I’m writing this blog entry at 430am. I’m always an early riser, but I haven’t adjusted back to Rough Rock time yet so I’m a middle-of-the-night riser right now.
It’s 630am at home. Mom is making coffee, dad is watching Fox News, and my friends in Fort Wayne are probably still asleep- but soon they will be getting up and getting ready for church.
I am sitting on the front steps of Rough Rock Friends Church with my back against the doors, waiting for the sun to come up. Everyone is still asleep, except the neighbor’s dogs (and I’m pretty sure they never sleep!)
Sometimes I feel like I’m living a double life. A life of abundance, rain, cool wet grass, family….and a life of big skies, sunsets, beautiful new friends and fry bread.
I’ve had the opportunity to hop between the two worlds a couple of times this summer, and it has made me think about thankfulness.
Before I left for my first trip back east, I was walking with my friends Rod and Lavina. It was evening (the only time a sane person exerts any sort of physical activity here!) and the sun was setting but we didn’t want to call it a night yet- so we kept walking and talking and laughing. The sunset was unbelievably beautiful, in a way that only exists where the sky stretches wide open from horizon to horizon. As we walked I felt so overwhelmingly thankful for this- all of this- and I thought to myself, “Remember this. Remember this sky, the warm wind, the sound of Lavina’s laughter, the smell of woodsmoke. Don’t forget what God has done here, what God is doing here. Always remember.”
Last week, just a few days ago, I was floating on my back in my parent’s pool when I had that same sense of gratitude. Again, I thought, “Remember this. The feel of cool water on the palms of your floating hands, the sun on your face, the silence of the water around your ears, the splash of Casper dropping his ball in the water- wanting to play, the smell of the crazy neighbor guy’s woodpile that burns all day- every day, the knowledge that just inside the house are people I love- that love me back unconditionally. Remember….”
It seems there are two ways you can do life. You can soak up the now in gratitude, or you can always be wishing for something else, worrying about what comes next, and finding fault with what you have today.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
I think our natural tendency is to focus on the negative, but it seems we miss so much of the now when we do that. Were either of my last two scenarios perfect? NO! On that Arizona night I had terribly itchy eyes from the blowing dust (that dust made the sunset unbelievable, but my eyes were almost swollen shut), I’ve been having problems with my feet and they hurt terribly from that never-ending hot walk, Lavina was sharing her concerns about her alcoholic husband and I was worried about her and her kids…. In Michigan it was COLD in that water! The air was cold too, and I was starting to feel weighed down with responsibility. What will I do this fall? How will I make ends meet if I don’t have an income right away? It’s easy to put those things on a back burner in Arizona.
I believe we have a choice. I’m not always successful, but I want to choose thankfulness. I want to focus on what God has given right now instead of worrying about what isn’t given, or wishing I was somewhere else. Instead of spending time missing people, I want to be thankful for the people right here. Enjoy flowers while there are flowers and dust when there is dust (if you hated mowing as much as me, you’d be thankful for a dusty front yard too!)
The sun is coming up, and it is beautiful. I hope you will join me in looking for all the little (and big!) blessings God has filled your life with today!