To borrow a phrase from a friend today, have you ever watched God thread the needle and sew things up? That's what I had happen today.
When I left my classroom last evening, I adjusted the Today I Love count that I keep for my students on the whiteboard and felt a bit of pressure as my own "count" turned to 1,000 days of loving. Now, count is a very loose term...remember I am a word girl, not a number girl. I have taken a day off now and again, still loving, but not always posting. I may have miscounted, and I have definitely posted more than a few DOUBLE WHAMMY and TRIPLE WHAMMY and even QUADRUPLE WHAMMY Days when it was just not enough to only love one thing. As I hit Day 100, I loved LOVE...I quoted some Bible verses and thought that it was a pretty stinkin' big deal to have intentionally loved for 100 days in a row.
Day 500 came and went and I honestly have no idea what I loved that day...it very well may have been LOVE again. And there have literally been a thousand crazy things along the way: I have loved the electric bill, being left handed, all sorts of food, BACON (multiple times!), particular people and loved ones, strangers, keeping dry, getting wet, PBJs, particular colors, pinky promises, weddings, sleeping in, staying up late, getting up early...you name it! But as day 1,000 came closer and closer, my mind actually started to wonder...would that be it? Would I run out of things to love after 1,000 days and have to finally come through with my promise to love chocolate chip cookies and call it quits?
Heavens no! Perish the thought! If anything, what today (a long day!) has taught me is that it is the actual LOVING that I love the most. It is the daily search, the wondering, the pondering over the day's happenings, and yes, sometimes the desperation to turn something negative into something positive before I fall asleep at night, that gets me through! I have never thought of myself as a "glass half full" optimist. Being medicated for depression several years ago pretty much stripped any idea of my being "positive" away from me. It is sometimes a genuine struggle to find any light in my day at all. But that's where this crazy obsessive habit has come in quite handy. By "forcing" myself to look for, to find, and to LOVE something each day, I do not allow myself to wallow...well, at least not permanently!
And the best best best part? Seeing it show up in others' lives. I found out late this afternoon that my seventh graders who are searching for that sweet spot between 6th and 8th (and keep getting in their own way as seventh graders will) just talked with their homeroom teacher and together they have started their own "Attitude of Gratitude" bulletin board; a place to sticky note up the things for which they are thankful.
So, silly as it may seem, when "beamish" showed up as the "Word of the Day" on my dictionary app (beamish; adjective, bright, cheerful, optimistic) I just had to laugh at God's sense of humor and absolute perfect timing! I could see Him threading that needle and beginning to sew up this 1,000 day issue for me once and for all.
And THEN when He arranged chapel and had the song "Speak Life" by Toby Mac played, I was chuckling (and singing along!) again. (Please listen if you have the few moments.) He THEN sent Matthew Vohlwinkel, youth pastor at a nearby church whom I have never met, to speak at chapel this morning about how we must search out those positive things in our lives, not grumble, not whine, and not miss the daily blessings that God sends us...yeah, I was smiling again.
So...1,000 days is a lot of days...but really not that many in the grand scheme of things. I expect to make it to at least 100 years, as My Ol' Man has said he will do. That's roughly 36,500 days in all. I'm almost halfway to that 100 year old mark, so that means I have roughly 18,250 days (give or take) left. So...what will I do tomorrow? Why, look for something to love of course.
and the next day...
I will love the LOVING.
Won't you please give it a try?
It really does make all the difference.