Gratitude Journal: What we really need

The heat falls down like a wool blanket, and who would have thought that 10% more humidity would make such a difference? We’re hot and tired, coming home from church. Cleaning must be done, lunch made, dinner started. I feel like lying under the cool air blowing from our swamp cooler and just…lying there, all afternoon. The cool air doesn’t reach the kitchen, and the house feels like an oven. What we really need is central air. I feel like turning the lights off in our bedroom and lying on the bed under the fan, eyes closed. The kids are hot, tired, and grumpy. They complain about chores, snap at each other, drag their feet. The animals are underfoot, even the cat is whining.

Hubby is determined. He tells us, get your shoes on. We’re going to the mountains, even if it’s just for an hour. I get my shoes, hold my tongue…the list of things I think I really need to do, have to do this afternoon is long and growing. How can I take a couple of hours out of the afternoon to go for a hike? The children resist, they need prodding and reminding and correcting all the way out the door. Hubby drives, patiently. Neighborhoods zip by, shimmering in the heat. We wind higher, toward God’s country, watching as the houses give way to pine trees and walls of granite.

The mood in the car lifts, as we roll down windows and let the cool breeze blow over us like healing water. I remember how it feels to be alive, really alive, to have eyes open to the beauty around me. My “to do” list sheds items like leaves in the Fall and I see there are only a few things that really need to be done, things that can wait. Hubby smiles as he pulls into the parking lot.

This is what we need, what we really need. We need to see beauty, feel fresh air, appreciate God’s creation with each other. We need to marvel, to allow ourselves to be overcome.

Isn’t it grand, how we’re never far from what we really need?

Thank you, Lord….

306. For painted butterfly wings

307. and the heart to appreciate them

308. for family, together

309. and for the love of exploration

310. for treasures that were ordinary until appreciated

311. and that he knows when to lead our family to quiet waters, for needed perspective

312. for love, which multiplies

313. for sharp edges rounded with time and love

314. for cooling water

315. and the path ahead

316. for fathers whose arms are always open

317. and for water that sooths

318. for silken cascades

319. for solid ground

320. for roots

321. and high places

322. and time, space and beauty in which to rest and reflect.

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