Melody of the Heart

Music has always been an important part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on the glider, between my aunts, my mother’s sisters, on the front porch of my grandparents’ house on Cornell Street. On summer evenings, the porch was a place to escape the heat of the unairconditioned house. Invariably, someone would begin to sing, and we’d all join in. Both of my aunts sang alto, so I learned to pick out the harmony and sing along.

Even if singing isn’t your gift, you can carry a melody in your heart. A heart song sees you through difficulty, provides comfort, and brings peace when all around you seems dissonate.

The Music of Family

As a child, I remember my grandfather playing the piano. Every song started the same, with a sort of honky-tonk intro that then moved into a hymn. It was a unique combination, the honky-tonk juxtaposed against the sacred, but eventually the hymn tune won.

Sometimes, my grandfather sang with the tune he played, but often, instead, his song was accompanied by a smile. When he finished, he’d look at me and wink. Then, I’d beg him to play another song, simply because I wanted to hear the music again and his unique style.

My grandmother, mother, and her sisters sang together on the radio and in other venues. They had matching dresses, made by my grandmother, and were the 4 M’s – Mildred, Marjorie, Marilyn, and Mother. Although I never heard them sing together in a formal setting, it wasn’t unusual to gather around the piano with my Uncle Jim playing any time they family was together.

Neely Christmas parties always included a sing-along, with piano, guitar, and an occasional banjo. The singing might not always have been on pitch, but it was sung from the heart and with great gusto.

Today, we hold hands and sing the blessing with our children and grandchildren before meals. It is my hope that in years to come our grandchildren will remember standing in a circle, holding hands, and praising God.

The melody of family, then and now, lives on in my heart.

The Melody of Nature

This morning, I was awakened, pre-dawn, by a singing bird. It didn’t bother me too much that birdsong woke me, but I quickly noticed the second verse was the same as the first! Tweety-tweet. Tweety-tweet. The rhythm played in my head until suddenly, the song stopped on a tweety without the tweet. What happened? Did the bird forget his song or did a worm capture his attention?

Nature provides numerous melodies: the rush of wind, the rustle of leaves, the buzz of insects, the drumming of rain, asking and answering birds. All provide a song.

Has your song stopped? Today, do you need the melodies of nature to refresh and revive you? Step outside and hear the song of nature.

When You Don’t Have a Song

Years ago, I remember a friend telling me she couldn’t be in the choir anymore because she’d lost her song. My friend had been through several tough family crises, and I could understand why she felt her song was gone.

Sometimes, life circumstances silence our song. Overwhelming situations steal our desire to sing and mire us in a bog devoid of music.

In these circumstances, how do you regain forward motion? The answer: sing. Even if only in your mind, sing until your heart picks up the melody. It may take time for your song to return, but regaining your melody of the heart is like taking a deep breath of fresh air, so, don’t give up.

Songs of Praise

When I was 17 years old, the minister of music at our church invited me to join the “adult” choir. I was honored to be asked and happy to sing beside my aunts.

Today, I still sing in the choir. Some weeks, I just don’t feel like going to rehearsal. Perhaps the day has been hectic or I’m just not in the mood, but I’ve discovered, if I go to rehearsal, I leave refreshed.

Figuring out tricky rhythms and deciphering unusual chord progressions challenges me in a good way. And singing songs of praise always refocuses me and reminds me of blessings.

Has some situation in your life stolen your song? Don’t be discouraged. With God’s help, you can write a new melody, one that carries you through life difficulties and spurs you forward with a new song in your heart.

“Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [offering praise by] singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19 AMP).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including:,,,,, Focus on the Family,,, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

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