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

TITLE: Happy and You Know It
By Linnie Chancellor


“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” Polly bounced into the office, cheerfully singing the children’s song to her coworker.

“Clap, clap.” Jan’s disgruntled voice preceeded her, as she looked up tiredly at the twenty-one year old teacher-to-be.

“Uh-oh. Polly better put the tea kettle on before we get this day started. It looks like someone could use something warm to drink.” Polly started out of the office toward the kitchen.

“Make it coffee,” Jan called after her. “I need the extra caffeine to help me wake up. And if you know how to make some chocolate, I would love you forever.”

Polly came back moments later with two mugs of coffee. “Here you are, black like you like it. And the Lord must have known that you would need the chocolate, because I just happened to bring a whole bag of cherry kisses.”

She plopped the mug down on Jan’s desk and rummaged through her bag for the kisses. “Here you are. Now, what is the matter? Is it that cow of a man again?”

“Yes, and you will never believe what he did this time!” Jan exclaimed in frustration. Seth, Jan’s boyfriend of over a year, had broken up with her several months ago. They still talked regularly, and he still professed to love her, but they couldn’t work through some issues in their relationship. Polly, an amateur writer, got much inspiration for pieces from some of the stories her coworker told her.

“He called me this morning, and we were talking along and everything was fine. The next thing I knew, I made a passing comment about his car being a piece of junk, and he hung up on me! We had just been talking about how it was acting as if the transmission was going bad, and I was just realizing how often it had been in the shop lately. I knew he was sensitive about his car, but I guess I didn’t realize how sensitive he was. I wasn’t trying to offend him.” Jan propped her head on her hand tiredly. “I wish I knew how to handle this whole situation. I pray that I can show him Christ’s love, and treat him right, and then the next thing I know, our conversation has taken a wrong turn again.”

Polly prayed silently for wisdom to know what to say to her friend. Jan had been unhappy a lot lately because of this same situation, and Polly wanted to encourage her instead of egging on the frustration Jan was displaying.

“Jan, I really don’t know what to say. I will definitely be praying with you about this. I would like to say one thing, and I hope that I don’t offend you by saying this. You have told me before that you love Seth, and you can’t see yourself living without him. If he is really part of God’s plan for your life, God will work things out in His time. Just keep in mind that Christ said to seek him first and everything else would be added to you. And, God said to seek Him if you lack wisdom and He’ll give it liberally. I think that is a pretty good promise-it takes all kinds of wisdom to know how to deal with those cows masquerading as men!”

Jan looked up and smiled. “That is exactly what I needed to hear. I have been asking God for wisdom, but as a last-ditch effort. I forgot that He promised to give it to me. I am going to run to the bathroom and take a few minutes to talk to my Father. I’ll be right back.”

Ten minutes later, Polly looked up as the door to the office opened.

“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,” Jan came in singing. Polly and Jan clapped together, and the day was off to a much better start.

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This article has been read 567 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Misti Chancellor07/19/07
But OF COURSE, caffeine and chocolate fix everything! :D And it's great that we can go to God to get wisdom for dealing with all kinds of situations. :D Good reminder.
Joanne Sher 07/23/07
Enjoyed this - great job on the dialogue.

I felt like some of your "non-dialogue" was unnecessary - you were explaining the people's state of mind when the dialogue already showed it. May just be me, though.
Such an engaging story.
Dee Yoder 07/23/07
Your story reminded me of the feelings I had as a young woman, and the world of men just seemed so hard to understand. Well, many, many years later, I find they are still sometimes difficult to understand, but such a blessing, too! I got very involved in your conversations and enjoyed reading about the women's struggle and their decision to turn to God for the answers!
Kristen Hester07/23/07
I felt like I was sitting in the office chatting with these women. I like how you began and ended with the song. Nice job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/25/07
Caffeine, chocolate, prayer, and a song all add up to happiness. This is a good story to illustrate how God guides us to help others in our daily lives.
Sara Harricharan 07/25/07
I like this! It is fresh and original. I like the conflict and contrast between the two characters. Polly is a gem! I especially like the ending where they are both singing. Nice touch. ^_^