I must admit, I have been seemingly void of inspiration these last couple weeks. All that life has brought my way has, among other things, robbed me of the time to read or write. For me, when I don't make the time to read and write, it is like not taking the time to breathe. Not breathing = no inspiration.
A friend referred me to an awesome blog this week. I LOVED it, but could hardly relate to the author's perfect life, photos and writings. I wished I could write like her and take pictures like hers. I wished I could still dress my girls all in white with brightly colored bows. It made me wish I could sew and have tea parties like hers. My life, however, is much messier! I needed to close that blog and stop for a moment. I needed to intentionally examine these last couple weeks. As I did, I realized that, though there were a few things that did inspire or motivate me, there were no great AHA moments that I could build a blog around. I stopped to be thankful for even those seemingly insignificant moments that add up to a bigger life. Here's what I came up with…
Our street is filled with beautiful trees. The gorgeous Fall colors scream for my attention each day as I pull out of our driveway. They inspire me to take a deep breath, take note and give thanks for the creativity and splendor of our Creator.
I watched a woman on tv yesterday morning buy $287 worth of groceries and with coupons, pay one cent. REALLY! It inspired me to start using coupons!
I watched my daughter be there for her friends, after the suicide last weekend of one of their friends. It inspired me to be all the more thankful for her life!
I read the writings of our almost 21 year old daughter as she described herself for a class project. I was impressed by her articulation, the comments her teacher wrote and the fact that she got 24 points out of a possible 20. It inspired me to make a mini-album for her birthday with her very words in it.
I recently saw a travel journal that I love. The graphics, quotes and scriptures were perfect. I was inspired to buy one! In fact, I get to go today to pick it up!
I remembered the life of a dear 92 year old woman as I sat in her funeral service. She never neglected an opportunity to say "I love you." I am privileged to have known her. I was inspired to live a life that matters and that people will want to remember.
Finally, I revisited a book called Hope in the Dark. It is a book of beautiful photography and thoughtful descriptions of the people of Africa. It inspired me to think differently. Here is the part that struck my heart:
"Decisions I must make on any given day: – Blue shirt or pink cardigan? – Tall soy chai latte or Grande caramel macchiato? – Write reports first or work on budget? – Text message or call? – Eat out or frozen dinner? – Reality television or Headline News?
Decisions SHE must make on any given day: – Blue dress or blue dress? – River water or puddle water? – Walk once for four hours to get water or walk twice for eight hours to get more water? – Sleep with the fisherman who will give food in return or let orphaned grandchildren go to bed hungry? – Persist through the struggle or give up? – Curse God or praise Him?"
That sums it up, doesn't it? Our lives may vary but we all have a variety of decisions to make each day. The decisions we make in regards to our attitudes and responses are much more far reaching then all the mundane decisions we make each day. These last couple weeks have showed me, though, that even in the thick of the mundane and messy, there are lessons to be seen, if we will but take the time to look. I encourage you this week to take a few moments to reflect. You may be amazed (and inspired) by what you see!
Choosing to praise Him this week,