I’m feeling a bit philosophical on this Monday morning. It’s July, but instead of the ninety-six degree heat and high humidity we endured a few days ago, it’s seventy-five and absolutely blue-sky, soft breeze, light whispy cloud perfect. Monday is my day off, and after sleeping in, I decided to take a little extra time to relax and enjoy the beautiful morning.
My life isn’t perfect. It’s worn, lived in, and in constant need of upkeep. But it’s good. And as I carefully step over a rotten deck board and put up my new patio umbrella on my day off, that’s what’s on my mind – the mix of old and new, the comfort of familiarity.
– The lawn that needs mowing and the amazing weather to do it.
– The kitchen we remodeled two years ago, and the floor we never got around to.
– The jobs that bring me stress, but also fulfillment (and, you know, pay my bills…).
– Things that get better with time and things that just get older with time.
– Situations we thought were going to be awesome but ended up being a hassle.
– Situations we thought were going to be a hassle that ended up being something great.
– Unexpected disasters that turned into funny memories.
I’ve always loved those remodeling shows where, in 30 minutes of viewing, everything gets replaced with fresh, finished, and new. But I don’t think we’re meant to live like that. There’s no one moment where everything is suddenly perfect all at one time. Life isn’t meant to be staged; it’s meant to be lived in.
I have a to-do list a mile long, but I’m taking the time to sit on my deck and read, write, reflect, and have a second cup of coffee because I’m old enough to realize that this perfect weather landing on my day off is a rare and precious gift in July. I’m going to drive my convertible today because winter comes too soon. I’ll go to the gym, and wear sunscreen, and drink water because I’m not young and invincible anymore. But I’m going to do it all – the fun and the not-so-fun – with the same sense of gratitude, because whatever is swirling around and falling apart in this stressful, pandemic-stricken world, there are still things to be grateful for, and things to enjoy.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT: Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Always be joyful: not necessarily happy, but joyful. Happy is a fleeting feeling, but joy is a way of life that comes from knowing that life is more than today’s headlines and stressor.
Never stop praying: with gratitude when all seems right, and with supplication when all seems wrong. The good, and the bad, and all the messy in-between.
Be thankful in all circumstances: as historian Alice Morse Earle famously said, “Every day may not be good… but there’s something good in every day.”