Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
When I’m tempted to start my day with worry, sadness, frustration or disappointment, I turn my eyes upward and focus on God who is the source of my joy. Then I muster up the will to find the good and perfect gifts throughout the day. They are here but the negative emotions can cloud my ability to see them.
In my grief, I know how important it is to feel my emotions and not bottle them up. I shared a part of my grief journey in A Way Through.
I have a myriad of emotions that rise up in me daily. I don’t stuff them but try hard not to wallow in them either. That has been a choice. It’s a choice that recycles my emotional pain and takes me to positive places in my heart and mind.
The photo above is from Valentine’s Day 2020 … right before the pandemic. It popped up as a feature photo on my phone and my heart dropped. Oh how I miss him, I thought. My emotions began to take me down the rabbit hole of sadness and for longings to have Bob with me again.
But as I looked at it for awhile I put myself back in the picture, sitting across from Bob in the little restaurant called Dr. Rolfs Barbecue.
I remembered the white chicken chili we had for lunch, what we were talking and laughing about and how Bob picked up his straw like he was smoking. I shook my head but he kept making me laugh so I finally snapped the photo with my phone. I’m glad I have it now.
We talked about how we enjoyed the waffles that they made fresh daily. A small slice was included with each bowl of chili but before that day we had never ordered the dessert waffles. The plate of waffles topped with strawberries and whipped cream that was pictured on the menu caught my attention. Bob said, “It’s Valentine’s Day, let’s order it.” And we did.
After lunch we took a walk through the streets of downtown before going home.
I give thanks for this Valentine’s Day memory.
The memories are a gift. In a world that can often be dark and troublesome, there are still good and perfect gifts everywhere. Sometimes the hard places are gifts too, because they bring us to the Creator of everything perfect and good who helps us through all things.
Go hug a loved one. Count your gifts. Someday they will be wonderful memories to relive and you’ll carry them in your heart forever.