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Outside Lookin' In. I choregraphed my dance try-out to this song! my fav. of Lori's songs!:)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Chapter One of my book "As the Galloping of the Horse"


Chapter 1

Magdalyn Zeporah Alliga was just like any other regular Homeschool girl down the street.  She was two months into her freshman year. Maggie was almost five foot six with long legs, no braces yet, and thick glasses.  She dreaded her glasses and wished she didn’t have to wear them even though no one made fun of her for wearing them.  She was fifteen and the oldest of six children. 
Cody Z, for Zechariah, was the oldest boy of the family and 12 years old.  The next oldest was Heidi, a petite quiet girl of nine years who loved to read and ride her horse, Paul Revere. 
Lucine Francis was 7 years old, but everyone called her “Frucy.”  When she was a baby, Heidi couldn’t say “Lucy,” and the name stuck! Melody Ann, nicknamed Anna-Le’, was four years old and loved playing with her dollies.  And, last but not least, the youngest was two-year-old Quincy.
Maggie was affectionately known as ‘Mag’ or ‘Maggie’ by her friends and family and didn’t mind it one bit. In fact, it was one of the few things she did like about herself.  
However, she didn’t like her looks, her habits, and most everything else about herself.  She wished she could say a magic word and transform herself into someone prettier… someone more intelligent perhaps! Then, when she was studying Biology, she wouldn’t feel so dumb when she tried hopelessly to answer the Review Questions after each section. 
She wished she was more graceful when she attempted a forte in Ballet Class and not clumsy and ridiculous.  And Maggie didn’t even want to think about the time that her bloomers fell down in class in front of everybody! How embarrassing!!
She didn’t want to grow too much taller.  Maggie wished she would grow exactly one more inch and a quarter to hit 5’7”.  She was unhappy with her face and unhappy with her arms. She told herself they were too skinny and that she was too skinny.  Certainly like all good mothers say, Mrs. Alliga would tell her, “You’re beautiful, honey.  Stop doubting yourself.  God made you perfect the way you are!” 
But every time Maggie went to the mirror in her bathroom, she saw anything…but perfect.  How could anyone love her for who she was when she grew up?  Wouldn’t she have to put on eyeliner and mascara and straighten her hair and get contacts to be anyone even worth noticing? 
Should she wear shorter skirts or the latest fashion?  Never mind that her mom and dad had certain rules about wearing conservative clothing that honored God.  And what about her teeth?  They weren’t perfect either.  Maggie smiled self-consciously, thinking that others saw her as flawed, as imperfect.  But really…there was a feeling of inadequacy that she just couldn’t put her finger on.
Truly, it was a struggle on the inside.  Was she worthy?  Where should she find her worth?!  She felt like her heart was sometimes too sensitive to what other girls said about Jesus.  The world was all around her, bombarding her with the wrong thoughts, images, and perfection expected.
Maggie knew she must not be conformed to the world, but she must be transformed…but she couldn’t transform herself.  She needed help. She was going to stay the way she was made, and she had to live with herself knowing that…unless God continued the work He had started.
“Anna-Le, stop throwing your M&Ms at my new bedspread Grandma gave me and go out of my room!  You too, Frucy!  Mom won’t let you have your fifty cents for doing all your school and chores if you keep it up.”  Maggie blew the eraser bits and brushed them aside from her Algebra page.
            “Heidi!  Stop encouraging them, and make them go out!  I have to get this done before Dad gets home for Bible time tonight.”  It was Wednesday night, Family Bible Time. Already, it was 5:30 and Maggie still had ten problems to do in her Algebra.  It was her last subject of the day.   From downstairs a new aroma floated deliciously into her room. Her nostrils filled and she inhaled deeply and sighed.  Smells like hollandaise sauce with bread sticks and butter.  Arms crossed, Frucy snorted from behind her. 
“I don’t have to go out because Mom said to come and tell you its time to eat.  Dad got here two minutes ago,” Maggie panicked.  Oh great!  He’s here already!  I should have gotten this done before I e-mailed Alena this morning.  I knew better than to waste time!  Maggie slammed her book shut and hurried to her bathroom to wash her hands and change into a new shirt before dinner.  She didn’t want her dad to see her in her old shirt because it had a few chicken feathers and some cat hair on it from playing outside with the animals earlier.
              “Maggie!”  Her dad called. 
            “Yes sir!  Coming!”   Maggie darted a fed-up glare toward Frucy, but melted when she saw Anna-Le’s pudgy little lips and big, gleaming blue eyes imploring hers in a pleading way.
            “Oh, okay sisters…lets eat.”  Maggie took Anna-Le’ by the hand as Frucy trotted like a haughty little stallion behind them.  Her little horsy hat fit her well.
            “You found the circumference on #15?”  Mrs. Alliga questioned.  Maggie heaped her plate with hollandaise sauce and green beans and laid a buttered breadstick beside the hot steaming goodness. 
            “Yes, ma’am, I finished that one twenty minutes ago.  I’m working on #27.”
“You’re close then,” Mr. Alliga commented, daring a lopsided smile at his eldest daughter.  “You’ll finish it, Mag!  I know you will.” 
Maggie nodded and felt her face growing warm beneath her father’s exhortation.  Her father had always been her biggest encourager, a fact that was plainly shown every day.  Ever since she was a little girl of perhaps three or four, he had softly called her ‘Mag.’ It was almost as if she shared a special bond with her dad.  She knew that her father loved all the kids just the same, but she was the oldest!  Perhaps she felt the closest to him because there was fewer years between them…less space to separate them. 
            “Pass the apples, please!”  Cody repeated in a sharp tone to Maggie.  Maggie jolted awake into her real world of family mealtime life and handed him the bowl of apples.
