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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)

TITLE: Heart Song
By Catrina Bradley
07/18/07


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Daphne was dressed for work in one of her favorite suits, and she was wearing her new fuchsia blouse for the first time. She stood transfixed at the kitchen window, marveling at the snowstorm of small, white blossoms dancing through the back yard. Her eyes were wide with delight; a small laugh, almost a giggle, escaped. She drew so close to the big window that her excited breathing fogged her view. She moved to the left and back a hair so she wouldn’t miss a step of nature’s ballet.

Thank you for spring, Father. Thank you beauty so abundant it blows in the wind and drifts in the gutters.

The morning was getting away from her. Still smiling, she bent to scratch Lady’s head. “Let’s get you fed, sweetie. Mommy’s gotta go!” The dachshund trotted at her heels as Daphne crossed the floor to the cabinet where she kept the kibbles and treats. Daphne began singing as she filled Lady’s bowl. The chorus to the song that was playing when she’d shut off the radio was in her head. ”I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands, for You are who You are no matter where I am…”

God, I do praise you in my storm. In the gloom of my days, You are my Sunshine. I trust You to guide me.

Another miserable day at the office loomed. She grabbed her things and headed to the door. Out of habit born of necessity, she stopped at the threshold to go over her checklist. Keys, lunch, purse, bag. Check. The song played on in her heart as she started her car and opened the garage door. ” …and every tear I've cried You hold in your hand…”

Thank you, Jesus, for being right there with me, holding me, when life’s circumstances get me so down I want to give up.

Daphne backed out of the garage, humming. The ornamental grass and fir trees that lined the curb were overgrown, and she had only an instant of visibility before her rear bumper cleared the brick mailbox and entered the street. She crept backward, peering down the street through the narrow gap. Her snail-like speed made it easy to stop before she blocked the path of the oncoming Camry that jerked to a stop. Whew. Thanks, God. That was close! As the adrenaline rush abated, she and the driver played “You go. No you go,” for a minute. Daphne finally stuck her arm out the open window and motioned the driver on. ”You never left my side, and though my heart is torn, …hmm hmm mmm..”

Thirty-five miles, 75 minutes, and 35,000 disgruntled road-mates later, Daphne climbed the steps to her second floor office. The receptionist looked up with a hesitant smile. Daphne knew that look.

“I will praise You in this storm…”

“Good morning, Daphne! I hate to bug you so soon, but…”

“Oh, Daphne, good, you’re here. Come see me when you get a minute. I need…”

“Daphne? It is you. Good, I need help with…”

From down the hall, Daphne heard the distinctive ring of her inter-office line.

Daphne sang under her breath as she strode to her desk to start another day.

”I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”



The author has been profoundly blessed by the ministry of Casting Crowns, and would like to personally them for the use of their lyrics from ”Praise You In This Storm” in this autobiographical sketch, and for the impact their music has had on my life.


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This article has been read 896 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Leigh MacKelvey07/19/07
Beautifully written with right-on descriptions and characterization. Goes to show that constant singing of praise can be a weapon against frustration, boredom,and just anything! Praise and thanks bring about an abundance of life.
Joanne Sher 07/19/07
Great detail and expert weaving of the lyrics into the story. This felt completely authentic. Wonderful.
Kate Wells07/19/07
A wonderful description of how one centers themselves in His joy during the mundane trials of life. I loved it!
I like Casting Crowns, too~
I'll have that song in my head all afternoon now...Kate~
Patty Wysong07/19/07
I love how you wove the song in with the story. Great description and detail showing her happiness stemmed out of her focus. Good reminder for us to focus on God!! Good job!! :D
Seema Bagai 07/21/07
A beautifully written piece using one of my favorite songs. Great job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/23/07
This exeplifies a wonderful way to use a song as a prayer in the midst of a busy life. I love your descriptions.
Benjamin Graber07/23/07
That song is one of my favorites... I really enjoyed the story of how it has impacted you...
Lynda Schultz 07/23/07
Lovely piece of writing. Who says that the words of a song really don't impact our lives — a message to song-writers and those who sing the songs.
Dee Yoder 07/23/07
I like the way you describe your ordinary morning in an inspirational way! Very nice story.
Sharlyn Guthrie07/23/07
I can truly relate to this, because music has such an impact on my life and my outlook. My day goes so much better if I've had my praise music (and caffeine, of course) in the morning! Great job.
Mariane Holbrook07/23/07
I love the way you handled this. It's descriptive and beautiful and I have a feeling the judges are going to look very favorably on this one. Very well done!
Betty Castleberry07/25/07
Very good reminder that we do need to praise God in the storms of life. You illustrated this point well. Nicely done.
Loren T. Lowery07/25/07
Love your writing style and the way you illustrate how we can bring God and praise into our everyday lives. I especially like this because it is so, so true!
Sara Harricharan 07/25/07
A heartsong indeed. I like how the music helps Daphne throughout the day and how it keeps her going. This is a great tribute to true happiness. Good job. ^_^
Kristen Hester07/25/07
I really like Casting Crowns,also. They are great in concert.

Your story is a great reminder of how being happy is choice. We should do things to improve our attitude. Christian music is one great way. Thanks. I enjoyed this.
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/04/09
hehe, I actually found a link to this story on Google when I was looking for the name of that song. I love that song, too!