December 24, 2011

The Wall #29

Jenny MatlockWith generous heart, our inspiration from Jenny Matlock includes a 200 word limit plus the 11 word prompt for a total allowance of 211 words.  We're fast drawing to the end of 2011 with this Christmas Eve challenge and it warms my heart to wish you all a very blessed Christmas!
Please click on the button to the left to join Jenny and all her friends as we answer the prompt with our individual interpretations, inspired by her words and style.  Maybe you'll want to write you own little story and link it up to Saturday Centus as well.
Jenny, it's been a pleasure participating each week for the past 28 weeks and being challenged by you with your variety of prompts, writing styles and photos and by my own desire to write a continuing tale that ties them all together. Thank you!
Thank you all for following along and encouraging me in my effort to find the writer within myself.  So, without further delay, here is this week's continuation of The Wall.

~ We strolled through the village toward the inn. A rather homey place where everybody knew everybody else, warily allowing tourists into their ranks. Yet, somehow, it seemed I had made a niche for myself with the innkeeper's family.
As we drew near the inn, a couple of men rounded the corner. Seeing us, they started but continued walking. I recognized them as the men from the pub.  They'd probably realized by now that they'd been sent on a wild goose chase by the mystery voice in the old house. It made me chuckle to think of that, now.
Just then, we heard piano music drifting from the inn.
Suddenly, as if on cue, a car roared around the corner from the school, blowing it's horn. It careened toward us. We jumped out of the way. As it raced past, I could see that the driver was wearing a ski mask.
Folks came from nearly every store and home to see what was happening, chattering and yelling after the crazed driver.
Just then, I heard an angel voice through the chaos and the noise; it's gentle, pure song purging all the negativity from the moment. We were all reminded that this was a special night indeed. The night that Christ was born.  ~

A Very Merry Christmas to You and Yours!
God Bless us, Everyone!

December 17, 2011

The Wall #28

Jenny MatlockIn the spirit of the holiday season, Jenny's given us a picture prompt that made me smile and a 50 word limit.  Click on her button to the left to see what others are writing or to link up your own story inspired by Jenny's creative spirit and guidelines.

Join me for the continuation of an ongoing story...The Wall.  This little snippet might not make sense to you unless you've read the previous post.  You can do that here or go to The Wall page to read the story from the beginning.

~ We looked around the pub while we waited. Just down the bar was a small tree decorated with strips of bacon, bits of sausage and various meaty treats! Curious and comical at the same time, it piqued our interest. The bartender told us to help ourselves to this traditional fare. ~

December 15, 2011

Influences and Output

Romans 12:2
And be ye not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

I've been thinking about a lot of things lately.  
Mainly input and outcome.
What you put into something, anything, is directly proportional to what you get out of it. Almost.

Like what?

Like life, love, family name it.
What drives your day?  How do you plan for the immediate future or for times down the road?  We are a product of what we take into our mind, body and soul.  What comes out in our lives has a lot to do with what is put in.  Of course food and drink reflects on our appearance and health, but also books, movies, television- the people we spend time with - many things we can control but some things we can' abuse, tragedy, illness and death.  They all have a great deal of influence on the person we become.

Here's an example of something I've been thinking about.
A basically well behaved, well liked14 year old boy was having violent dreams that robbed him of sleep and left him feeling drained and uneasy all day.  His school work began to slip.  He was listless and spacey.  He was too tired to hang out with his friends.  He began to lose weight.  He was irritable and snapped at his family and friends.  All very unlike this normally friendly, fun to be around kid who had a loving family and good grades.

The scary part is that all this happened in the course of 3 weeks!

His parents were naturally worried and met with his teachers to see if there was anything unusual happening at school.  No one noticed anything except his strange behavior.  His parents knew most of his friends and welcomed them into their home.  They talked with their son but he couldn't put his finger on any negative changes in his life.
As most parents may do, they questioned the use of drugs although he'd always been against their use and encouraged kids at school who struggled with drug and alcohol abuse to stop before the "fun" became a habit.  There was no indication that he was involved with either drugs or alcohol.
He attended church regularly and was active in youth group until the last 2 weeks.  He said he didn't feel like going when, in the past, he couldn't wait for Sunday morning and Wednesday evening.

