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I see the work of Your hands...

I pick up on it days later.  

I notice and draw the dots together after I finally upload recent pictures to my Facebook photo album.

And my heart pounded in my ears with gratitude... and regret.

Because it had taken me days to realize.

On Thursday morning I pulled up to a snow-covered stop sign and rolled down my window, allowing bitter and biting 12 degree Northern Indiana air to crawl into my van.  We were headed to the store, to preschool, but I had to stop.  Not for Instagram’s sake.  For my own.  The sunrise was marvelous; other-worldly.  I snapped a picture to the curiosity of my four year old.  

“What are you doing?”  

“I’m taking a picture of this sunrise. Isn’t it amazing?”

“Did you ask God to do that today?”  My eyes feel itchy.  Tears wiggling forward.  

“No, I didn’t.  But that’s what God does.  It’s a gift.”

And we rolled on to our Walmart destination.  Phone tucked away.  

My Thursday was a roll of to-do’s and missions to accomplish.  I had a crock-pot full of mac and cheese to salvage for my son’s preschool Thanksgiving feast and I needed to shower and I had a van load of groceries to drop off at our church for our upcoming Southern gospel concert.  I was feeling a “little” stressed.  

Okay, I was pretty much living on chocolate and coffee.  Don’t judge.

With Daddy on a three day hunting trip and it was just me and the rest of the world.  I briefly thought about giving into the stress and panic and tuck myself in a corner somewhere, but I would have had to schedule that.  There was no time for a nervous breakdown.  Just keep it going.  Roll on family, roll on crew.

The evening comes and Daddy gets home and I’m able to breathe a little easier.  Off I trot to rehearsal and on my way I’m blindsided.  The sunset is from another world, from a Greater hand and I am trying to snap pictures as I drive, which is wildly unadvised. I’m blasting Christian radio and my heart is crying and soaring and begging for more.  I need more space to contain what He is showing me.  My iPhone camera is barely taking it all in. 

I pull over.  I’m sitting there in a big truck, taking pictures of a sunset as though it’s the last one I’ll ever see.  And if it was, wow, what a way to go.  The radio was loud and tuned in to a song I had never heard, one by Big Daddy Weave and it’s so perfect.... too perfect... And it was God in that moment and all I needed.  And I just wanted to hold it.  

I wanted to stay in that glow forever.

And I sing and I come home tired and the day is done.  Friday is a blur.  And tonight, with the boys occupied and playing good, I plug in my phone to download the most recent images.  I sit down with a pot pie, download “Overwhelmed” on iTunes and set to editing.  

As I upload and add dates, I realize... God didn’t just give me an amazing sunset that night.

He’d given me an amazing sunrise, too.

It was all in the same day.

In my busyness, in my rush, in my holy-cow-that’s-a-long-to-do-list,... I missed it.  I was thankful in the moment but then I let it go.  Dropped the ball.  Like a child who tears open a gifts, laughs with glee and then shoves it away, half-unopened, to tear into the next. 

What would my day have been like if I had recognized that my entire day had literally been one well-planned gift after another?

What would future days be like if I started off planning to recognize?

What if I came prepared to give thanks?

Another 5 a.m. morning.  Another cup of coffee.  Another little bit of worship via Pandora as I curl my hair.  And I think about it.  Messy notepad full of to-do’s aside.  What could the potential of this day be if I started off in preparation to be thankful. 

If I prepared to notice.

We know that an attitude of gratitude changes things.  And only for the better.  If you know something to do that is good for you... why don’t you do more of it?  All the time?

I sip my coffee and think.  

And say thank-you into the yet-to-be-sunrised morning.

~ How can you remind yourself to slow and give thanks?
~ What are five things you’re thankful for right now?
~ How do you cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your daily life?

"And whatever you do,
in word or deed,
do everything 
in the name of 
the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to
God the Father
through Him..."
~  C o l o s s i a n s   3 : 1 7 


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