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Awaken Your Joy

Cherri Thompson, Women's Ministry Director

I stood outside one warm, summer evening watching a setting sun pink the sky and land with a dazzling array of rosy shades.   The sun had barely fallen beyond the mountainous horizon when two bright pinpoints lined up perfectly with a little slip of a crescent moon.  Venus and Jupiter dancing together, the night's first pair, in a silent symphony of contrasts and then as the night darkened, more and more pinpricks of light grew in brightness and soon the dome of the sky became milky with just a singular section of one spiraling arm of our galaxy, small in comparison to innumerable others.

In that moment, I felt the awe of it...the greatness of creation...the magnificence of our God, our LORD, the Great I AM.  It can only be held onto for a flash by human minds too finite for such infinite sights and thoughts.  And that's okay.  To revel in the joy of the moment...to throw grateful arms heavenward...to know that God is good, His creation truly fascinating and beyond comprehension...to sink into the moment without distractions is enough.  It brings the gifts of peace, joy and the healing of us.  

Ann Voskamp says we have to figure out a way to stay awake to our "one wild and beautiful life."  She reminds us that all we have are moments..."microscopic, fleeting moments."  She asks, "How many moments of our lives have our eyes been wide open--but we have been rushing, racing, sleeping right through?"

But at this incredibly, unheard of before, moment in history when the entire world has come to a near stop, could it be that the God of the Universe might be saying to us all "See Me!"?  Could it be possible that the Lord in all His glory wants to show you some of it?  Might this good Father desire that families NOT have games and lessons, practices and events, activities and hectic work schedules and instead find joy in relationship with one another and the simple joy of simple things?  What memories are you making during this time?  Your children's lives will be irrevocably defined by COVID-19.  This is their milestone.  What will they remember?  I'll tell you one thing...they will not remember the games they played on their screens.  That will be forgotten next week.  

Here is what my children and grandchildren remember most.   The evening planet Mars was closest to the earth and we wore aluminum foil hats and ate Mars bars...the day we watched a hummingbird feasting on a huge sunflower...had a picnic in the backyard...taped butcher paper to the underside of our dining room table and painted a mural like Michelangelo and his Sistine Chapel (ours wasn't quite so elaborate)...made donuts from refrigerated biscuits...ran through the sprinklers (made even MORE fun when mom and dad or nana and papa join in)...looked up into a night sky with a star chart and found planets, constellations and even a far off universe!  Did you know you can see a full-on universe with your naked eye?! The list could go on and on.  I hope I thanked God for such moments.  I do so now because I realize how valuable they are...treasure in my life...gifts of never to be repeated moments from the hand of God.  

For the most part, these moments are free.  Well, I guess they do cost you something...time.  So put the screens down and take some time to share a moment with God and with others.  Look around and see what He has given and take note, give thanks.  Look up with eyes and a heart to take in the grandeur and beauty of a night sky.  Wake to all the joy that surrounds you!  Share it and give thanks.  Write it down as a memorial to God's goodness.  

Sadly, the truth is if I don't write it down, I won't remember.  My gratitude journal delights me all the time just in the reading and remembering.  All those moments would have been lost, but the writing down preserved them so the gift continues to bring joy far after the moment.

Find a journal and a nice pen (I do LOVE a nice pen) and begin a journey to milestone your gifts.  Much like the Israelites in the Old Testament piled rocks to remind them of God's great goodness, we make neat piles of words to remind us that He is Emmanuel...God With Us always and everyday.  He is our Adonai, our Great Master, who loves to give sweet gifts to His servants!
Plant your feet...take a deep breath and see what God has for you.  You will be pleasantly surprised.  

Blessings, to you, my friends, for moments that awaken your joy!!

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