Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Treasure Hunt Tuesday: Looking for Refreshment?

Welcome to the second edition of Treasure Hunt Tuesday! (If you want to read the introductory post from New Year’s Day, you can check it out here.) We are seeking to look for and notice the treasures God is providing in big and small ways every day, and I’m posting one or more of mine each Tuesday with the hopes you will join in and share yours with us, too.

I’m already finding it helpful to be more intentional about keeping track and giving thanks for many blessings, and I pray it will be a life-giving process for you as well. The more we notice, call out, and recount the positive, the more we train our eyes to see God's provision even in the midst of hardship or the mundane. I think of it kind of like mushroom hunting: My husband was great at this, but I don’t believe it’s because he had better eyes than I do. He had simply spent way more time looking for them over the years, so he could often spot several morels before I would even find one. That might be a weird analogy, but I want to develop the habit of turning my eyes and heart toward what’s best, no matter how my day or season of life is going, and over time it becomes easier and easier to seek and find more treasures each day.

So let’s get to the good stuff! Here are a few of my favorite recent treasures:

** A gorgeous sunset after an all-day rain

This past Friday I spent much of the day driving in downpours for a meeting (not to mention trekking through the rain and all the standing water in the parking lot!), so I was beyond grateful for the gift of a calm even if cool evening to go for a walk to unwind at the end of the day. The rain had moved on, and the cloud formations made for a spectacular sunset. I couldn’t resist snapping a few pictures.

Sometimes the most beautiful moments in life come right after a stretch of dreariness… and often even the clouds we wish would go away actually bring out the splendor of the light even more. So I want to remember and be grateful. (I’m also thankful it warmed up for a great weekend to spend time outside, which always refreshes my spirit, too!)

** Timely gifts of encouraging words

A friend to whisper a prayer with me on Christmas Eve night, an uplifting comment that same evening on a vulnerable sharing of my heart, a simple email of response and encouragement at work from one of my volunteers, and even the grace of a kind message and sharing of my blog this past week (which also feels like a vulnerable expression of my heart)-- These are the kinds of treasures I can come back to over and over because they are so impactful.

And here’s the thing: Three of the gracious efforts I listed above took less than five minutes, and one was only about a 30-second comment. Yet all of them stuck with me and made a mark on my soul and my perspective. So not only do I want to treasure and remember the refreshment these friends gave me when my heart can become discouraged, but I’m also asking God to help me notice and take advantage of opportunities to give these kinds of gifts to others.

Sometimes I can be overwhelmed by the needs around me to the point I think I can’t do anything that will make a difference, but I often forget that a five-minute card or phone call, or even a 30-second Facebook comment can make a big change in a person’s day and outlook. We all need to be reminded we’re not alone or invisible, and it often takes less effort than we think to be that encourager for someone else. I want to slow down and not pass up the open doors in front of me to share a kind word or prayer with a friend, acquaintance, or stranger.

** A song drawing my heart to worship and prayer

This one feels like a real “treasure hunt” because I’d actually been looking for this song for a bit, and the reason I couldn’t find it is that it wasn’t officially released until just a few days ago. I was blessed to hear Cody Carnes sing it live this past November, and then I heard it again on the Passion livestream last week (another treasure!). The prayerful lyrics and melody have captured my heart afresh:

Ahh… truly I just want You, Jesus. Nothing else.

This reminder also makes me want to be sure to articulate that the treasures we are looking to take note of every day are not an end in themselves--only Jesus. But as we name and recount His gifts, we remind ourselves that God is working in all the details of our everyday lives, and we turn our eyes in praise of the One who gives every blessing out of the fullness of His grace. What joy and refreshment for our souls!

I’d love to hear the treasures refreshing your heart lately, too! Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message. Happy treasure hunting!

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