Gratitude Day 870

Psalm 148:3 – Praise him, sun and moon and all you twinkling stars.

Dear Sun:

Thank you for showing up on Thursday. It was glorious! Please don’t wait so long until you come out again.

Your Friend Who Prefers You Over Clouds –

Dianne

After days and days of clouds and gloom, the rays of sun felt so special on Thursday. It is amazing what a bit of sunshine can do to brighten a person’s mood. Or at least mine. Going to the park after school with our 4-year-old granddaughter was a much. For her, me and Hubby Rick.

Why is it that a little bit of sun makes such a difference? I don’t really now but wow, it certainly makes a difference!

Yes, I know. There are times we need rain. And night. Stars and the moon. But honestly? There is just something wonderful about a bright, beautiful sun after days and days of clouds and gloom.

Maybe I’m missing all the sun from when we were on vacation. Maybe we enjoyed the days with more sunlight and the higher sun and the way it reflected off the water. What I do know is that too many days without sun makes me yearn for the beautiful ball of light in the sky.

The sun and clouds are really a metaphor for all of our lives. There are days when things are bright and sunny and feel a bit easier. Then, there are the days that feel heavier and cloudier and just a bit more difficult. Seasons when things are going well and things seem to click. And days that feel a bit more challenging and we yearn for just one thing to go right.

While always having glorious days would be preferable and most desirable, sometimes the cloudy and gloomy days really are okay. I think we learn to appreciate the bright and sunny days of our lives a bit more after a stretch of more difficult days. Do we need rotten days to always learn a life lesson? No. But they can be an opportunity to reflect and appreciate the days that feel a bit more difficult.

Every day is an opportunity to appreciate what we have in life. How all of our wants and so many of our needs are met. When our biggest decisions involve choosing between lots of clothes in our closet and too much food in the fridge, life really is pretty good.

We have a habit of asking people how they are. Even as I ask this question, I often think, “Will the other person be really honest or just tell me what they think I want to hear?” Even as I answer this question, often, I am cautious about really disclosing how I am feeling.

Hubby Rick has a fantastic way that he answers this question. And often, people do not know how to respond. We went out for Friday night fish last night. Naturally, the waitress asked how we were. Hubby Rick replied with his normal response, “Better than I deserve.”

Silence. She really didn’t know how to respond. His unexpected response threw her off her game for just a minute.

Better than I deserve. It’s such a great answer. Totally unexpected and leaves people often not sure how to respond.

But in reality, aren’t most of us “better than we deserve?” If you woke up this morning with running water and heat in your house and too many choices for breakfast, you are way ahead than most people in the world. When you get into your car and drive away with enough gas in the tank to go do something that is fun and meaningful, you are blessed. If you have thrown food away from your refrigerator because it spoiled before you had an opportunity to eat it, consider yourself ahead of so many others.

Today, we will choose whether we will know that we are “better than we deserve.” We will determine if our day will be filled with sunshine and brightness, no matter if the sun is out or not. While there are many things that we cannot control in our lives, what we can control is how we respond. We will determine if today will be enough for us to realize that we ARE better than we deserve.

Here are just a few things that have inspired me this week.

This sermon. Whether you are married or not, Pastor Adam Hamilton’s message about love is very appropriate for this time of the year. He shares lots of great insights into relationships and how we treat each other. This information is helpful for all of our relationships; not just if we have a partner or not.

This book.

I just received mine in the mail yesterday, so I haven’t read it. But it’s a book of blessings for days that are filled with sunshine, days that are cloud and everything in-between. I’m a fan of Kate Bowler and have shared her books before. I’m confident this will be another great one.

Kate also provides a daily devotion during Lent, emailed to you daily. They are FREE. I encourage you to sign-up for these devotions. I’m looking forward to receiving them during Lent this year.

Here’s a beautiful mix of songs that you can play in the background today while you are doing things. It’s sweet, lovely and I pray will be a blessing in your life.

One last thought: when you are missing the actual sun and light in your life, do something little that simply puts a smile on your face. Crank up a song you love, inhale deeply an aroma that you love, put your hand on your heart and remember that you are a beloved child of God. Sometimes, these tiny things can help shift your thoughts.

I did this a few days ago. I walked into a local flower shop and bought $8 of greens and flowers that I hand-picked. Ones that I really thought were beautiful. I brought them home, cut them to the right lengths and put them in little vases in different places in our home. And I smiled. My heart was filled with something beautiful and precious and lovely.

And I realized, my life is better than I deserve.

Hubby Rick is right. Most days, our lives ARE better than we deserve. And even if they don’t feel so in the moment, they can be when we find one tiny thing to focus on, appreciate and know that God created this just to bring you joy into your beautiful precious life today.

Please, go have a beautiful, wonderful day even if life feels a bit gloomy. Your day WILL be better than a lot of other people’s day. For this, may we say, “Amen.”

Blessings –

Dianne

Living God – On the gloomy days or times when life feels like it is missing some sunshine, bring me back to a place where I see and know that my life is good. Better than others. And oh, so good because YOU are a part of my life. May I appreciate that I do have more than I deserve. May this be enough for today. Amen.

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