Tonight I am not sure if I want to write about something that is knocking at the door of my heart, or if it needs to percolate another day or two. Sometimes sitting here to write is like that...I look at the screen and wait for God to either put something on my heart or for my fingers to tap out something that someone else might benefit from reading. Other times, I just like to write to please myself, and to record the hysterical things that seem to happen to me with somewhat unusual regularity.
I think that most of us wake up to every morning and either have a plan to follow...or we don't. We hear that every day is an opportunity, but many of us look at it either as something we must get through...or one day closer to the weekend. We love our time to ourselves, don't we? I mean...we enjoy either scheduling it with activities that make our hearts soar or we are grateful that there is no plan to follow at all. Everything else seems to be a necessary evil.
The other day, I posted a request on Facebook to tell me something good that people experienced on a Monday. I know that not all of my over 300 friends logs on every day, and other people may not have wanted to participate. But those that did respond made me smile. The beautiful descriptions of a sliver of their respective lives.
The first response was from someone living north of here who was enjoying the beautiful sunshine on a random March day. After months of record breaking snow, she was able to just take in not only a change of pace, but the warm kiss of the promise of Spring.
Like the weather outside...sometimes our faith seems to get cold. And sadly, sometimes it is a long winter. We carry on...shoveling our way out of something or beginning to accept the cold as the new reality. But God has other plans. He sends us a ray of hope...of sunshine...of something different. We are just sometimes too busy shoveling our own paths to be able to notice the change. I'm glad that my friend noticed it and was grateful for it!
The second expressed gratitude for wonderful things that were happening for her family. Her sense of relief from some burdens was evident. She also acknowledged the sunshine and I could almost see the smile on her face through her words. She expressed hope that things are going to be better for the people she loves. I love that. I also happen to know that she has posted that she's had some difficulties of her own lately. But she was daring to hope for the best for the people she loves. What an awesome attitude!
The third response was from someone who lives an incredibly busy life as as evidenced by the flow of the various activities she described. She commented on the beauty of the day, and seemed to derive joy in many different ways. She seemed to understand that investing time...being in the company of children and other people...is extraordinarily important. She was focused on her goals, but was also taking the time to breathe a little as well.
So many people set goals that they chase without stopping along the way to invest in the only thing we can take to heaven with us...other people. My friend spent her day moving toward her goals, but also invested some time in the lives of other people. She "gets" it.
The fourth was from a grandmother who spoke of singing sweet songs to her granddaughter...songs that she was proud to note that her daughter also sang to the little precious as well. Just thinking of this reminds me of the time that I spent rocking my children and breathing in the sweet smell of Johnson's baby lotion and feeling the soft skin of their little arms. I smiled when I read her comment because I know how much she values little ones in general...and her family specifically.
The fifth response was from a mother who was pleased to have had the opportunity to spend time with her young teenage daughter. She seemed proud and also awed at the wonderful young woman her daughter was growing into. While teenagers are sometimes challenging, this mother was expressing pride and also hope for the future through this wonderful daughter of hers!
What was so inspiring to me was that my friend has established open communication with her daughter. This will prove to be very helpful to them both in the upcoming years. Having survived the teen years with a daughter that I am equally proud of...I can say that she is obviously doing something very right in raising her. And that gives me hope for the future as well. Too many parents are bowing at the altar of pleasing the children...instead of raising the children to be active participants in this world by following God's calling.
The final comment was from a friend who spent her Monday looking at the interworkings of a women's ministry. She felt welcomed and encouraged, and enjoyed the time that she spent learning about the ministry. Her final comment was an expression of joy that she could see the body of Christ - the ministry and the church - working together so effectively.
Frankly, I'll admit to wanting to see more working together and less division in the church. It is unfortunate to see people set up little kingdoms instead of working for THE kingdom. It is also difficult to realize that although we'd all like to be the hands, eyes, or hands of the church...there are times when we are one of those internal organs in the body that are critical...but sometimes not visible. In this age of people who like to be front and center...finding people who are more interested in doing God's will than in promoting their agenda is sometimes incredibly difficult. I was happy that my friend saw a wonderful example of the way it is supposed to be in action.
As I think about the responses...I am grateful that my friends shared their impressions with me. It gave me a chance to think of how many different things in this life can bring us joy. But the most important thing I notices was that not one of them was happy for anything that money could buy. Not one.
I have often thought that secrets to happiness in life are somewhat wrapped up in contentment and appreciation. My friends have it right...and I am happy that they do...and that they cared enough about me to share their impressions. Thanks, ladies.