Does it seem like we’ve drastically shifted into summer? Here in Denver, we are in the midst of having a change in temperature, kids getting out of school and vacation stuff starting to get into our summer schedules. I’ve been thinking about all of these transitions. And for me, it feels like a sudden lurch into summer with dramatic temperature warming, longer days because of daylight savings, kids doing summer jobs and my total favorite, porch time!
As I was thinking about all of these changes this morning, I found myself thanking God that I wasn’t navigating icy roads. Furthermore, I’m not pushing through the morning darkness that goes with the customary late sunrise, which is the normal winter routine.
In contrast, today, I get to invite hummingbirds to enjoy the feeders that I’ve placed around my porch, along with enjoying some delightful sunshine. This is a sharp difference with January and the cold weather that chases away both my hummingbird friends and me from any relaxed porch time that is our normal summer routine. From a big picture perspective, there are lots of benefits that go with summer when we consider what this season is “not.” Summer is not when we:
- Might want to stay inside to enjoy a fireplace, hot chocolate and a good book.
- Shovel the snow from our sidewalks and driveways.
- Might drive a treacherous and icy adventure to the grocery store to get pantry essentials and stock up on coffee / tea supplies in case we get snowed in.
- Go skiing or snowboarding for those chilly and exhilarating plunges down the mountain.
- Drill holes in the ice on lakes to go ice fishing.
These things, along with other activities, are the standard winter activities and daily existence. With that said, generally, I like winter. But this morning, I found myself being thankful for stuff that’s not winter.
I bring this to your attention because I think there are some important “not” things for which we can be grateful instead of leaving gratitude for a seasonal expression related to Thanksgiving in November.
So here are some “not” things that we can be thankful for in this season to help us keep gratitude as a lifestyle more than an annual holiday.
- We don’t have icy roads, and this cuts down on the potential for car accidents J
- We don’t have to bundle up to go to the grocery store or run errands.
- In the summertime, we don’t have the long nights but rather the long days with lingering sun, heat and opportunities to enjoy some cooler evenings.
- We don’t need to wear wool socks, carry a hat and mittens nor have boots ready to trek through snow or sloshy sidewalks.
If you find yourself in a time in your life when there are lots of “nots,” then consider the other side of these deficiencies. It’s possible that there are some great opportunities in such deficiencies to express different things for which to be grateful!