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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)

TITLE: A Life Well-Written
By Sarah Heywood


A Life Well-Written

I am a reader. I have been in love with words since my preschool years when I taught myself to read. While my first grade classmates struggled to sound out the simple syllables that would describe Dick and Jane’s antics, I had already read ahead and discovered that the sibling duo didn’t get any more interesting as the reader progressed!

My childhood summers were spent curled up on my bed as I delighted in the antics of Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Trixie Belden, and Heidi of the Switzerland Alps - just to name a few. By the time I was an adult I had consumed hundreds of books. When my brothers acted up, they got sent to their rooms. When I acted up, I lost my books! I didn’t act up very often.

As an adult, my love affair with reading has continued. My husband has snorted in disgust more than once after he thought he was talking to me, only to discover that I had my nose buried in a book the entire time. I keep a book in nearly every room of the house and my chief luxury is my nightly bubble bath, reading material included!

So, it’s not surprising that I tend to think in “literary” terms. One thought I’ve had frequently over the years is about how I regard my life. When a new beginning occurs, I’ll comment, “A new chapter has begun.” Just the same, when I’ve come to the end of a season of life, I’ll think in terms of, “A chapter has ended.” Just like the books I devour, my life is a manuscript of sorts.

As I think about this manuscript of my life I can’t help but ponder about how I want it to read. I have read some books that were so wonderful and convicting that I thought about them long after I had closed the back cover. A few I have read numerous times because they were so thought-provoking. Some inspired me to think differently and even to make some life changes. I want the manuscript of my life to be the same.

The beginning of my manuscript starts the same as everyone else’s, with the date and description of my birth. It will end the same as everyone else’s will, too, with the date of my death. But it’s the pages between that will tell the story. My greatest desire is that when my story is read, my readers will see Jesus. There are numerous chapters in my manuscript as events changed in my life. There are sad parts of the book, exciting parts, a little adventure, and probably a bit too much drama. But through the changes, the constant factor has been my relationship with Christ and how He carried me through, chapter to chapter. This is my deepest desire as my manuscript is being written, day by day.

Thinking along these same lines, it also occurred me to me awhile ago that while my own life is a manuscript in the writing process, I am also writing four other pieces. You see, I am a mother and while my children are mine, particularly during their growing-up years, I am writing upon their lives. Ultimately, my children will be responsible for their own manuscript. But I like to think that they are also my message to future generations. As I “write” upon my children - passing on my values, instilling character within them, training them to love and serve the Lord - I am influencing not only them, but their children and their children’s children. It is an awesome responsibility and so often I wish I had a bigger “eraser” for all the mistakes I have made along the way.

So what are you writing today? Will your manuscript be one that is a pleasant read, but perhaps one without a great deal of substance? Or will etched into every line be the story you want handed down to your descendents - the story of a life surrendered completely to the One who created it?

Write wisely.

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This article has been read 376 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon05/06/10
I love your twist for a manuscript. In a way our life is a manuscript. I enjoyed this very much. Thank you.
AnneRene' Capp 05/07/10
This was very well thought out and it showed as much as it provoked. I enjoyed this very much.
Jan Ackerson 05/07/10
Wow, there's a lot here that could have been written about me!

This is well-done...I'd love to see who's written this. If you've not done fiction before for the Challenge, I'd love to see what you could do with it.
Joanne Sher 05/08/10
This is beautifully written, and such a lovely metaphor. I'm also quite curious as to who wrote this. Very nice.
Eliza Evans 05/09/10
I enjoyed reading this so much. It brought back memories. Very well put today and a pleasure to read.
Good writing!

One thing. Use two hyphens or better yet, an emdash — in places where you have put a single hyphen. A single hyphen is not correct and would not please Grammar Girl. :)

Love your title and message!