I will be completely honest – the past few weeks have been hard for me. Actually the past few months have been challenging for me.
I have been feeling particularly crummy lately. I am struggling mightily with patience. Things that rolled off of me before aren’t rolling off quite so easily these days. I am just not myself.
I try so hard to be optimistic and kind every day. I seek the beautiful and the good. I am a glass half-full kind of person. I really and truly do go around seeking reminders of God’s presence and looking for God’s blessings in my daily life.
I look for rainbows when it is raining. Seriously – I actually look for rainbows when it is raining. Just last Wednesday (Saint Patrick’s Day) it was raining buckets when I noticed the sun had come out. Of course – the hunt for rainbows in the McFarland household was on immediately. And lo and behold – there was a glorious rainbow. Jack found it for me and took wonderful pictures!
You see – this looking for rainbows business is such a part of who I am – my children do it too! I love that I have taught my children to look for rainbows when it is raining. Seriously – my sons look for rainbows when it is raining! This is a proud parenting achievement for me. My sons look for rainbows and they both eat chickpeas and kale!
But – as I said – I have been hurting physically and struggling – so I have not been doing the best job of delighting and seeking and exploring lately. Pain has slowed me down. Some days pain slows me way – way down. I haven’t become cynical. My glass is still half-full. (It would be so very – very sad to become one of those people who only see the worst in others and who spread yuck and meanness in the world. I always feel so sorry for those people. I can’t imagine how sad their lives must be . . .)
But I realized this week that I have been noticing the negatives of life more lately. I have let my focus rest on those unpleasant things more often. I have been focusing a bit too much on the yuck and the annoying and the pain and the disappointments. My thoughts have lingered longer than usual on the things that hurt or bug me. (As if I can change the course of action the governor in an adjacent state will take with the power of my thoughts . . . And those unmasked people really don’t care what I think either! In fact – I would just be very wise to avoid both and move on with my life.)
So this week I have been working really hard on resetting my focus. I don’t hurt any less. (Wow – did those wretchedly awful muscle spasms in my knee hurt this weekend!) I still passionately disagree with those who don’t wear their masks or maintain a safe social distance or choose to spread hurt and negativity – but I can seek the good and the beautiful and God’s presence.
I know I will be happier this way. I know my life will feel more blessed. I know life will be richer and far more delightful. I know I will experience more awe and I will smile more and laugh more with my husband and sons and generally enjoy this one life we have to live more.
Frankly – I can dwell on beauty and on God’s presence or I can dwell on selfishness and hurt.
I think I will choose beauty and God’s presence.
And I found that even while limping I can find beauty. I can delight in the good and God’s presence and God’s love even on a not so great day.
And these reminders of God’s presence and God’s blessings and God’s love help. Actually – they help a lot! They help me cope with the zings of life and the barbs that come my way from simply being alive in this world.
They remind me I am not alone. They remind me I do not have to do this alone.
They remind me God loves ALL of us. (I think we all need this reminder right now in these very polarizing times!) I know I need this reminder too. I need to remember that God loves that person who does not wear his mask and feels differently than I do about science and the CDC.
They remind me God is always present with us – each and every single moment of our earthly lives.
Life is often challenging. It gets downright exhausting and hard sometimes – but I do find being very intentional about seeking God’s presence and remembering my blessings adds so much joy too.
Where have you seen God’s presence lately? How has God made his presence known to you?
You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.
In Christ and with Love –