed up for work, etc. on a holiday or weekend, only to realize my days are off. It always drives me nuts. Thanks for sharing.
Jean Beier01/23/10
Well written. I'm glad you did not let a grumpy grandpa cause you not to see God as loving.
Jan Ackerson 01/25/10
This broke my heart!

You had words left over--I'd love to see this expanded, with more dialog and character development. It's a great beginning.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz01/26/10
This was very well done. I enjoyed the little girl's stamina and strength.
Barbara Lynn Culler01/26/10
That was a good recovery statement coming from a child! Great story!
Carole Robishaw 01/26/10
This was very good. I could feel her pain and humiliation. But she was so brave!

Yes, our God is a great comfort!
Patricia Herchenroether01/26/10
A sweet little story; would make a good devotional with added scripture. Quick thinking (although dishonest) for a little girl!
Carol Slider 01/26/10
Good use of a painful childhood experience to illuminate the love of God. I enjoyed this sweet story!
Lyn Churchyard01/26/10
Poor little girl, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Adults can be so thoughtless at times. Good story. I like your honesty - none of us like to be wrong.
Joan Campbell01/27/10
I loved this little girl, "spunky" is the perfect word for her. My sense is that she still is!! Lovely writing.
Sarah Elisabeth 01/29/10
Shan, congrats on placing in Level 1!
Karen Macor03/29/10
I love the way you worked in some very good lessons. I could picture the little girl and really felt for her. Great job and congratulations on your good placement.