FullSizeRender (33) The past few weeks in southeast Texas it has been rainy (to say the very least..).  Foggy, drizzly, blustery, blurry, wet, showery, stormy…. Need I go on?

Lightning struck so loudly one early morning, it shook me to my core.

The colorful clouds are traded for gray.  Gray skies. Gray skies that trade the sounds of the singing birds for the fearful clashing of thunder.

One of my favorite things in this life are the clouds.  Poufy cushions of all my favorite hues. Soft, billowy floating pieces of peace to me.  Since I was a kid, I’ve watched them… imagining what it must be like to float on a cloud.  Excited to see the growing light peek above the cloud’s rim… gradually overtaking the cloud and beaming out.  A big smile of light!

We live through different seasons of life.. Mine has been a bit stormy and gray.  Some events surprise you like the spring thunderstorm that suddenly appears from no-where. Catching you off-guard out at the ball-park, you fuss at yourself for not being prepared.  Everyone scrambling for cover.  Then there are the storms you feel coming, long before they arrive… the clouds churning, rolling side to side.  You set your galoshes by the door, and buy a new polka-dot umbrella.

And, ready or not, the storms come.  Rain can make every task a little more difficult.  Sometimes you get soaked.  Mud seems to creep everywhere…  The rivers rise, and flow across the road, keeping you at times from a destination.morning_dew

The lightning storms are scary, making you unsure of what to expect next.  The fog and rain make visibility oh-so-difficult.  I drive slowly, windshield wipers whisking back and forth, while the rain pounds on the roof.  I squint, and lean forward.  Maybe that will help.

Give me eyes to see, I pray.

I didn’t see that coming.  I did see that coming.  I wish that I didn’t have to walk through this pain. And, I wish I didn’t have to see those around me experiencing such turbulence.  The tears fall around me.  The storms beckon those tears.  I feel those tears deep in my heart..

Sometimes the storms are so bad, that the world seems to stop for a bit.  The hurry-scurry of life slows down, you watch out the window as the rain pours, the gutters flood, and the lightning strikes.

And maybe, we can hope to see the gifts in our storms.  A gift of slowing down, and taking in the sounds of the rain. Attentiveness to where our life is today, and where we are headed.  Sometimes its hard to be intentional, with all the busy running to ‘n fro… So, maybe a gift in the storms, is to stop, or at least slow down, and reflect.

It’s certain that after the rainy storms, everything grows, right? Just like the line from my favorite musical, “..rain will make the flowers grow…”  I guess it’s not as pretty to say, yet true, that rain also makes the weeds grow. What’s in my garden that I want to grow? Never fail, it’s funny to me how after a good rain our yard’s grass shoots up at rapid rate!  Kinda like that rate which I might see growth in my heart through life storms.  It could be sprouts of bitterness, negativity, detachment, or hopelessness that spring up at a faster pace after my storms….

Or, it could be gifts of patience, resourcefulness, new changes, meaning, wisdom, creativity, and maybe even new gifts to give others.. such as true empathy.

I have to be careful, in my life it seems, the weeds can choke out the beautiful gifts that can grow from my storms.  For me, it takes work. Intentional work.  I have to tend my little heart garden.  Digging out the little sprouts that will cause me more pain, and clearing the way for the good things to have loads of room to flourish.

Give me eyes to see.313-800

I’m so grateful for those eyes.  The eyes that take me to a place of gratitude, a place of understanding… and sometimes, simply to a peace in the midst of that I don’t understand, or that which I can’t be grateful about in my life right now.

Eyes to see beyond my fears.  Eyes to see beyond my pain.  Eyes to look into a glimpse of the future joys.  Eyes to see the strength for the future struggles.  Eyes to see deep within my spirit His perfect love, a love that chases away all fear.

Eyes that can see beauty in the storm, and the purpose in the rain.  Eyes that see the lightning will pass, and that Mr Sunny-shine will smile again. 🙂  My days of poufy clouds to ride on will come.  And, yes, there is certain to be days of more storms, too.

….and, eyes to see the gift that we are not alone.

“For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live;
If dark hours about me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

It is well, it is well with my soul.”

~Horatio Spafford

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