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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: Reflection
By Connie Husby


Brilliant sunshine crept through the blinds on that warm spring morning, as I leapt out of bed, knowing it would be a gorgeous day. Loons were echoing a distance away, and the sparkling lake was calm and serene looked like glass, very inviting. All I wanted was to forget about the sorrow and face the truth, but I knew it would take more than one night.

As the smell of fresh brewed coffee drew my senses inward, a tear gently trickled down my cheek as I took the first sip. I sat on our small but quaint redwood deck of our cabin, and felt numb from what had just happened a few weeks earlier. Focusing on how still the lake was, and listening to the loons call out to each other, calmed my anxious and wounded spirit.

Soon I was dressed, grabbed my hat and life jacket and took the canoe out, as it seemed to beckon me from the deck. Within minutes I was paddling, pausing, paddling, pausing and just allowed myself to drift and soak up God’s beauty. The perfect sky-blue color of the heavens radiated as the brilliant circle of sunlight arose in the vastness of space. I felt like the earth was standing still as the silence of the morning was almost deafening. As the morning progressed I could hear the sound of children squealing and fishing motors revving up in anticipation and high hopes of catching “the big one”.

Our faded yellow cabin was in clear view now as I approached shore. I pulled the canoe up on the sandy beach, not far off from the neighbor’s bunkhouse. The tantalizing aroma of bacon sizzling on the grill next door filled the air, as I clomped onto our deck and threw off my life-jacket. I waved to Dave and Anne and said good morning, and opened the screen door and aimed right for the refrigerator.

After eating some sliced strawberries, it was time to drag out the laptop and start writing my feelings down. Where would I begin? Tears streaming down my face, uncontrollably shaken with the thought of knowing I’d never see my father again. He died so suddenly, how could this happen, I didn’t say goodbye, how dare God take him away from our family. I started typing how I felt and yet was so consumed by grief I could hardly contain myself. Drenched keys and obviously a spirit within me broken beyond what I thought would be repairable. Yet, somehow I drew peace deep in my heart after sobbing for what seemed like a very long time.

Our Father in heaven, ever so gently placed that inner-strength I desperately needed to comfort me in my time of sorrow and grief. I just couldn’t imagine living without my dad whose humor, wit and never ending love I depended on was abruptly taken away. This can’t be I thought, it is just some horrible dream, but the truth is, he was gone. I needed to accept this and realize according to scripture dad was in heaven now breathing that pure heavenly air, walking and talking with Jesus.

That evening as the rip-roaring campfires began to crackle on both sides of our cabin I sat with the windows open and my bible on my lap, reading scripture here and there, I just felt numb. Feeling hurt and wounded I knew it would take time to heal, and at that point I just wanted to cry as I reflected on memories, good memories God had blessed me with.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Steve Uppendahl04/27/06
Very good, desriptive piece. I like how you play on more than one sense (visual, smell). Maybe throwing in some touch (cool breeze, warmth of sun)

The piece took a left turn into grief that I wasn't expecting, though you hinted at it earlier. What can I say, I'm tired.

Well done.
Stacey Thaeler04/27/06
You critiqued my submission earlier and requested I return the favor. You wrote a very good beginning, full of description. Given the feeling of grief you bring in at the end, the mood in the fourth paragraph seems to be out of place. That is the transition between the boating and the writing, but I'm not sure if it works well as a transition. Maybe it only needs shortened. Or, maybe I am too picky. You ended with a wonderful reminder that our Father in heaven is the One we need to lean on. Beautiful message of hope! God bless!
Helen Paynter05/01/06
I enjoyed this, and found the first few paragraphs particularly evocative. I have one or two comments to make about tightening up your writing style - PM me if you want details. Good piece.