The nightmares and violent dreams continued.

One of his mom's friends suggested that they pray over his room since that was where they'd first noticed a problem.  After checking his room for possible indications of the cause and finding nothing, they prayed for their son and whatever was influencing him.  Later, his mom was putting away some laundry and found a new video game in his dresser, still in the wrapper. She'd never seen it before.  The cover showed mystical creatures, magical, violent confrontations with gore, and scantily clad women.  It made his mom uncomfortable just looking at it.  In the past, they had allowed games that contained seemingly harmless magic or fantasy but had ruled out games like this one.  When she asked her son about it, he told her that his friend had the game and loved it.  He'd given a copy of it to the boy about 3 weeks ago so they could play together.  But his friend had been busy with sports so he'd put it in his drawer and forgotten all about it.  
Remember that it was still in the shrink wrap?  He'd never played it and said that he hadn't played it at his friend's house either.  His mom removed the game from the house.

That night, the boy slept soundly.  His appetite returned and his grades improved.  As did his disposition and relationships.  He was back to his old self.

So what's going on here?

Imagine the influence things can have over us and we don't even realize it.

What are you filling your mind with?  Are the movies/TV shows you are watching or the music you listen to desensitizing you to the ways of the world?  What about videos games and books?  How about friends?  Remember that we are to hate the sin but love the sinner.  We have to be able to draw that line in the sand and say, "NO!"

I feel like we are fairly strict about what we allow our family to watch and listen to.  We've said, "NO!" to movies rated "R" for whatever reason.  Certainly by the standards of what's in the theaters and on television, we're pretty conservative.  I don't say this to pat myself on the back, merely as a frame of reference.  Are our shelves filled with all Christian movies and music?  NO!  Are there some that probably shouldn't be there?  yes.  Oldies from our teenage years are still some of our favorites.

What kinds of things are you allowing into you life?  How are they affecting you or the folks around you?
  Are you missing out on life because you're filling your life, your mind, your heart and home with things that steal your joy and pull you down?

So, yeah...I've been thinking about this a lot.  

Pondering My Meanderings,

December 10, 2011

The Wall #27

Jenny MatlockIt's been so much fun writing a little story line from Jenny's weekly prompt on Saturday Centus.  The idea is to read her prompt and the guidelines for each week's writing style and word limit, and create your own tale.  Then link it up to Saturday Centus along with the others who've chosen to participate. It's been amazing to see the different types of stories that come from the same starting point...some serious, some silly, some poetic, others free style.  Many are moving or strike a chord of camaraderie.
Click on the picture to the left and join us as we take on this week's challenge from our fearless leader!  We're allowed 100 words plus the prompt for a total of 107.

As you may know, I'm continuing a story, called The Wall, that I've been working on for 27 weeks.  To see where I'm coming from, or rather where I've been, please click here.

This week's centus...

~ My heart melted as I remembered that tender time, so long ago.
I sat still on my stool for a moment, frozen in time, wondering what to do, now. Then I thought, “You know, it doesn't have to be that way. It's what you've wanted all along. The outcome is up to you.”
Turning slowly on my stool, I looked into his eyes and said with a smile, “Yes, please...with ketchup.”
He smiled back, once again, in obvious relief. He pulled me close and held me tight. All the fear and frustration seemed to drain away. I knew everything would be alright. Now, I'm safe. ~

December 7, 2011

Ya know... sometimes you think you know someone and you take them for granted?  And then you see something in them that you didn't see before.  Like a light turned on and now they've taken on a whole new dimension...and it's all you can think about.
It's awesome to experience that and it's also awesome to watch.  So, me a hopeless romantic! you just know something's gonna happen and it does and you're like, "Whoa!" when someone gives you a big hug that you weren't expecting and it makes your whole day? you can tell that a person likes another person by the way they become better when that person is around? things can really tick you off about someone you like but don't bother you in a casual friend? sometimes you feel more at home in someone else's house than you do your own? it makes you feel good when your kid's friends willingly include you in a conversation or a game...or whatever? sad you feel when you think that someone is being treated badly and there's not really anything that you can do at that point? I'd like to win the lottery? other people don't raise their kids or care for their families in the same way that you do?  Not always better or worse...just different. I like to take in all my kids friends as if they were my own?  Does that bother anyone?  I hope not!
And, too bad, if it does! sometimes I like to ramble on about seemingly meaningless things?



