Monday, November 13, 2017

cloudy days & perspective


"I want to watch the rain."

I looked up from my yogurt and noticed Nova scooting her chair over to the window at my parents' house. Then, without any prompting and to nobody in particular, Nova said, "God, thank you for the rain."

Gloomy days were always my least favorite kinds of days. I experienced an internal change when the sky was filled with clouds and the sun refused to shine. My mental state was different. I was grouchy, tired, and sad. It was hard to get motivated. I remember it feeling this way most of all in college. Something about those days pulled me into a depression-like state.

But all of that changed when I started dating Colt.

I remember explaining all of this to him. His experience was the opposite. He found those days inspiring and dreamy in all of their melancholy and gloominess.

After we got married, we had this conversation again with his parents. His mom, Jill, said she used to feel the exact same way until Colt's dad changed it for her. On those cloudy days, they'd escape to a coffee shop and make a date of it. Over time, those days began to feel different to her.

Colt and I decided to take their advice and try that method out. We would hop in the car after work and go to Starbucks or Cuppies & Joe and turn what felt like lemons to me into lemonade. Sure enough, those depressing days turned to exciting, cozy ones.

Now it's hard for me to go back and remember what it felt like to dread the overcast sky. Those skies are a gift to me now. I find myself in a different mode when the sun isn't bursting through. I move slower and I don't do as much. I might read a book or I might spend more time writing at the piano. I might remember to do things I typically don't do when the sky makes me feel like I need to go, go, go. No offense to the sun. I love our sunny days. But for someone who loves to do and make things happen, a cloud-filled sky seems to change my agenda. It causes me to slow down and rest.

All it took was a new perspective. A new way of looking at something I'd seen one way all my life. It took intentionality and time, but it happened. And I changed.

Several mornings ago, Duke said, "Mom, you know what I was just thinking about? About how when I was in your tummy and you didn't have any kids and you were so sad and didn't have anything to do. And then I came out of your tummy. And then Nova came out of your tummy. And then Veda came out of your tummy. And now you have so many helpers!"

So many helpers. That's certainly one of way of looking at things. Talk about perspective!

On this cloudy fall day, I'm reminded of how powerful our thoughts are. We aren't stuck. We get to change the way we think about things.

What about you? What do you need to re-frame? What places do you need a refreshed perspective?

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable." Phil 4:7

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