We’ve all experienced times in life when it seems like everything is good, maybe not perfect, but still pretty darn good. You may not be rich, but you’re rich enough, especially in the things that matter. You know that you’re loved, you’ve got a roof over your head, food in your belly, and you’re doing ok. Honestly, most of our life is probably lived like this.
Yet somehow, we become complacent, get used to the relatively smooth sailing as we go about our daily lives. We get caught up in the little problems and daily distractions of life. We forget to look up, and say thank you for this beautiful life. When is the last time you took the time to watch a beautiful sunrise?
Literally watched the sky start to light up from the horizon, with a little glow of orange and coral, until the color spreads, turning apricot into pink and purple streaks across the sky in front of you? Wow! What a beautiful way to start the day. Thank you Jesus!
No matter what stresses the day may bring, no matter what good news or bad gets brought to you today, life is good. God made it good. Appreciate the splendor, and beauty, and wonder of life. Look with the eyes of a child at every little thing, and appreciate the beautiful life you are living.
Is life completely perfect? Of course not, we won’t experience complete perfection until we’re in heaven. But we are certainly blessed, and receive gifts from God every day, in the people and world around us. Let the love into your heart, and let it shine out through the life you’re living.
It’s Another Beautiful Day
Early morning is a peaceful time to write and reflect. It brings the promise of a new day no matter what the frustrations of the previous day were. Yesterday I went to yoga, had just eaten breakfast and finished my chores to settle in for some sewing when the power went out. Not just a little flicker, but out and didn’t come back on. Dan was gone on a business trip, and we pay our bill online, so I didn’t have any paperwork to reference for an account number or the phone number to call the utility company. I used my phone to search and was able to report the outage online, and the power was estimated to be restored in 3 hours.
Normally this wouldn’t be that big of deal, I could go for a walk, read a book, etc. But it was a windy, chilly 55*F, so a walk didn’t sound fun. And I am participating in a pattern test, and really needed to get sewing so I could turn in my fit photos on time. I enjoy pattern testing. You get to participate in trying a new and possibly challenging pattern. Your input helps perfect the pattern so that it will fit multiple body shapes and sizes well, and ensure that the instructions are easy to follow and will help give sewists the direction they need to achieve professional results. I take it seriously and put pressure on myself to do a good job. Not being able to sew was a bit frustrating.
Fortunately the wind died down a bit and it didn’t get too cold, and the power came on sooner than anticipated. Things improve. We experience stressful situations, things don’t always go the way we like. But every sunrise is a new beginning, a new opportunity for a good day. I love early mornings. It’s the perfect time to appreciate life. With coffee in hand and the cat snuggled against my legs I can write, watch the sunrise, and know that it’s going to be a beautiful day!
So take a deep breath, forget your frustrations, appreciate your many blessings, enjoy the sunrise, and have a beautiful day!
What Are You Thankful For?
On this day of giving thanks, it’s not uncommon to reflect on what you are thankful for. Some families have the tradition of everyone at the dinner table taking turns sharing something that they appreciate. I am very grateful for the people and experiences in my life. Even when everything is not exactly how you wish it could be, life is still so wonderful!
For instance, this is the first Thanksgiving that we won’t have either of our children at the dinner table with us. For the last seven years or so, we have spent Thanksgiving in Tennessee with our daughter and son-in-law and his Mom (and Dad, until his passing). This year, with the drive being a bit too long to be practical, and flights not working out with Dan’s work schedule, our plans changed. Our son and his fiancée are out of town for a well-deserved weekend vacation. So I am grateful that we took them and my Mom (who was visiting us) out to dinner last weekend.
I am thankful that our niece and her family are hosting an extended family Thanksgiving at their home today. Dan will enjoy the crazy brother bonding time that he doesn’t get to have often enough. We will be spending time with people we love. There will be laughter and giggles, food and fun, silliness and seriousness, selfies and photos galore. We’ll all end up tired, (and perhaps a bit frazzled!) from the noise and inevitable chaos. But our bellies and hearts will be full after spending time together.
So what else am I thankful for? I am so grateful for my faith! Christ has sustained me and my family, and my life is so good because of it. I think it’s obvious that my family is super important to me! My husband is my rock, my true love and my best friend.
We have wonderful children (including their significant others) and a granddaughter who brings joy and light into our hearts. I am also appreciative of every beautiful sunrise and sunset that I am blessed to see in this wonderful, sunny paradise where I live. The roar and crash of the waves, the gentle breeze, and the soft sand under my toes as I walk near the ocean bring me peace and joy.
I hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful Happy Thanksgiving! Take a minute to reflect and please let me know what you are thankful for.
Keep peering through the darkness
I love seeing the sunrise. I think I’ve mentioned before that my morning coffee drinking spot faces the East, so I am treated to a sunrise every morning. As the seasons have changed, I’ve noticed the sunrise has slowly rotated in a Southerly direction. Where I used to notice it rising over the palm trees, it now peeks up through a neighbors large live oak.
It’s still the same beautiful sunrise, but you have to look a little harder to see it peeking through the dark branches of the tree. I think that is kind of like our prayer life, or seeing the light of Christ’s love. Sometimes it is so easy to see the glorious colors and brightness of the light. Sometimes we feel that the light is blocked by our worries or the troubles of the world. Take heart though! Keep peering through the darkness, knowing that the light is always there. Something as simple (and yet as hard!) as changing your perspective can bring the light back into focus.
Yesterday morning on our way to Mass we saw a beautiful sunrise with light streaming up from the clouds. Since there was no traffic directly behind us, Dan was able to slow way down on the bridge so that I could lean slightly out the window to get a photo. Tightly gripping my phone with both hands and trying to hold it steady against the wind, I was able to capture the moment. Perhaps this is another metaphor for life? Hold on to the good tightly with both hands, steady yourself against the buffeting winds, and capture those beautiful, wonderful moments.
Remember, God’s love is ALWAYS there. Keep praying and peering through any darkness and you will see His light.
I have always been a morning person. The peace and quiet, watching darkness transform into light speaks to me. I remember taking family vacations that were a 24 hour drive from home. Everyone else in the vehicle would be sleeping, and I’d be the “co-pilot” sitting up in the passenger seat next to my Dad who was driving. Sometimes the radio would be playing softly in the background. Sometimes we would chat quietly, or just enjoy the rhythm of road noise as we drove along. It was a quiet, peaceful, wonderful start to the day.
My favorite morning spot is sitting on the chaise in the sunroom, looking out through the East facing windows. It’s the perfect spot to linger over coffee, think, check emails and Facebook, and watch God bring light to the world again and again. I love watching the sky turn from black to midnight blue, to pretty pinks, purples and corals, and then into a sunny blue.
For years I have gotten up at 5am to be able to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee before getting ready for work and the (at least) hour long drive it took to get there. Even 15 minutes of quietly waking and taking time to savor and enjoy a cup of coffee can set you up for a less stressful day. I know that some people like setting their alarm to wake them up at the last possible minute to get up and ready for work, (then hitting the snooze button once or twice!) That just leads to feeling cranky and stressed, and rushing to not be late, and who needs that added pressure in their life?
If that rushed, stressed out person sounds like you, just give yourself that sunrise wake-up treat for a few days and see what you think. Slow deep breathing, quiet peaceful moments, and the beauty that is sunrise can improve your outlook on life and mornings!