Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Writing Contest Winner!…(and podcast tomorrow night)

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Congratulations to eleven-year-old Hannah Weight of Germantown, Tennessee! She’s the winner of the Colley House International Writing Contest for Kids. You can read her story, set in the year 1929, below. (Hannah, look for your prize gift card and trophy to arrive in the next three weeks. We’re getting your trophy custom made.)

We had great participation and every single story was well done. The judging was done in a U.S. state from which we received no submissions and the entries were judged without any accompanying identifying marks. I want to encourage every participant to keep writing. You can all do some good things in various creative avenues, but particularly in expressing God’s truths to those who need Him. That’s a pretty important responsibility for those who are gifted writers.

Before you read the story, be sure to make your plan to be with us tomorrow night for the live edition of the October Digging Deep podcast.  It starts at 7 CST and you can join us on Facebook or Livestream. We hope you will choose Livestream, so you can participate in the live chat. There’s some very rich material about our Lord’s authority in the books of Colossians and Hebrews. I’ve been blessed for sure in the listing of the characterizations of Jesus. Nouns like “Sanctifier,” “High Priest,” “Ruler,” “Captain,” “Author” and “Sufferer” are filling my mind when I meditate through my days and even when I awaken through the night. He is more than worthy of my submission to His authority. Here’s the link:

Now for the winning entry:

I always knew that I was born into the wrong century. I mean, who wants to be born during a world war? Yep, that’s me: Samantha Rose Davidson. I was born on November 11, 1917. But when I was little, I had no idea that after 1918, my birthday was the anniversary of the war’s end. In fact, when I was five, I thought that the neighborhood celebrations that happened every year on my birthday, were all for me. I know better now, but my Ma won’t let me forget when on my fifth birthday, I demanded that everyone sing happy birthday to me right before the fireworks, and everyone burst out laughing. 

Now it’s the year 1929. At times, I wish that I could skip forward a hundred years.  I’ll bet that everyone gets ice cream every day! Just thinking of all that ice cream inspires me to become an inventor so I can build a time machine.

Right now, though, instead of an inventor, I help my Ma with her job as a maid in the fancy Red Diamond Hotel. Besides that, I go to school, go to church and take care of my brother Nathaniel and my baby sister Grace. Loads of work every day. And it doesn’t help that Nathaniel has a weak heart and is always trying to sneak in races with the other boys. Last Friday, we came home to see Nathaniel panting and gasping for air, and looking extremely guilty, because every Friday they have races for the boys after school, and Nathaniel tries to drop in every few races.

 Recently I had been helping my Ma scrub the second floor in the Red Diamond. I sure do hate the work, but Mr. Kimsam, the manager of the hotel, will give me ten cents if I work for an hour after school. So, at 4:00 on the dot, Ma got her dollar and I got my ten cents. As we were walking home, I thought of all the stuff that I could buy; candy, a notebook, and I also had my eye on a fancy pen that my friend, Kate, had gotten on Tuesday.

All thoughts of candy and notebooks flew out of my head however, when we entered our apartment and saw Nathaniel passed out by the sink. “Oh no! Samantha go get a doctor! Hurry!” Ma cried, even as I was out the door and running. I was back with Dr. Greens before you could say ‘peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’ three times fast. 

After a few minutes of examining him, Dr. Greens told Ma, “I think he’s had a heart attack Mrs. Davidson. I’ll have to take him down to the hospital for a while.” Ma nodded and told me to watch over Grace while she was gone.  When she got back, she told me that yes, Nathaniel had had a heart attack. We sat crying for a while, and then we both went to bed.

 The next couple of days, Ma spent most of her time with him in the hospital, and I took care of Grace and the apartment. I also took over Ma’s job at the Red Diamond Hotel. I had to scrub floors, clean the hotel rooms, wash sheets, and I even had to cook a little. It was about as fun as trying to give our neighbor’s cats a bath.

Then it got worse. One afternoon, Kate told me that my Ma had contracted scarlet fever from one of the other patients. Kate’s Ma works as a nurse in the hospital, and was now taking care of her.

Now that Ma wouldn’t be coming home to watch over Grace, our neighbor, Miss Pailey, would watch over her till I got back from work. Then when I put Grace to bed, I would try to catch up with my schoolwork, but I soon gave that up as it took away precious sleep.

So, the weeks flew by. With me working hard at the hotel, coming home to care for Grace, and occasionally visiting Nathaniel and Ma, there isn’t much time to do anything else. But every week, with a little money that I put aside, I try to find and buy something for Ma and Nathaniel; Nathaniel usually gets dinosaur books, and Ma will get magazines and newspapers. One week, I even found a box of chocolates for only 50 cents, for them to share. 

The chocolate and the doctor’s medicine must be doing both of them a lot of good, because Ma is gradually getting better, and Nathaniel should come home any day now. As long as they’re okay, I can go without ice cream, and I’ll leave time machines to some one else. I think I want to be a doctor, now. After all, doctors saved Nathaniel’s and Ma’s life. I’d like to do that for other people. Now that I think about it, I have so many ideas on how I could help other people by trying to bring about healing sooner so patients can return home to their families sooner.  I just hope that when I am old enough to be a doctor, I’ll find that I am in just the right century, a century that will need me.

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