A day of opportunity

A month ago Adam and I rented a house in the mountains of New Hampshire. We hadn’t taken a vacation in 5 years and just wanted to get away. We were so excited to go hiking and spend time outside. This area was one of our favorite places to be. But as our awesome luck would have it, rain was predicted. For every single day. In New England, they say that the weather changes as fast as you blink. I was hoping this was the case. Our first day there, it down poured. Torrential downpours. It was wonderful to just relax and have no where to go and nothing we needed to get done. But by day 3, the rain got old and I was not happy. Adam could not suggest anything to make me happy. Through all of my rants of “This isn’t fair” and “We never take vacations. We could be sitting at home doing the same thing for free” (blah blah blah), Adam forced me to get up and got me moving. He said that we were going to enjoy the day even if it’s raining. And of course, I replied supportingly with “Sure we are.” {insert sarcasm} Can I tell you that this particular day was my favorite day of the whole week? As we started driving, the rain slowly stopped. We were driving along the Kancamagus Highway which goes for about 30 miles or so. Along the way are stop off points to go hiking or take pictures of the mountains. My favorite spots were by the water where the river was running through. It is absolutely beautiful. I am thankful for a husband who encourages to make the most of every opportunity. I am so grateful that I did not miss out on this day!

Adam making fun of me pouting. Ha:)

Each day is a gift, don’t you think? I know, that is so cliche. But I have been contemplating on this thought for the past few weeks. Each day is filled with opportunity- opportunity to hear God speak; opportunity to reach out to others; opportunity to be thankful despite our circumstances. I had breakfast with a friend last month and she was sharing some deep struggles that she had been going through. But what took me by surprise was that she had been suffering for a few months and I had no idea. A significant amount of time had passed since I had last spoken with her and I couldn’t believe that I had allowed myself to be so out of touch with a close friend. It’s easy to say how busy life gets. And that is true. It does. But this awakened me to the fact that I had been so absorbed in my own things that I was missing out on great opportunities to come alongside those I care about. I don’t want to miss out on any more of these opportunities but I know my life is filled with missed phone calls, missed cards, or missed meals with those who needed encouragement.

As I worked on our letter to our birth mother, I had mentioned that one of the main things that was important to us was that we raise a compassionate child. Jesus states that others will know who His followers are by their love for others. That is our hope and prayer for not only us but for the children He blesses us with. I want to see and hear God in each day that He grants me. Have you ever read “1,000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp? It is one of my favorites. She was challenged by a friend to keep a journal of 1,000 reminders of God’s goodness. She often found these reminders throughout normal every day activities, such as washing the dishes and going grocery shopping. (Which I think is a feat in itself..those are 2 of my least favorite things to do. Ever.) So I am off to start my own. My hope is to keep this journal until God brings us our baby. This will help keep my eyes focused on His daily grace but will also help me stay focused in the moment and hopefully not miss His gifts of opportunity. I not only want to see Him in my daily life but my prayer is to bring Jesus to others. I am taking on a writing project to blog about God’s gifts over the next 30 days. Will you join me?

Some practical steps to get started:
1. Pray. I have always found that God does grant us His desires when it’s lined up with His Word. And He so desires to reveal Himself to us each and every day. Make it your morning prayer to ask Him to open your eyes and your heart to see Him throughout your day.
2. Write it down. I bought a journal at Target and will have it in my work bag and will carry it around with me so I have it on hand. Buy one small enough to throw in your glove box or purse.
3. Buy some note cards. I also bought a cheap box of note cards so I can always have on hand to drop someone a card. In the age of technology, writing cards has gone by the wayside. And I am the first to admit it. I love to text and send messages through Facebook. You never know who God will bring across your path that will need a note of encouragement.

I truly believe that when our eyes are solely focused on God, we see His goodness, love, and grace no matter what we are facing. It’s almost like tunnel vision, where we focus only straight ahead. Everything around us doesn’t disappear; it just becomes more blurry because our focus has shifted Upward.

As John Piper says, “Don’t waste your life”. Seize today for it is a gift. Look Upward and touch God’s grace.

The clouds will eventually break!
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7 thoughts on “A day of opportunity

  1. Yes, I will join you in changing mental channels. I will join you in finding my joy and peace through finding things to be grateful for.

    I love you, Col! 🙂 Great post.

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  2. I just got a new journal, so that will be my gratitude journal! What a great challenge. I already know my first two things to be grateful for: a messy home and the chaos that keeps me behind in work. Say whaaat? I used to complain about those things… until… my two honeys went to a wedding and I had to stay home. My home is clean. I am caught up on work. But… I would trade it all for a noisy, messy, chaotic home. I can't wait for them to come home!! Thank you for this post. Thank you for the challenge. I'm in!!! Love you! xoxo

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