            “Sorry, Cee-bo…” She mumbled.
            “Let’s say a prayer first,” Mr. Alliga broke in, and all the children froze in mid-action as soon as the words came out of his mouth. Uh, oh!  Maggie paused in mid-sip of her icy, banana-chocolate-cinnamon shake.  Mrs. Alliga’s had to strain herself not to smile as she caught Maggie’s flushed face from the corner of her eye. 
Mr. Alliga cleared his throat and began, “Dear Heavenly God, we love You.  Thank You for our food that You’ve blessed us with.  Please guide our hearts with love and let this day be filled with Your Spirit of Truth.  Let Your Name be lifted through us.  In Jesus name, Amen.”  Choruses of ‘Amen’ rang out from all sides and corners of the cherry wooden table. 
From all sides and corners… Maggie thought.  She groaned...  Geometry.  It seemed to her as though everything now involved calculations and thinking.  Hard thinking. Deep thinking.
            “Mag, could you get two more ice trays?”  Maggie closed her eyes and pinned her lips tight to keep from crying out.  Two!  Numbers, numbers, numbers!  Is there nothing else in this world?  Heidi, Maggie’s younger sister and next in line, watched Maggie closely, her face looking concerned.  Ignoring her little sister’s suspicion, Maggie rose from her chair and thumped to the freezer to find two ice trays.  Because they used them so much, there were a few cracks on the sides as they had seen better days.
            “Heidi is learning about dividing by threes and fours in her math now…isn’t that right, Heidi?”  Mrs. Alliga smiled proudly over at her daughter and fourth-grade school student. Heidi nodded wordlessly through her mouthful of breadstick. 
Frucy pouted, “I’m only learning ‘bout four plus four and six plus one and stuff.”  She glared over at Heidi.  I wanna learn ‘bout di---divi—di....”
“Di-VI-sion,” Maggie clarified. 
            “Yeah.  Dis-vis---oh whatever that thing is!” Frucy huffed.  Mr. Alliga grinned slightly as he dabbed the corners of his mouth with his napkin.
            “And what about American History?  Cody Z, what’s up in History?”  Cody had been absolutely silent the entire time thus far, save for the occasional ‘Please pass the peas!’, Please pass the breadsticks!’  When Mr. Alliga called on him, he was in mid-chew of a gi-normous spoonful of fresh buttered peas from the garden.  He nearly choked on them in sudden surprise.
              “Abraham—“ His eyes watered and his face was reddened like a beet as he pounded his fist into his chest, coughing and choking all at once on his peas.  “Lincoln.  He—was—the—president—in—World War—II.” 
            Mrs. Alliga held up her hands. “Hold your hands above your head and stop talking.  You’re going to choke.”
             “I – am – choking!”
“Civil War,” Mr. Alliga commented, correcting his son’s error in history. “The Civil War was eighty years before World War II.” 
            “Right, dad. Yes, sir!”  Cody gasped as he chugged down the rest of his shake.  Maggie had been wiping her plate as clean as a napkin would allow during all the conversing between her parents and siblings to pass the time, and now it was shredding into little bits.  Mrs. Alliga finally noticed her and nodded. 
            “You may be excused to finish your math, Maggie.  Then come down for Bible Time at eight o’clock.”
            “Me wanna do ma--ss!”  Quincy piped up randomly from his wooden highchair as he threw his spoon toward Maggie’s head.  The spoon projectile sailed through the air in a perfect arc until it hit its destination with excellent accuracy.
              “Ouch!”  Maggie shrieked and winced as she rubbed her forehead.  Little Quincy giggled and wiggled and giggled and wiggled.  Suddenly, Quincy and his chair rocked over backwards.  Thankfully, Mrs. Alliga caught the chair before it hit the tile and splintered into a million pieces with baby and all. 
Holding a frozen water bottle to her forehead, Maggie trudged up the carpeted stairs to her bedroom to finish her last three equations.  My last subject for tonight…I have to get done fast! 
She opened the door to her room and her eyes fell to a fallen, green M&M that had bounced off her bedspread from her sister’s throwing spasms earlier and had hidden itself under the corner of the pink rug.  She plucked it up and slid the tiny colorful chocolate into her mouth, then flopped onto her bed to finish the rest of her math. 
            “I can scarcely wait till tomorrow,” she breathed aloud, and laughed at herself.  She would go to ballet class tomorrow at two o’clock and not get back home till about five thirty, after three grueling classes of blood, sweat, and tears. 
But it was worth it!  Oh… so worth it, for she loved dancing as much as she loathed algebra and biology.  She would survive these last three problems in math, then dream about the beautiful ballerina that she wished she was, and pray that she would one day  become. 
She wanted to star as the main character in the next show, one year from now.  One year.  Was one year enough to transform herself into a magnificent, picturesque dancer without a single flaw; no glasses, no scratches on her legs from those nasty blackberry bushes from walks in the woods.  No acne, no clumsy attempts at pirouettes, no low leaps or sad-looking arm coordination… 
She knew she had exactly one year to impress her teachers, to prove to her classmates and everyone watching that she was now becoming a swan.  No longer the ugly duckling.  She knew that she had exactly one year to prove to herself that she was worth something…that she was worthy of being the star of the show…that she was valuable at something in her life. 

One year.  One year.  Maggie sighed, the number one reminding her of the numbers that waited for her within the equations on her math page. 
            “All right, I’m done with you!”  She grumbled, staring at the big, fat ugly math book.  “But only because I want to get done so I can practice on my ballet barre downstairs.”  One year. 







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Samantha Anne

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"Now, therefore," Says the Lord, "Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping.."

"Now, therefore,"  Says the Lord, "Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping.."
Joel 2:12