Skip to main content

Silver Linings

Mom was playing an Oldies station on the clock radio on a recent family vacation. You know the sound: tinny music coming through crackly static, but recognizable tunes. "Look for the Silver Lining" was playing on this particular morning, and it made me pause and pay attention:

A heart, full of joy and gladness
Will always banish sadness and strife
So always look for the silver lining
And try to find the sunny side of life...


Hmm. This woman was singing about silver linings, but I heard this: The condition of my heart will affect my outlook on life. We can't completely avoid the rounds of alternating gladness and sadness, but we don't have to stay stuck in the sadness time zone. I've never wanted to banish gladness, but sadness can feel like wearing dumbbells around the neck, so it makes sense to want to shed those weights eventually.

How can we find the "sunny side of life" when the storm seems to be parked directly over our house?

1. Thank God for the good, the bad, and the ugly. "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Knowing a verse is not the same as living it. Just the other day, I was driving down a snowy road and said out loud, "Lord, thank you for good tires on this car." I would rather not drive in snow, but I can thank the Lord for a nice warm car with good, recently rotated tires.

2. Remember that good lessons are tucked into bad experiences. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard the words, "I know. I know." Too many times we miss out on growing during a trial because we think we know so much already, but learning abounds within the classroom of affliction, and even though it doesn't "feel good," it's still good for us. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." (Psalm 119:71)


3. Guard (keep) your heart. The flu has been going around like crazy this season, and yet some of us haven't caught it (yet). Minimizing exposure is always a good practice. The same is true in life: minimizing exposure to negatives is essential. Do you really need to read the details of another global disaster? How many times do we need to view images of tragedies? Will that television program with "Dr. Know" really help your spirit? An unguarded heart has more dart holes. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)




Stormy? Look for the silver lining. The sun is just behind that cloud temporarily.



(Photo credits: Happy Accidents Photography, AKA Francie's vast seashore collection.)



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Woman Down at the Beach

"Ah yeah ah...we have a woman down on the ground here at Pensacola Beach. Not sure what happened, but she fell and then she got up and then she went down..."

I could hear a man's voice trying to describe what had happened, but I couldn't speak. I was fighting my way back to consciousness.

All I was trying to do was go shelling at the beach.

I was on my way from my car to the restroom, which is the custom before a long walk. Restroom first. If you're over 60, you don't need a translator. A little toddler on the sidewalk was trying to sweep the sand with her hand, and her effort made me smile but also distracted me. I wasn't looking ahead,  and the moment my sandal connected with the edge of that sidewalk (right where the sand and sidewalk met), I went flying through the air and skidded across the hot, sandy cement.

Breaking a fall usually includes broken bones, so I am grateful to be typing this with no broken anything that I know of at the moment. There is a …

Habits that Keep You Broke

Do you suffer from "too much month at the end of the money?"

Being broke is often a result of habits that are kept like house pets. Working so hard and having no money in the wallet is self-inflicted bondage. How does this keep happening?

You've done the Dave Ramsey School of Stop That.

You receive notifications from your bank when your account balance is low.

You know how to do basic math such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

So what keeps happening to your funds? You're subtracting faster than you're adding, multiplying debt and dividing your brain into stress-filled compartments that alternate between "Things are fine" and "This is such a mess." Is this right? No. Then what is it? Sin. Financial irresponsibility is sin. Is that the sound of your mind shutting down? Well, before you go, remember that the definition of sin is basically this: you know the right thing to do, but you're continuing to do the wrong thing …

Expectations

"Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1
You were waiting for this big event. It was going to change your life. Counting down to the big day was like watching paint dry. The moment you’d been waiting for finally arrived. But wait…it wasn't so special after all. What happened?
You expected it to be better than that. Expectations are such a plague.
My expectations are a Me-Problem. Your expectations are a You-Problem.
You waited for your wedding day and when it finally arrived, you soon discovered that weddings come with marriages attached. Marriages are a work of heart.
You waited to have a baby and then you finally gave birth to the most demanding little boss you’ve ever met. Parenting is a work of heart.

You expected more of that person, but they disappointed you. Relationships are a workout for the heart.

Expectations magnify events to epic proportions. No wonder they fail to please us. 
When we're waiting for any cha…