Sunroom Blues

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“Every good and perfect gift is from above…”                                     James 1:17 NIV

I had a serious case of the sunroom blues. Sighing as I surveyed the space, I wondered how the room had become such a mess? As soon as I thought the words, the answer immediately came to mind.

     Abby.

My precious, paper collecting, never wanting to throw anything away, packrat, Abby.

     I tried to muster up motivation with thoughts like, Where should I begin? Maybe this won’t be such a bad way to spend my day off. I’ll feel so good that I’ve gotten something accomplished.

I reluctantly began cleaning out the DVD shelf, carefully determining which ones to save and which to donate. I made my way to the toy chest, sorting dolls and stuffed bears and dogs. Really, how many different types of canine stuffed friends could one girl possibly need? She had well outgrown this stage in life.

I could really feel myself becoming frustrated as I glanced at my phone, realizing how much time I had devoted to the project already. This was going to take all day. I could just feel the gray hairs developing in my hair follicles the longer I stayed in the room.

Nonetheless, I was determined to stay on task. I continued to purge the large baskets on the floor packed full of toys and trinkets.  As I continued to pull item after item from the baskets, I was reminded of colorful clowns popping out from the circus clown car.  How was it possible that all that stuff fit in there?

Finally, exhausted, I slowly trudged over to the desk and opened the drawers. Every inch was crammed full of papers and art supplies.

     “This is ridiculous!” I wanted to scream in exasperation.

I huffed as I pulled out a mountain of paper and laid it on top of the desk, just dreading having to go through it all.

I located some cute craft projects that I enjoyed reminiscing over. Then, I sifted through what seemed like tons of school papers and old drawings. I even found a rather extensive collection of handmade bookmarks, which Abby had used in her business in the fifth grade- my little entrepreneur.

And then I came across a curious piece of paper that had been folded in a peculiar way with the words 100 Questions to Ask People written on it. I opened the paper to find a quiz that Abby had taken when she was ten years old. Some of the questions and answers were funny like, “What embarrasses you?” Abby replied with, “When my parents start singing when my friends are around!” Other questions focused on her hopes and dreams for the future, funny or stupid things she had done, and her general interests at the time.

And then I read down lower on the page. Question 56 of the quiz read “What’s the best decision you ever made?” Abby’s answer to the question followed as, “When I accepted Jesus in my heart.” At that moment, all the frustration, exhaustion, and impatience from my hard work in the sunroom completely faded. If for nothing else, the day was worth it for this special moment, this number 56 and the precious piece of my daughter’s heart that had been recorded on the crinkled paper. I knew Abby was a Christian but to be reminded of it was exactly what I needed at that moment, to really put things in perspective.

A few questions later at number 75, the question was asked, “What’s the biggest personal change you’ve ever made?” And there again, was perfect confirmation in Abby’s answer, “When Jesus came in my life.” By this time, I could no longer contain the tears and they flowed freely down my cheeks. God blessed me, right then and there, standing in my sunroom, even though I had the worst attitude all day long. In a mundane, seemingly never-ending task, He gave me a little burst of joy, a bright spot in my day that I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about.

I have no doubt that God led me to find the quiz to read. It could’ve easily gotten lost in the mess of papers and clutter that littered the table. But the Lord knew I needed some encouragement, something to bring a little sparkly confetti into my blah, dreary cleaning day. And once I read Abby’s sweet words, my whole attitude changed. I became more thankful that I had a child to clean up behind. I had more pep in my step and was able to get things achieved more quickly. I put on inspirational music and swept, scrubbed, and dusted to the beat. But most of all, I was grateful that I have a loving Father that cares enough about me to help gently pull me out of my slumps and grumpy moods by placing blessings in my pathway.

He cares the same for you, my friend. God wants to shower you with His best blessings, filling your days with joy. Some days the blessings will be more evident than others but they are always there. We just always need to be on the lookout for them. Trust Him to turn around your “sunroom blues” situations in your life, too.

What blessings can you thank the Lord for today as you remember all good things come from Him?

Have a great day,

Alisha Ritchie

 

 

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