Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer Thunder

We have enjoyed an abundance of spectacular summer thunderstorms this year.  Many nights have found me staring up into the sky, nose pressed against the window pane as I attempt to absorb the majesty and splendor that flashes chaotically, followed by a tremendous drum roll of thunder.

To bring us all up to speed, I will give a simple, elementary-level definition of what creates the perfect summer storm.  "Thunderstorms result from the rapid upward movement of warm, moist air." (Wikipedia)  A perfect summer storm will often occur on a humid summer night, after the ground has spent the day absorbing the sun's heat.

Something inside me has always loved the power displayed in a violent, noisy thunderstorm.  Perhaps it is the unleashing of "nature's fury" that serves to release my own tensions with each burst of lightning, and the ominous booming of thunder.  When a "good storm" is completed, I am calmed by the sound of millions of droplets of rain; the water that seems to wash away bad feelings and leaves me still, quiet and small.

Some of you may have wondered at my lack of postings for the past couple of weeks.  The laze of summer days has imposed a silence upon me as I catch up with my troubled thoughts, my stormy feelings and seek to restore a turbulent, hurried life to a place of rest and surrender.

In many ways, I feel like a thunderstorm has been brewing; as my life, so full and heavy, has heated up over time.  I've been running hard and fast - in overdrive, with my engine close to overheating.  I even came close to zapping a few people with the frustration and frenetic energy which churned inside of me - but the storm remained, contained (barely) inside my heart.

It is no wonder, and no surprise that this decline to my emotions, and this challenge to calm my anger has come directly on the heels of reading about gratitude.  It seems that with each new revelation, we are immediately bombarded with something contrary - an attack, as it were, on the new-found knowledge and inspiration.

For the past couple of mornings, I have been waking early and studying scripture relating to thanksgiving.  (Not until after I have had a few sips of freshly brewed coffee, that is!)  I flipped my Bible open to Psalm 34, and was intrigued by the title above the chapter:  The Happiness Of Those Who Trust In GodYes, please!  I am always in line for some extra happiness - especially lately, when I've been feeling drained and burnt out - and I'm already foreseeing and dreading the coming busyness of Fall.

Everything that I previously wrote about, concerning gratefulness and thanksgiving being directly related to joy, was once again reinforced in the first few verses of this psalm.  To put it simply, a soul that is focused on the greatness of our God (not on our own, sometimes crappy existence), along with having a heart that lifts up thanksgiving (I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth) results in a HAPPY, contented person.

I've been steaming, and brewing up the perfect summer storm by concentrating on myself.  I've been distracted and overwhelmed by the negative, instead of offering gratitude for the many blessings that surround me.

Since I am a mom, various songs from cartoons end up running through my head from time to time, and I wanted to share one on my blog today because it seems quite fitting.  I couldn't find the original song, but instead found an acapella version of the Veggietales song "Thankful Heart" from the film Madame Blueberry.

It's not easy to be thankful when you feel stuck in the muck; whether you are overwhelmed by bills, sickness, bad attitudes, work, a struggling marriage, or all of the above.  In the end, I believe that there is always something to be thankful for:  Sunshine, fresh air, apple pie, sleeping in, baby giggles, family, a good book, summer storms, and most of all, a Heavenly Father who loves us!  No matter what is going on, thankfulness can lift your heart above your circumstances and give you the boost you need to get through the day.

A thankful heart is a happy heart.

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