๐ŸŽ‹Look Up๐ŸŽ‹… by JoAnn

A woman sitting on the ground in front of a sunset.

When I was a little girl, I, like all children, loved to play outside. I loved looking up into the high trees on a breezy day. Watching the sunshine shimmer through the branches as the wind blew them in a gentle dance. I adored looking up towards the sun and feeling its warmth kiss my cheeks.

In my teen years, those things were no longer important to me. Long gone were the days of being lazy, lying in the sun on the cool green grass. Days were filled with schoolwork and jobs. And, of course, boys. More time was spent indoors under fluorescent lighting, either at school or at my office job. Even on a day trip to the beach, I never looked up. As long as the sun was shining, I was there for one reason and one reason only. To get a tan!! I’d oil myself up with Hawaiian Tropic sun tanning oil and not leave until my skin was at least three shades darker.

Fast forward ten years, and I am a wife and mother to 3 little girls. We moved 800+ miles away from the bustling city of Tidewater, Virginia, to a rural little town in Tennessee with a population of barely 2,000 at that time. For the first time since I was a child, I began to look up again.

My youngest was only a baby at the time, and I found myself driving her around the back roads of my town to put her to sleep for her daily nap. It was a peaceful time for the both of us. I began to notice the beauty of the sky again, regardless of whether it was bright blue or dark from a looming storm. I noticed the cloud formations and the hawks that live abundantly here in our town. I loved watching them fly and play in the wind on a breezy day.

But the most beautiful thing I had ever seen when I began looking up again were the sunsets. The gorgeous sunsets! For the first time in my life, I was actually paying attention to the sun setting. And the ones here in our Northwest Tennessee area are spectacular. I have two words to describe them, pink and lavender. Those are the prominent colors in every magnificent sunset we have here. I almost feel as though I am committing a sin if I don’t take the time to look up and take in the beautiful sunset.

I truly believe, or know, that God brought me to this little town not to shock me as I thought but to calm me. To put me in a quiet place where I would not only look up and see His handiwork but also hear His voice in my heart again. It worked. Thirty-plus years later, and I am still catching the sunsets. If I ever find myself forgetting to look up like before, I know what I need to do. It only takes a moment out of your day to pay attention to what’s around you in nature. I never want to forget to look up again.

When was the last time you enjoyed a sunset?