Tag Archives: The Prayer Journal

The Prayer Journal: Fading Into Smoke

The latest installment of my son’s online fiction series.  If you are just joining in, click here for the previous chapters.

LetsGoMarines

Thursday, November 15, 1917 – Faithfulness

“Hey, Brickman, what do ya think of all that fuss going on in Russia?”

Richie was sitting on his bunk and quickly closed the journal with a snap, sliding it under his pillow next to him. He turned to the marine who had addressed him. “What do you mean?”

“You know, the Bolsheviks, they took over their government a few days ago. Read in the paper that they’ve always been against the war. You don’t think they’ll pull out on us, do ya?” The soldier’s fingers pinched the cigarette out of his mouth as he blew a puff of smoke. The cloud dissipated into Richie’s face, but he’d been around the smell so much he hardly noticed.

“Well, if they do, that’s be a whole lot of freed-up Germans headed our way,” Richie replied. “I’m sure that’s what Kaiser Bill has been hoping for, so he doesn’t have his Huns fight on two fronts. But hey, by the time the Germans get here we’ll be on the line ourselves. Less targets for the Russians means more Huns for us.” Richie felt like kicking himself; he wanted to say something that sounded tough, but it came out sounding naïve.

The solider took another deep inhale of his cigarette and then flicked the glowing butt aside; it rolled till it hit Richie’s boot. The solider breathed out the smoke through his nose. “Yeah, I guess.” With that he stood to his feet and walked away.

Richie stared at the end of the cigarette next to his foot. He used to smoke. Used to drink and cuss, too. Gave them up after going to church. Sure, it had been hard, but he was a changed man.

The marines made that change a lot harder… (Read more)


The Prayer Journal: Le Cran

First-in-France

Saturday, November 3, 1917 – Conviction

Richie placed his pencil in the seam of the journal and lifted his eyes to the gray clouds that hovered over the French countryside. It had rained the past few days and looked like it was going to again. The days had been gray, that monotonous dullness of an earth that is undecided between a fall bare of leaves or a winter bare of snow. He missed home in Maine, although it probably looked similar.

Richie rotated his right shoulder, stretching the sore muscle from the long day of training. He had not had to do any trench exercises back in America; he couldn’t say he cared for them much. The French were lively trainers for the now small American Expeditionary Force, as rough as any sergeant he’d had yet. They seemed to fancy charges and bayonets, but he’d take any training he could get. After all, they had been the ones fighting this war for over three years now.

“Hey, Brickman,” a voice called. Richie looked over to see another private holding out a cup to him. “Tea?”

“Sure.” Richie took the cup and nodded a thanks. He had never drunk so much tea in his life. May had always fancied it, but Richie had not ever seen the appeal. The taste was growing on him, though.

Private Richard Brickman, 6th Marines, AEF. We’ve been here in France for a few weeks now. Days are long and they are working us hard. The French are trying to ready us up for the fight. They’re tough, but seem pretty well spent. Can’t say I blame them.

Actually writing in the journal was somewhat surreal. He had been spending the past months reading the entries May and her grandfather had made. Her grandfather was… (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal is a fiction blog series written by my son.  If you are just joining in, click here to read the previous chapters.


The Prayer Journal: Part 8 – Go in Peace

The 8th installment of my son’s online fiction series.

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“So, Virginia?”

Richie dropped his bags on the wooden walkway and turned to face May who stood inquisitively looking back at him. She was wearing a blue dress and her usual white sun hat. She looked gorgeous; her hair was in curls and her cheeks were rosy.

“That’s what they tell me, Teach. Orders are to meet there and join the other recruits who are making up the 6th Marine Regiment.”

May nodded and smirked. “I’m sad I’ll miss seeing you in your uniform. I am sure you’ll look dashing as a marine.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to wear it for you when I get back.”

“You better.”

Richie could see May’s gaze fall on the train that stood behind him. Her forced cheerful expression began to crack and show the anxiety within. Richie placed his hand… (read more)

 

If you are just tuning in, click here for the other installments.


