The sky. We always know it’s there. Every day I look out my window or walk outside and see it. It tells me what I might wear, whether it’s sunny or cloudy, rainy or dry, whether I need sunscreen or an umbrella, practical things like that. But lately, I’ve been paying more attention, and I’ve found something there I might have overlooked.
Honestly, I think my inspiration came from my daughter. For quite some time she has noticed and commented on the sky. One time she asked me, “Mom, what is your favorite time of day?”
I had to think for a moment because I like different times of day for different reasons, but ultimately I chose morning. I like morning best in the summer, when I don’t have to rush to work. Sometimes I’ll take my coffee outside and soak in the warmth of the sun, or I might sit inside and enjoy the silence that isn’t there the rest of the day.
“I like dusk the best,” she had told me.
Her reason? She said because she likes the way the sky looks most at that time.
Later, she told me the sky had really been capturing her attention, that she was in awe of it some days. When she was at home for breaks from college, she commented on it so frequently that I couldn’t help but think about her whenever I saw a beautiful sky. She had reminded me of the beauty and wonder there.
I started taking pictures of the sky some days on my drive home from work, or when I looked out my kitchen window while cooking dinner, thinking, Oh I need to send this sky to Jenny. She will love it. I now have a collection of skies on my phone if anyone ever needs one.
What I began noticing was this – whenever I looked up at the sky, I always felt better. It became sort of a habit for me. If I was feeling down, anxious, worried, I would look up and my thoughts turned from gloom to, Wow, that’s beautiful, or Thank you God, or God, you’re amazing, or simply Woah, Look at that.
Wow, Beautiful …….
Thank you ……..
Today was one of those days when I wasn’t feeling so happy. I think after a wonderful weekend traveling out of town to visit my boys, I had sort of fallen into a sad slump. Nothing was going wrong in my day, I just wasn’t feeling real peppy, and sometimes when that happens, it’s easy to get trapped in a downward spiral.
But, I didn’t want to feel that way. So, I looked up, and there was that sky.
This morning’s sky was clear blue, with puffs of big white clouds. I prayed to God to help me through the day, to walk with me, my family, my children, my students, my friends. I asked God to help me feel better.
As I prayed, the song “Touch the Sky” by Hillsong United came on. That’s when I knew I had to share some sky today. Surely I’m not the only one having a rough moment or a general feeling of blah.
The chorus says,
My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky
When my knees hit the ground.
Wow, is what I thought. I touch the sky …….. When my knees hit the ground. That echoed in my mind. When I surrender to God, when I let him be in charge, when I let him know I’m sad and need his help, when I notice his sky around me lifting my eyes up, THEN I touch the sky. THEN I find my help and my peace.
I parked in my usual parking spot, and this time as I looked up, I didn’t see sky. But, I did see God. In front of my car was the church sign, a reminder of how this place has grounded me for so long, and beyond that, the street, where cars slowed down to enter the parking lot. Inside one car was one of my students, laughing as his dad talked animatedly to him, in another was a student with a smile, and another had one simply gazing out the window. They were all heading where I was. They were each waiting on the day, under the same sky, the same opportunity for clouds or sun, dread or hope, and I had the opportunity to be part of that, to help make it sunny or gray.
This all might sound a bit much for a simple drive to work, for a simple gazing at cars in a parking lot. But, our God is not simple. He creates that vast sky above our heads. And I believe he creates it to tell us something big, to remind us to look up, to tell us we are loved. In the simple and the complicated. In the grand and the mundane.
And to make a day of sky gazing even bigger, today in my typically warm, sunny California town, SNOW FELL! Students ran outside to catch it, photograph it, laugh in it, play in it. Some looked up and tasted it, and undoubtedly, no matter how they felt about the day so far, they were happier after looking up at that snowy sky.
So, I’m sending you sky today. In the photos on this page, in the invitation to stop what you’re doing and glance out your window or step outside. Look up. The sky is there. And I believe it has something to tell you that might just make things a little better.
Woah, Look at that…….
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” –Psalm 121:1-2