I said that already!

December 5, 2011

beginning Chapter 3

After the growling and scratching had stopped and she heard the whining of the cubs moving away from the house, she moved toward the door again.

A shout from outside stopped her in her tracks.  She knew that villainous voice well and began to look for a place to hide.  There was a small storage space behind the chimney but it would be hot from baking all day.  Still, there wasn't any other choice.  As she drew the bottom of her skirt in after her and pulled the small dresser back against the wall from inside her hiding place, the door burst open.

Obviously expecting to find someone at home the intruder stopped quickly to look around the empty room.  Talking loudly as if to a companion, he said,
"Well, its obvious that someone lives here.  Look at the feast laid out for me!  I'll just help myself to some of this venison stew...."

She seethed with anger knowing that he was used to dining like this daily.  Her anger only increased her discomfort from the heat.

After gorging himself on her carefully prepared meal, the rogue threw his trencher into the fire and propped his muddy boots up on the table knocking over her bouquet of wild flowers from Philip.  He said loudly,
"I'll just wait for my host to return so I can thank them for this wonderful meal."

Shortly, he was sound asleep and snoring lustily.  Or so she thought.

As she pushed gently on the dresser in hopes of escaping from the house while he slept, she slowly wedged herself between the wall and the dresser.  As she stood quietly and moved from her shelter, he opened his eyes and stared at her with a malicious grin.

"Aha!  Methinks I've seen the likes of you before.  And I like what I see..."

He stood and moved to close the door and bolt it.  She stood frozen to the spot.  As he began to walk toward her, she snapped out of her reverie and looked around for something to defend herself.  Snatching the poker from the fireplace, she brandished it like a sword and stared at him defiantly.

He laughed and continued to move closer.  Just then the sound of hooves in the clearing made him spin around in surprise.  She made her move and landed a blow on the back of his head sending him crashing to the floor.
Meanwhile, Philip called from outside and hearing the commotion, pounded on the door.  When she didn't answer, he called to Dynny.

Even though she was intrigued by the handsome Philip and his gentlemanly ways, she wasn't used to trusting anyone.  Returning to her hiding place, she waited.

After hearing Philip mount his steed, she thought he'd go, but alas, he spoke softly to the horse and with a mighty whinny, Dynny reared up and his hooves slammed against the door, shattering the hinges.  Now they stood in the doorway, Philip stooping to assess the situation before dismounting.

Still peeking from behind the dresser, she wondered what to do.  When he saw the man on the floor, he stepped inside and looked around cautiously for the person who'd knocked him out.  Not seeing anyone, he stooped over the man to see if he was dead or merely wounded.  As the fellow groaned, Philip drew his sword and waited.  The man opened his eyes.  Startled at the sight of Philip's sword, he tried to get to his feet but fell down again.

"What is your name, Sir?", Philip asked.

Still groaning and holding his head, the man grumbled a sarcastic remark which Gwyneth couldn't make out.

Philip asked again and this time the fellow rolled over quickly and grabbed both of Philip's legs and pulled them out from under him.  Then he jumped up and grabbed Philip's sword only to feel the blow of the poker on the back of his head again.  Reeling around, he crumpled into a pile while Philip found himself, again, looking rather sheepishly at this mysterious maiden of the forest.

December 3, 2011

The Wall #26

Jenny MatlockJenny's up to some nasty tricks this week!  Click on the button to the left to read her challenge from her own blog and join the fun.
Our assignment is to write 16 words about when we were 16!  Only 16 words!!!!  So here it is....16 measly words from that crazy, mixed up, exciting year when I turned 16, as part of the ongoing story of The Wall.

~I was sixteen when I saw him for the first time. I smiled, he smiled back.~

Popular Meanderings