"All sunshine and sovereign is God, generous in gifts and glory. He doesn't scrimp with his traveling companions."
I have to acknowledge, that word about my recent trip was true: each and every day, our team woke up in a new city or country (we stayed 2 nights in Athens & Istanbul, but spent each of the other 10 nights in different places), with wonderful new experiences to enjoy... I've included links to two of my photo albums below (representing less than 20% of the photos I actually took! as I tried to capture so many delightful moments and faces of those we came to cherish), as well as a beautiful summary (with more photos) written by one of our extraordinary team leaders... hopefully, these express at least some of the joy we felt on this trip! And it was truly a glimpse into our heavenly Father's joyful heart to experience His lovingly extravagant generosity in so many different ways over those 12 days...
Toward the end of the trip, I began to think: what if we woke up every day, looking for the good gifts God has prepared for us that day? Because, you know, God is just as good here at home as He is in Europe... it may be beautiful and exotic to vacation overseas, but - what if we learned to appreciate the beauty of so many simple yet wonderful things He has provided every day? What if, instead of waking up with a sense of foreboding, anxiety or boredom at the start of another "ordinary" day at work or home, we began to enjoy and anticipate God's good gifts with the same kind of excitement and expectation with which my siblings and I used to enter the family room on Christmas morning? :)
Interesting - on June 25 (the first day I woke up in my own bed at home after this trip), the daily devotional I've been enjoying this year - Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young (I highly recommend it!) - included the following, written as if from God's point of view:
"Open your hands and your heart to receive this day as a precious gift from Me. I begin each day with a sunrise, announcing My radiant Presence. By the time you rise from your bed, I have already prepared the way before you. I eagerly await your first conscious thought. I rejoice when you glance My way.
"Bring Me the gift of thanksgiving, which opens your heart to rich communion with Me. Because I am God, from whom all blessings flow, thankfulness is the best way to draw near Me...Remember that I take great delight in you; I rejoice over you with singing. [Zephaniah 3:17]
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.