I missed you guys last week! I'm very sorry that I didn't have a Monday Message ready for you, but we had a lot going on in preparation of our vacation, and family time took precedence.
As we have just returned from vacation, and are trying to get our lives back in order, I have a very brief message for you today about appreciation and gratefulness.
For vacation last week we went to my hometown area of North Central Pennsylvania. There are so very many little known towns in the rolling hills of Northern PA, and Southern NY. The town I grew up in had a population of approximately 1,500 while I lived there. My graduating high school class had only 31 students...and it was a public school. We had one traffic light in the center of town, and at 11pm every night, it changed from the standard red, yellow, or green, to blinking yellow. The town is almost exactly 1 mile long, and not even that wide, as it sits in a narrow end of the valley. The back windows of my parents' house, where I grew up, look out to the mountains.
The thing about small towns like this, is that you rarely appreciate them while you're there. When you're a kid, even a kid with a good relationship with your parents, all you can think about it getting out of that town. All you want to do is grow up, and live somewhere where people don't know your whole story; somewhere you can change your story or follow your dreams. You take for granted all the people that were looking out for you. You fail to notice the rolling hills, and the beautiful sunsets. You quickly forget the shooting stars so easily seen from your back yard, without any street lights to dim them.
While we were driving through these rolling hills last week, I became aggravated with the sunset. I'd nursed a mild to moderate headache almost the whole week, and as we were driving, the sun seemed to refuse to go down. I felt as though it was never going to give up. I slammed down the visor in complaint and said, "I just need this sun to go down already!"
My husband, who is usually the more impatient one of the two of us (but does not have my sensitive blue eyes, I might add), calmly stated, in a very nonjudgmental way, the beauty of this earth we so often take for granted. It was a sobering moment, as I looked to the hills, and remembered that I don't get to see sunsets like that anymore. I took them for granted for the 19 years of my life I lived there, and I was still taking them for granted as an adult. But there it was, staring me in the face, the gloriousness of God's creation. He was so much as telling me, look what I've made for you, and I was whining about the sun in my eyes.
We don't have to live in these rural places to appreciate God's creation. It is all around us! From what He's made, to how He's cared for us, we often need to step back a moment and remind ourselves to marvel at the gifts He has given us.
I encourage you to take the time this week (and always!), to look around and appreciate all the things, big and small, that God has done in your lives and around you. From the setting sun to the depths of the earth, there is so much to be thankful for!
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
Want the Monday Message sent to your inbox each week? Sign up here!