The View from Here

Have you ever yearned to be somewhere else… to see something other than the everyday ordinary? “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” is a saying with more truth in it than I care to acknowledge.

With our lake-to-lake and through-the-mountains travels concluded, I could be mourning the lack of all the beautiful scenery now that  we’re settled into our daughter’s home, “baby”sitting our two granddaughters. I could be immersed in catching up with a holiday backlog of laundry, making lunchtime grilled cheese sandwiches and playing paper dolls while regretting the end of lazy vacation days.

It’s easy to get sucked into a mundane mentality — to see the dust and dirty dishes and wish for something more… more what? More interesting, attractive, stimulating? When I let such thoughts overtake, I miss the fragments of everyday joy that encapsulate the ordinary.

Yesterday, while saying goodnight to the precious youngsters, I happened to glance out the window and discovered this:

If I hadn’t lifted my eyes, I would have missed something just as spectacular as anything I saw on our trip through southern BC. And it was right there, waiting to be recognized outside the window through which I normally only “see” the neighbours’ homes, passing cars, light standards and the occasional person walking a dog.

As an aspiring author, I often don’t see beyond the daily writing and my wish to have my novels published. I don’t accept the pleasure of the endeavour as being enough.

As a wife, I frequently fail to acknowledge the comfort, companionship and assistance of a very thoughtful husband because he’s always here and I expect him to be.

As a woman… as a mother… as a member of my church, community and world, I fail to experience all that life is, because I fail to look and truly see.

Ann Voskamp challenges me to find joy in ordinary moments and to be thankful for them. It’s a challenge I accept and also pass along to you. This weekend a new month begins — a fresh start, not only for grandchildren returning to school, but for us leaving vacations behind and taking up the regular routines once again. It’s an opportunity to revamp my attitude and rearrange my priorities. I’m going to print out Ann’s 100 Days Calendar and use it not only as she suggests, but also to record at least one special joy discovered in the ordinary of each day.

Acknowledging the view from here will encourage me to use thankfulness to overpower lingering discontent.

Let’s get a head start on September. What one everyday joy can you find today for which to be thankful?

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“Open my eyes so I can see 
      what you show me of your miracle-wonders.”

Psalm 119:18 (The Message)

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“Open my eyes that I may see
glimpses of truth you have for me…”

Clara H. Scott
(Click composer’s name to listen to the hymn)

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