Don’t Wait for the Big Moments in Life to Practice Praise

fireworksTREEoflifeBig Moments. How are they defined?


Dazzle? Fireworks? Notoriety? Or sweet and tender times that aren’t necessarily Facebook material? What are your Big Moments in life?


A friend who has since passed away lived most of the life I knew her believing she had not yet had Big Moments. Oh, she would admit, she had a husband who cared about her, she had children, a solid faith, but personally, you know – conversation was frequently a downer because it often began if only… Hair, body, clothing, house, furnishings, and on and on. If only. And she let those things – or lack of them – define her.




She was dying.




Footprnts insandLooking back she realized she had been snake-charmed to gloss over many Big Moments in her life.


Moments more important than hair, high-school waistline, home, or any of those things that seemed so elusive.


Instead she noticed those little daily joys of use of our senses, the wonder of life, the feel of sunshine, the colors in a flower, freedom to run in the rain, a child’s hug or giggle, the hand of one who stayed by your side for decades, a moment of faith and the awe that God would speak to us through the Bible.


A sick-bed provided a realization that loss of striving for those if-onlies gave her time to rejoice in what she had. It was wonderful to see my friend’s amazement as she journaled all the Big Moments as she rediscovered multitudes from the past and new ones each day.


LWGHDSome would bemoan and regret the prior vacuum of joy, but she was so overflowing, that, she said, would be a waste of remaining time. Instead, she rejoiced – re-celebrated – every captured tidbit, feeling richer every day. How precious it was as she applied her search for beauty and joy to her Bible reading and to her daily experiences despite the new distractions of pain and disease. She was living 2 Corinthians 7:4 – I am overwhelmed with joy despite all our troubles.


How much she taught me! Day to day living is full of heartache, grit under the nails, and struggling to get up. But the reminder that IN everything I can and will yet have moments being overwhelmed with joy is a like being wrapped in a warm blanket fresh from the dryer.


It is soothing to the jagged edges of my heart, to look about myself, to seek and to see beauty; to stop, reach out and touch a velvety petal, pet a soft kitten or feel the layers of a rock or seashell. It is energizing to really listen – just listen – and to seek and hear joy. IMG_0962And, instead of focusing on what I perhaps cannot or should not eat – to celebrate what I can – and to savor it. To not be so busy after a fresh rain and step outside a moment to take a deep breath and take in the fresh-washed air. If I journal but one thing each day – a beauty, a joy, a praise, it will turn my heart toward heaven.


In Isaiah 61, God is comforting his mourning people. One part of their comfort is “a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.”


Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.


I’m going on a praise hunt! A praising heart redefines the borders of the grief-changed life.

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