The Prayer Journal: Part 7 – Unmade Choices

I was on vacation and am in the process of catching up.  Here is the 7th installment of my son’s fiction blog series.

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May plopped into her desk chair and stared out her room window. Now that school was over, she had taken a temporary job as a store clerk for the summer. It had been an especially long day and all she wanted to do was relax. She let her mind rest as she stared blankly out into the Maine countryside.

After a few moments, May sighed and pulled out her journal. She reached for her pen.

Monday, June 18, 1917

“May!” Mrs. Branson’s voice called from downstairs, interrupting her writing.

May sighed again and placed the pen next to the book. Going out of the room and to the top of the stairs, she called back, “Yes?”

“Richie’s here to see you, dear,” Mrs. Branson replied with the hint of a smile in her voice…. (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal: Part 1 – To Continue a Legacy

The Prayer Journal: Part 2 – Doves and Serpents

The Prayer Journal: Part 3 – Diligence But No Direction

The Prayer Journal: Part 4 – Sweet Answers

The Prayer Journal: Part 5 – What Is Best

The Prayer Journal: Part 6 – Register to Bravery

 

 


The Prayer Journal: Part 6 – Register to Bravery

The 6th installment of my son’s fiction blog series.

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Tuesday, June 5, 1917 – Courage

“What’s that book, Teach?” Richie asked. May turned her gaze from her journal to look at him from under the shade of her sun hat. Richie was squinting from the glaring sunlight, dressed in his suit with his hands casually in his pants pockets. His flat cap did little to keep out the sun, but it looked fetching on him.

“My grandfather’s journal,” May replied. “Since he passed, it’s passed to me. I haven’t written anything for a few weeks and thought I would probably have time today.”

“Journal, huh?” Richie asked. He grinned and looked at her sideways. “Am I in there?”… Read more

 


The Prayer Journal: Part 5 – What Is Best

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Monday, May 14, 1917 – Wisdom

May lifted her pen from the page and her eyes from looking at her desk. She quickly scanned her classroom of students who were applying themselves diligently to the spelling test she had handed them moments before. She smirked. When May had been a student she had not realized tests were as much for the teachers as they were for the classroom. Silence is a beautiful thing.

Taking advantage of this rare reprieve, she took a moment to consider the events of the past weekend. The parade had been wonderful, although she was not sure if she would have felt the same if she had not spent it with Richie. Sure, he wasn’t perfect, but his imperfections only attracted her to him more. One example was his overly talkative nature; that was all the better for May as she preferred listening anyway. Their conversations that day had felt so natural, so normal that it was startling. In a good way, of course.

I’ve noticed that I rarely pray for wisdom when events go awry. Usually in a difficult time I know what I lack: faith, patience, submission, or something else like that. Yet when my path is dry and sunny my plea is wisdom without fail. I wonder why?

“God will grant you what you request, but it usually isn’t in the way you think, just to remind you that He’s God and you’re not,” her grandfather used to say. “When you realize you need faith, God requires that you believe He will give it. When you realize you need patience, God will see if you’re willing to wait on Him for it. When you realize you need to know how to pray… (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal: Part 4 – Sweet Answers

The Prayer Journal: Part 3 – Diligence But No Direction

The Prayer Journal: Part 2 – Doves and Serpents

The Prayer Journal: Part 1 – To Continue a Legacy

 


The Prayer Journal: Part 4 – Sweet Answers

The 4th installment of my son’s fiction blog series.

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May’s bedroom door flew open as she entered, lit lantern in hand. Her face glowed like the firelight she held. Closing the door so the latch clicked into place, she practically raced to her desk where her journal lay open from the writing earlier that day before she had left for dinner. She sat down and picked up her pen. Her smile beamed as she brought her pen down to write, but then hesitantly she halted.

She leaned back in her chair and laughed. “When I have problems, I’m as well-spoken as Billy Sunday. And now when I can’t keep from smiling, I have no words to say.”

