“Dread stole into my spirit as I looked at the empty suitcase in front of me. We were to leave for our holiday trip early the next morning and I still wasn’t packed, my cell phone was missing and an odd drip was sounding from the sink. As family scurried around the house, the chaos made my anxiety levels skyrocket. I’d even snapped at my grandchildren, which wasn’t like me. This was supposed to be a time for us to be together, but I already wanted it to be over.
“When did I lose my joy? Why am I so drained? I thought. But as my stress worsened and the shadows of the day grew long, my spirit felt like a dull toothache, throbbing and making me totally miserable.
“‘Hey, Grammy! You’ve got to see this,’ my youngest granddaughter, Alice, called out to me from our back porch. I grumbled and trudged outside, expecting Santa himself to fly by for all her excitement. Instead, I was greeted by the most glorious sunset tinting the clouds in mango and scarlet. Instantly, I felt the knots inside my heart unravel. Now I knew why I’d grown so tense: I hadn’t taken time to notice God’s gifts, so subtle and constant that I easily missed them in my crazy, busy life. The packing could wait. I wrapped my arms around Alice and took a deep breath as I marveled at our Father’s love.
“‘God sure knows how to paint a beautiful sky, doesn’t He?’ I uttered. As Alice nodded, I felt the Lord’s peace wash over me and knew, All is well.”
—Margaret Carney, 56, Cleveland