For those of you who don’t know me, I’ll share a part of me that sounds kind of crazy to some who don’t have the “same place” in their lives:  I really, really, really want to live in Estes Park, Colorado.  I mean, REALLY!  (Long story, but I spent months “growing up” there when my father worked in the town for a while each summer.  So it is my “home” too, as far as I’m concerned.

To me, it is the place where my “soul” lives.

Now that might sound rather like an affront to something sacred, but I don’t mean my God-given “spirit” which is God living inside of me.  I mean that part of me that comprises what I love, desire, and dream.  Make sense to you?

Anyway, I used to read books on “how to plan your next fifteen years” and laugh.  Actually, I laughed in anger.  Have you ever read a self-help book and had that reaction?  Reality often smacks you in the face, right?

But, enough of my crying….

Every now and then, I have a run of “crabby pants” days, where I sit and long for what isn’t going to happen.  Now, at least I try to only be crabby “inside my head” but some of it may spill out on occasion.  There were a few days this past spring and summer, I admit.

Then one day I was sitting on my deck enjoying the glorious spring weather we had (until that heat wave hit!), and the spirit of God spoke to me and helped me make a list.

That’s a practical Holy Spirit, right?  He knows I love lists!

Well, it was a good list for me.  In fact, I typed it on my smart phone so I could look at it whenever I needed to.  It’s a list of what I CAN do, and it contained some very simple things:  I CAN sit in the swing on my deck and listen to the chimes; I CAN have a cappuccino;  I CAN plant flowers and feed and water the birds…etc.

I may not be able to do some things, and some things are very important to me and I still wish for them (like Estes Park), but God CAN direct my thoughts to what is available to me that may not be available to many, many people.  I think of working moms, who would give anything for a morning alone on a deck swing with a cup of coffee!  Or even just moms of young kids who’d love to have that time, whether they’re home or not 🙂

If you live in an apartment, feeding the birds and planting flowers becomes way harder.  But maybe you *can* hang a hummingbird feeder from a balcony.

In other words, think of what you CAN do in your own little world.

This isn’t meant to be a simplistic “feel good” message, because believe me, I know the yearning and hurt doesn’t go away.  But I have earned in my long years that many, many things are much more important than what I “want” or long for.

You get it.  Now I hope you think of your own “CAN DO” list, and even if it’s only two things, starting small is still starting to be thankful!

by Cindy Best