May shook her head and started writing anyway; she could at least start with her date.

Monday, May 7, 1917 –

She left the space blank where she would normally write her topic of prayer. Before her dinner it was clear what she needed. Now that her prayer had been answered, what should her prayer be?… (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal: Part 3 – Diligence But No Direction

The Prayer Journal: Part 2 – Doves and Serpents

The Prayer Journal: Part 1 – To Continue a Legacy

 


The Prayer Journal: Diligence But No Direction

The third installment of my son’s fiction blog series.

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Monday, May 7, 1917 – Direction

Mr. Branson came home with a telegram today, couldn’t wait to show Mrs. Branson. It was from their son, George. Told them he enlisted to help end all this fuss over in Europe. Mr. Branson was so proud. He’s been in a fine mood since he got home.

A knock rapped at May’s door. She placed her pen next to her journal. “Come in.”

The door creaked open. Mrs. Branson poked her head through. “Dinner in about fifteen minutes, dear.”

“Thank you, ma’am,” May replied. She noted the tense expression. “Need any help?”

“Oh, no, not tonight. I’ve been in such a tizzy since Mr. Branson came home my hands are happy to have something to work with.” Mrs. Branson nervously rubbed them together, then realizing she had betrayed her emotions… (Read more)

 

The Prayer Journal: Part 1 – To Continue a Legacy

The Prayer Journal: Part 2 – Doves and Serpents

 


The Prayer Journal: Doves and Serpents

Part 2 of my son’s fiction blog series. If you missed Part 1, click here.

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Thursday, May 3, 1917 – Discretion

“Actions are like tools,” Grandpa used to say. “Necessary to be productive, but more than useless in the wrong production. Don’t take your paintbrush when you go to build a house, and keep your hammer home when working on glass.” If only life was that easy.

May placed her pen back on her desk for a moment while she took a sip from her cup. Still steaming, the chamomile tea was brewed strong, the bold, relaxing flavor just how she liked it. The hot liquid warmed her throat as it went down. Contentedly she smiled as she placed the cup next to the kerosene lamp that lit her bedroom. Though it was small, May was happy to have a room in the boardinghouse to herself. She liked the other young women that lived there as well as Mr. and Mrs. Branson, the estate owners, but solitude is often priceless.

“Pray with your door closed and your heart open,” May’s grandfather had said. “God doesn’t call you to pray… (read more)

 


The Prayer Journal – Part 1

My son has written a fiction blog series as part of Prayer Button‘s fundraising efforts. Here is the first installment: The Prayer Journal: To Continue a Legacy.

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Tuesday, May 1st, 1917 – His Will

May’s pen rose gently from the journal’s page to let the ink dry. She squinted, her chestnut-brown eyes studying the words she had written. She wasn’t going to take this lightly; the words had to be perfect. The book now being passed to her to fill its pages, May felt the duty of continuing in the spirit of her grandfather’s record of prayers.

She had started just as she was told: the date first, then her request. “Your prayer ought to be focused, like a bullet,” her grandfather used to say. “Stop this nonsense of praying for everything and anything just because you think you should. Pray what’s on your heart. That’s what God’s gonna hear best anyway.”

“Grandpa!” May remembered scolding him when she was younger. “I can’t leave other people out just to pray for what I want.”

He just smiled wisely and winked. “Then they’re on your heart, aren’t they? If you can’t leave them out of your prayers, that’s when you know you care. Remember that. You’ll know how much you love by how much you pray. But don’t pray for what you don’t care about just to avoid feeling guilty. And if you do feel guilty, just care more so you can pray more. Be focused!”

With the words she had written still imprinted in her mind, she turned to gaze out her window at the cool spring scenery that made up the setting of her 21st birthday. The Maine countryside was barely beginning to blush with the buds of new birth. The air held that comforting scent of day-old rain, that aura she loved about living in the country.   Read more…


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