Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Forecasts & Focus

Today was a lovely day in Colorado. The sun was shining. The sky was blue. My kids ran, sang, and jumped outside in the seventy plus degree weather. All was right with the world. Yet, for tomorrow, the forecast shows snow, and a high of 32 degrees.

Today, while being the sort of gorgeous day that is meant to be spent out of doors…was also my weekly grocery shopping day. I made my long list, checked it twice {and good thing, I almost forgot pumpkin puree. Tragedy avoided!} and ran along to the store. I’m pretty sure I was humming Mary Poppins’ It’s a Jolly Holiday as I jaunted through the parking lot. It wasn’t until I walked in the doors of that large and spacious building that I noticed how completely packed the place was. You would have thought it was the Saturday before Christmas. Carts zoomed past filled to the brim with toilet paper and fresh fruit, water jugs and granola bars, flashlights and chewing gum. I packed my cart with every last item from my carefully crafted list, and when the checker asked me “So, you stocking up for the big storm tomorrow?”, I finally realized why the store was so crowded.

May I remind you that Coloradans are used to the snow. We live for the beautiful, calm, warm days before the storm…but are also well acquainted with the discomforts a blizzard brings. I don’t believe these shoppers were panicked, thinking they’d be stuck in their home for days, and so they’d best stock up on the essentials. I do believe that they had been warned. They had been told a storm was-a-comin’, and they simply didn’t want to be trekking to the market in freezing conditions to pick up the items they could have retrieved on a beautiful day like today. They were warned, so they went and prepared themselves for the worst to come.

Don’t you fret. This is not a lesson on emergency preparedness and food storage. I am way, way, way behind in that department, so I’m not even going to pretend to preach about that. This experience today did, however, get me thinking about how I should be prepping for the inevitable storms in my life. I think if I had a weeklong forecast of everything that was going to happen to me or my family, I could be fairly well equipped to tackle it all. But, in reality, no skinny little weather man in an ill-fitting suit is going to show up on my doorstep to predict the stinky things that will happen that day. He will not be there to tell me that someone will hurt my little feelings in a misunderstanding, or that my car will require costly repairs after breaking down on the way home from the airport, or that someone I cherish will decide to turn away from our shared beliefs, or that my little sweetie will need to be picked up from school early since he puked all over the snack table. The weather man will not be there to warn me about these misgivings, misfortunes, and heartbreaks, but I can be prepared to handle them all the same.

Life is full of unexpected, sometimes disheartening, sometimes tragic events. How can I be prepared to face the inevitable? By being steadfast and immovable in my convictions of who I am, who I love, what I believe, and what my purpose in life is. I find that understanding and pinpointing these four foundations brings such clarity in the face of uncertainty.

In short: I am a mom. A daughter of God. A lover. A wife. A friend.

I love my husband, my children, my family, my close friends, my God.

I believe in God - the Eternal Father, and that His son, Jesus Christ lived and died for me. I believe I will be reacquainted with them and my family & friends in a life after this.

I believe that my purposes in life are to teach; to share joy; and to bring light to everyone I can.

These are the things that are important to me. These are the things I will remain focused on when things don’t quite go my way. Continual focus is one little way I can prepare for the tempests in life that will most certainly come.

What things are important to you? What are your loves, beliefs, and purposes? What is your focus today?

On the sunny days and the stormy days…these things are a constant. Now get out there, and go fill up your cart with love, belief, understanding and passion…because you never know what tomorrow’s forecast holds!


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