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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Generations
By Lynn Moses
01/31/13


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1957

Betty wanted to be in bed, pretending she was asleep when Hank got home. She didn't want to get into another fight about his drinking and wake the children. Steve and Anne were often caught in the crossfire and sometimes they got hit. Their father’s drinking had cost the family his job and respect in the community. Betty started working part time at the local grocery store to make ends meet. She hated not being there more for her kids.

Diane and Bill prayed each night with their children before bed. For David, the oldest, they prayed for him to love God and put him first in his life. For Jane, the middle child, they prayed for God’s love to continue to flow out of her through the gifts He had given her. And for Timothy, the youngest by 4 years, they prayed he would trust and obey God, and to learn to be obedient to them-he was their strong-willed child. Diane and Bill prayed everyday for their kids and for their future spouses.

1967

Steve had moved out a couple of years ago and was working at a pizza parlor. Sometimes, Anne would go visit him, but he never came to see his parents. He couldn't forgive his father for how he had treated them growing up. He couldn't forgive his mother for not leaving. Anne was stuck with the raging alcoholic and what was left of her mother after years of abuse. Anne spent most of her time with her boyfriend, Johnny. They would go out drinking and occasionally do some drugs, nothing serious. Things were going to change now. Anne was pregnant and couldn't wait to tell Johnny the good news. They could get married and she could finally leave her parents’ house.

It had been 3 years since they lost Timothy to cancer. Some days were still hard for Bill and Diane, but they took solace in knowing that God loved Timothy more than they ever could and that He had a perfect plan. David was off studying to be a helicopter pilot. He wanted to work in the mission field flying people and supplies to remote areas. Susan, his wife of two years, was very supportive. They were expecting their first child in a couple of months. Jane was finishing her college degree in education. She was engaged to be married to a young man, named Brian, who loved God. Bill and Diane would soon be empty nesters, but they were heavily involved with their church and had plenty of support.

1977

Many nights Anne would sit on her couch and get high. Her mood swings were getting worse. Heather, her 9 year old daughter, often had to bear the burden of her explosive episodes followed by promises never to do it again. They lived in a low-income apartment because that was all Anne could afford. Johnny hadn't been in the picture since Heather was 2. He never visited Heather and he certainly didn't pay any child support. Anne worked as a waitress at a local diner. Her salary wasn't quite enough to support Heather, herself and her habit. Steve was in prison.

David and Susan were living in a semi-remote area of Africa. They had 3 children and David continued to fly helicopters in the mission field. They made it home about once a year for a visit. Jane and Brian had 1 child and were trying for another. Jane taught 2nd grade at a nearby elementary school. Brian worked in the construction field. Both continued to be active in their church. Bill and Diane loved being grandparents.

1987

Heather called Anne often asking for money, but Anne didn't have much to spare. Heather would probably just spend it on booze and drugs. Anne hadn't talked to her mother in years and didn't have a clue where her father was.

Bill died this year. The church was filled with friends and family celebrating his life. David and Jane spoke about their father’s legacy. The family mourned, but also rejoiced that Bill was with his Heavenly Father. Jane and Brian invited Diane to live with them and she accepted.

1997

2007

And on and on it goes…

“I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.” Exodus 20:5b (New Living Translation)


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This article has been read 191 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Glynis Becker 02/01/13
I like the way you've incorporated the stories of two completely different families and how their actions reap consequences and how generations do repeat themselves. I would have liked a little dialogue to make it a bit more of a "show don't tell" story, but it's really nicely done. Keep up the good work!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/01/13
I think the idea behind this topic is brilliant. You really did a great job of showing the topic. Repeating was the main theme of your story and the story could not be told without the concept of repeat. This is an excellent example of writing on topic in a fresh and out of the box way.

You did more telling than showing, which made it a tad difficult to remember the characters. One example would be your opening line. Just by switching around a few words you can paint a picture for your reader. This is just an example to show you what I mean: Cowering in her bed, Betty held her breath when she heard the floor creak from the weight of her husband. Quickly she closed her eyes and forced herself to slow down her breathing.
Something like that would hopefully draw the reader in and actually have her hold her breath because she is so involved in reading the story.

Overall, though I think you did an outstanding job. Your title is a perfect fit. Your opening paragraph introduced the conflict immediately. The ending showed that if we live as Christ wants us to and ask him into our heart, though we are not shielded from grief and pain, we are given the strength to make it through. I really like this piece. It's one of my favorites so far.
Bonnie Bowden02/02/13
Really interesting take on the topic--the verse helped weave everything together. A little more dialogue would have made the characters more memorable, but very well written.
CD Swanson 02/02/13
Wow - this was a wonderful piece! I really enjoyed it. Great job.
God bless~
Pam Ford Davis 02/03/13
Such marked contrasts in individuals and families. When we leave God out of the picture, we pay the consequences. I had a bit of a problem keeping the characters straight in my mind but the theme of repeat shines through. Good writing...

Wing His Words!
Pam Ford Davis 02/07/13
Congratulations; keep Winging His Words!
Myrna Noyes02/07/13
HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS on your FIRST PLACE level win!! I loved your story and its message! You did a good job contrasting the the godly and the ungodly families. WAY TO WRITE!!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/07/13
Congratulations for your ribbon and for ranking 31 overall! (Highest 35 rankings overall can be on the message board)
Catherine Craig 02/10/13
My or my. Well done and congrats!
Bea Edwards 02/11/13
You did a phenomenal job writing this modern day application of an ancient prophecy. Well done and congratulations on your win!