The weather has been glorious and it has been so encouraging to wake up and enjoy the beautiful sunshine day after day. Today was a little curious though. It was sunny, overcast, raining, gray and then repeated all over again. It was like the weather couldn't decide what it wanted to be. I couldn't help but make a real life connection to the weather situation, as that is how I feel some days. Some days are just like that. There is the good, the bad and the ugly all in one day. No matter what life throws us and believe me it with throw us some major curve balls, our attitude is truly the key to handling it all. Having a little sunshine in our pockets to make our own or someone else's day a little brighter can really go a long way.
I read a story of a gentleman who worked at a toll both for over 30 years. Where his co-workers would literally drag their feet and pull themselves into what one of his colleagues called her "coffin" for the day, he just grinned and said "Excuse me but I am having a dance party." He would play his favourite tunes and dance the day away. As he completed his mundane, routine task of collecting money, it was hard not to notice the joy overflowing in his spirit to all who passed by. A great example of finding joy where there is only a boring, predictable routine in some people's eyes.
Look for drops of sunshine in each day. It doesn't take much to turn our days around if we are open. A sunshine surprise could be a note from a friend, a coffee left on a desk, a sweet hand drawn picture with a heartfelt message in backwards letters, a concerned phone call, a hug, or a smile. All these things can help make a bad day better or a terrible day bearable. I remember one particular day at school several years ago, I was having some emotional stuff going on and I found myself teary in class. It was not something I could discuss with the students but kids are very perceptive and I know they could tell I was a little "off." At that time one little boy came and just about knocked me off my feet surprising me with the biggest bear hug of all time and later that day a sweet little girl begged me for a chance to share an original song she had wrote. Of course I obliged as how could I deny her adorable face and heartfelt enthusiasm? Much to my delight and surprise is was affectionately entitled by her "Why I Love Mrs. R." Sometimes I am truly humbled by what I do every day and kids sure do have a special way of helping you remember what is really important in life. Lots of sunshine coming from their pockets towards me for sure. I needed my sunglasses in class that day!
I love Justin Timberlake's new song called Can't Stop The Feeling as it talks of having sunshine in your pocket and dancing the day away no matter where you are. I have included the video at the end for your enjoyment. For copyright reasons, it cannot be directly linked to the blog but the link at the bottom will take you to YouTube to view it.
My mom used to refer to this premise but she called it "Keep a rainbow in your heart." It was her way of saying no matter what comes your way today, stay positive and your day will go much better. It was a simple statement, but really made sense to me even at a young age.
Often I have been prompted to say a compliment to someone, or perform a kind, simple gesture yet have questioned the significance. It is always reassuring when I go ahead and do it, and time and time again the person often confirms that is just what he or she needed.
In Sunday School we were taught this little formula that uses the letters of joy to instruct how to have true joy in your life. It goes put Jesus first, others second and yourself last. It makes sense as when we do this, we get our eyes off our circumstances and can reach beyond ourselves and help others. The cool thing is we get helped as well in the process, so it is clearly a win - win.
What sunshine in your pocket do you have to offer? I read a quote this week that stated "One of the best things you can do to improve the world is to improve yourself." Very true. Don't ever question your value. You have the power to make someone's day who may need exactly the sunshine you have for them in their very dark and cloudy time. Think about that. Don't hesitate to shine and keep your own attitude positive. Sometimes we are the only ones available to pull ourselves out of a funk. If that is your scenario, remember the man in the toll booth and know although your daily life may not be all you had hoped it would be, you always have a reason to be happy and dance the day away.
Until next time,
Matthew 5:16 ~ Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, which is in Heaven.
Little Lesson Learned: A little ray of sunshine can brighten the darkest corner.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2016
Isn't summer fabulous? The sunshine, the birds chirping, the beautiful days to spend with those you love. It is such a wonderful season. It is also the season where many are planning special vacations, or little getaways with those they love. This year as fate would have it, we had to put a roof on our house, so that put a little glitch in our vacation plans. Nevertheless we were determined to plan some nice family times, but in a closer vicinity than we normally do. This year our main vacation will be on Canadian soil, which goes a little easier on the pocketbook. No matter where you go though, I am finding it is always a treat to just be together.
On Thursday our family went to Frankenmuth, Michigan. Tyler especially has been working so much, it was so great to have a chance for the four of us to spend time together. What a great day it was! It brought back such great memories of my childhood. Every December our church organised a "seniors" trip to Frankenmuth and by some miracle because our moms were going (although they were certainly not seniors) they allowed a bunch of us kids to go as well. As a parent now, I am surprised that they allowed us kids to tag along, but to our credit we were forewarned about what behaviour was expected and we graciously complied. What a thrill it was to visit Bronner's, a Christmas wonderland that is Christmas themed every day of the year. The fact that we went there during the Christmas season was an added bonus. To say we were excited was an understatement. I saw that excitement in my own kid's eyes this week even though they are older. Something about Christmas that brings out the kid in everyone. We even picked up some special ornaments for them that were a great keepsake from our trip. Other highlights included, shopping in the quaint, little shops, enjoying a local concert, revelling in the tasty food from Frankenmuth's unique restaurants and taking a riverboat cruise on the Bavarian Belle at day's end. A great way to unwind and catch up on all the local history and sites Frankenmuth has to offer. It is only about 2 hours or so away and it was a great day! Our next adventure this summer will be off to our nations' capital, Ottawa which is sure to hold lots of fun and great memories too.
Before school let out we did an assignment on "My Favourite Place." Time after time the kids mentioned the simple locations that gave them the most joy. Local highlights like the Splash Pad at Seacliff Park, Colasanti's, or Point Pelee came up time after time. Often a friend or family member's house was a place that brought them great joy and lots of awesome memories as well. I was touched by their gratefulness for the simple excursions and all that they have to offer, as these are often overlooked. I have really been finding that to be true myself as we have a pool in our backyard. Especially this year we have really enjoyed it. It is a great place to relax, visit with company and just forget about your worries for awhile. Sometimes we can search so far for the perfect place to visit and often it can be right in our own backyard literally. Embracing the simple pleasures is where it is at.
Whether you are travelling far this summer or enjoying a day trip or staycation here are some things to remember.
Take Lots of Pictures
You will want to have memories of these special times and we know how quickly they are over and we get back to business as usual sadly. You will enjoy looking back on the special memories you made.
Cherish the Time
Know that kids grow up and life moves on. You do not know how often you will get opportunities like this again. Enjoy every minute. These times were meant to be special and memorable and you deserve this time with those you love.
Don't be afraid to spend a little extra money to treat yourself to something meaningful like a unique souvenir, a memorable event, or a once in a lifetime experience. Last year we spent a fair amount of money when in Tennessee to go see the Dixie Stampede and to go zip lining. Money well spent. Worth every penny and my family agrees.
Love Those You Are With
Take a moment to pause and thank God for those who are with you on whatever vacation you are on this summer. You are blessed to have them at your side and we never know how much time we are given to love and cherish those that God has blessed us with. Hug them often and let them know how great it is to be sharing these special experiences with them.
Celebrate the moment wherever you are. Near or far there is much to enjoy. Safe travels everyone.
Until next time,
Little Lesson Learned: It doesn't really matter where you go. It is about spending special time together that really counts.
Ecclesiastes 8:15~ So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.
Copyright: Littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2016