We spent Christmas in a locale on many people’s “hope to visit someday” list. Hubby’s family lives in . . .
The land of beautiful sunsets, crashing waves, gentle breezes, and . . . frustration.
One morning, Hubby and his brothers took all the Takenaka kids to a great beach. I love hanging out with my family, but my heart pitter-pattered at the thought of four hours of “me” time.
Three things filled my to-do list that day:
- Find a nearby beach access and dig my toes into some sand and water
- Quiet time with Jesus
- Work on the story I’m writing.
I strolled the sidewalks of Waikiki for forty minutes, searching for a path to the beach. When my injured ankle began to ache, I gave up. Concrete ruled the morning. Disappointed I walked to our hotel.
Hotels, old apartment buildings and busy avenues made up the immediate view from our room, but beautiful emerald hills rose beyond Honolulu. On that morning, large puffy clouds crowned them. My heart sighed at the contrast of green with gray/white. I settled into a chair on our lanai (balcony) and prepared to chat with Jesus.
As I turned on music to drown out blaring car horns below me, the wind flipped my Bible pages. And rain spattered my arms.
With more than a little attitude, I moved indoors and sank into the couch. I tried again to still my heart. Yes, I asked forgiveness first for my attitude. (grin)
Later, I pulled my computer onto my lap and clicked on my story.
I couldn’t open it. I searched the internet for solutions and found . . . nothing.
Beyond irritated, I shut down.
My soul hungered for beauty, but what it nibbled on was the ugliness of frustration. I was still focused on the disappointments when Hubby arrived “home” with two smiling boys.
Our nearest outer surroundings mirrored my inner condition. The ugliness just outside our lanai made me sad. The sense of “old” hung from every balcony.
Within me, discouragement and frustration roiled like the waves I’d seen earlier on our trip. Only instead of beauty a storm brewed.
How easily I focus on the ugliness that’s front and center, grabbing for my attention . . .
and allow disappointment to rule how I respond to other circumstances in my day, my life.
Sometimes, I must choose to look beyond the immediacy of frustration. To focus my eyes, instead, on the beauty in the distance.
It’s out there. I can see it if I’ll readjust my focus.
Sometimes, I see beauty with my eyes, like the mountains in the distance I glimpsed from that lanai in Waikiki. Sometimes, I have to see beauty with my heart, like when I re-discover hope.
Hope that enables me to move forward from where I am to where God wants me to be.
No, my situation on that Waikiki morning wasn’t a huge one, but it reminded me I can always choose where I focus my heart. Where I plant my eyes determines how I respond, both internally and toward others.
One choice leads to frustration. Another leads to beauty.
What about you? How do you find the beauty around you? What helps you work through disappointments? What locale is on your “hope to visit someday” list?