Most states in our country have this phenomenon called daylight savings time. In the fall we set our clocks back one hour and in the spring we set them forward again. Fall back, spring forward… This is done so that we can capitalize on our sunshine hours. Interestingly, Arizona and Hawaii don’t do this. I guess they’re happy with their sunshine as is. Why California, the sunshine state, still partakes, I’m not sure. Though I appreciate the sentiment, the spring forward time change is a tough one! Right now it’s 9:23am, which means that it feels like 8:23am. No big deal at this hour, but when my husband wakes up for work at 5:45 am (and oftentimes earlier) he feels like he’s waking up at 4:45 am. I don’t know anyone who appreciates the feeling of waking up earlier than they’re accustomed to. Of course, we all get used to it and in turn get to enjoy more sun in the winter. The one thing that excites me about the spring time change is that it’s like a little announcement that long summer nights are on their way. I do love to watch my kids playing outside when the sun is just setting at 8:00 pm. Eating BBQ outside on the back deck with friends, watching movies under the stars on warm nights, it’s all completely lovely!
The week after the time change, is not my favorite. Luckily, we homeschool! I pretty much declare the week after spring forward a modified vacation. We sleep until 8:00 am (or till whenever the baby wakes up), have leisurely breakfasts and get our schoolwork and chores done sometime before daddy gets home. As I sit at my dining room table writing this, while looking out my window at the beautiful hills in the distance, I feel really lucky. I know that I live a charmed life. I live in a bubble, surrounded by only what I choose to let in. I’m not sure how, or why I get to have this life. I know that it can all disappear in an instant. So, even on “tough” days like the day after the time change, I will choose to see the beauty life has to offer. I will choose to appreciate my life, my family, friends and home.
I think to really appreciate the good, you have to know some not so good. This is not an absolute. I know some incredible people who haven’t experienced many hardships, but have an immense appreciation for life. They’re probably the exception, maybe, I don’t know, I’m no expert. I just like to observe and spout my opinion about my observations and personal experiences. In general, I think it helps most people to have a reference point. I feel like I’ve lived a few different lives, within this lifetime, ranging from difficult to more difficult to easy to not so easy and everything in between. To clarify, I know that SO many people have had MUCH more difficult lives than I’ve had and can even imagine. I like to take what I’ve experienced and learned, especially the moments that weren’t the best, and turn them into something good. Without getting onto the nitty gritty, (that’s for another post) I’d like to think that I personally have a greater appreciation for my current life because of my past. Knowing heartache and abandonment helps me to appreciate the love I have for and from my husband and kids. Coming from a broken home, and experiencing loss through death makes me want to cherish my marriage, my friends, kids and my own life. Having struggled financially gives me an appreciation for the stability that my family has now. Being on the other side of the bad gives me a new, appreciative perspective. One day, when I feel brave, I’ll share some of these stories with the hopes that maybe I can help someone else going through something similar. That maybe I can help someone realize that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, a way to crawl out of the deep dark hole. That it all starts with a hope in Jesus Christ. I know I’m lucky. I don’t deserve the current happy ending that I’m experiencing. God doesn’t promise a happy ending. However, He does promise that He’ll never leave us, that we don’t have to be alone, that we can lean on Him, let Him carry our burdens to lighten our load. Unless you’ve prayed to the Holy Spirit for this promise to happen in your life, you probably think I’m nuts. Until you’ve experienced God’s promise, it’s difficult to understand. The Bible clearly states God’s promises, but it’s my personal experiences that convince me that He really is the best way out of the dark, lonely ditch.
Somehow, the topic of daylight savings time got twirled into a bit of a deeper thought. I guess this is just one example of how the Holy Spirit can work when you let Him lead your thoughts. Having to adjust our lives to one hour of difference twice per year is a very minor inconvenience compared to the difficulties that millions of people are dealing with on a daily basis. It’s definitely easier said than done to keep a positive outlook on life when in the midst of struggling. Turning to God may seem like a pointless endeavor. It’s not! I can, with complete confidence, say that GOD WILL follow through on His promise. You will feel the weight come off your shoulders if you surrender to Jesus, if you ask the Holy Spirit to help you. No matter how small or large, It’s as simple as a prayer. “Lord, please help me”. Say it daily. Hourly if you need to. Keep your sights on Him and He will help you. In the light, the sunshine, the darkness, no matter the hour, falling back or springing forward He is always there. Let Him help you to be the next one to notice the beauty and good and the light in your life because you’ve triumphed through the darkness, springing forward to the light.