When I was in college studying to become a teacher, a children’s literature class was a requirement. The class demanded a lot as I recall, but what fun to read so many stories and poems that I could put in my toolbox when I started teaching.
One project involved making a poetry collection that needed to be typed up (Yes, no computers back then!), categorized into sections, and collated into a notebook. My dad got involved by suggesting he make a notebook that would be sturdy for use in a classroom. The wooden laminate covered project has stood the test of time and sets on a bookshelf in my home today.
I still recall many of the poems it contains. One of these is by Charles Kingsley who was an English poet from the 1800’s. The short lines made an impact on me that I still periodically recall. The words are these:
“If you want to be miserable think of yourself, about
what you want, what you like, what respect people
ought to pay you and what people think of you.”
I recalled it again today and reflected on what powerful truth it contains. When my focus is solely on myself, I cannot see anyone else accurately nor can I see the Lord. Focusing on myself to the extent implied by Kingsley can lead to depression, self-pity, victimization, blaming, resentment, bitterness, and so much more.
I was often tempted to move to the opposite extreme of never thinking of myself or counting myself worthy of attention or love as I was growing up and the result was still the same because it still focused on what I didn’t have or didn’t get. It still was out of balance with the focus on “I”.
Thankfully, the Lord brought people into my life that helped me see there was a better way, a balance, which could only come when I allowed the Lord to adjust my perspective and my line of sight. I began to recognize how many other people around me dealt with similar feelings no matter what their age or how much bravado appeared to be present when I interacted with them. When I had a better lens to see others more clearly, I listened carefully to what was said as well as what I did not hear. It helped me to stop comparing myself to others and showed me that we all struggle with some level of self-doubt and uncertainty. We all lose people or things we love. None of us experience the fulfillment of all our hopes and dreams. We don’t live in Eden before the fall.
I began to realize that I had spent too long wanting what was taken instead of looking at what was given. That truth opened my heart to overflowing gratitude so that even on my worst days I could discover things granted to me, how much had blessed me. It also freed me to love others better because I had gotten out of the way so it was the Lord’s love that shone versus my own selfish version. I could better give others what I wished for myself without expecting to receive it in return.
Today as I sat with my cup of tea I saw so many evidences of the Lord’s love, grace, and mercy despite the discouraging news all around me. It reminded me of a favorite phrase a precious young woman used to describe them. She called them “God winks”, little reminders of His goodness. These are the antidotes to the problem Kingsley describes.
Look for “God winks” in your day today!
Also featured on Growing Together In Grace and Knowledge for Feature Friday. Click the image to visit.
17 thoughts on “Looking for God Winks”
Thank you for this post. I love God winks and look for them everyday – right now the butterflies, the hummingbirds and some flowers blooming and the cooler weather here today in Texas. Looking at what was given. I love it.
I love those things as well. I have been looking to see if I see any Monarchs before they head south for the winter. Our flowers here in Ohio are barely hanging on after nearly 6 weeks without rain. Thanks so much for your encouragement and stopping by!
What a beautiful reminder.I’m so glad I could start my day out with this. It reminds me of something Henry B. Eyring said (he was speaking about keeping a journal):As you start to write, you could ask yourself, “How did God bless me and those I love today?” If you do that often enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes you will have gifts brought to your mind that you failed to notice during the day but that you will then know were a touch of God’s hand in your life.
Have a wonderful day!
Thanks so much for stopping by today and sharing your own awareness of cuing into God’s touches and winks! Have a blessed day!
You are very welcome!
I have been so blessed by the many blogs I read on the link ups that I wanted to return the blessing by starting Feature Friday 😊
Have a wonderful weekend!
Pam, After commenting on Looking for God Winks earlier today, I wanted to stop by again and let you know that I will actually be featuring your post on my blog tomorrow during my new daily feature, Feature Friday.
If you’d like to grab my featured button, please stop by growingtogetheringraceandknowledge.blogspot.com
Thanks so much!! I’m honored! This is the first time this has happened for me! Could you help me out with how I “grab your featured button”? Thanks!
Got it!! The button now appears on the bottom of that post! Will look forward to visiting your site tomorrow! Thanks so much again!!
Hi Pam! I think it’s a true gift to be able to not only hear what people say, but to also be attentive to what isn’t said. I don’t know that I’m that good at it really. I need to concentrate more on ‘hearing’ that!
I really like the ‘God winks’ term. I do think He is waving and calling in the middle of everything we see and do, so why not wink too? Whatever will get us to notice and be thankful and joyful 🙂
Thank you for your messages! I’ve been SUPER busy, but we’ll keep it up, okay?
Thanks for stopping by! I knew from what you had said that you were having a very busy week. Please enjoy your sister and your special day and respond to the email after all that. Have a beautiful day! Grace and love, Pam
I had never read that quote before, but wow, it is so very true!
Your statement, “I began to realize that I had spent too long wanting what was taken instead of looking at what was given.” really resonated with me.
Thank you for sharing from your heart, what the Lord taught you and how you have overcome.
I love the phrase, “God winks”! 🙂
Thanks, Karen, for your feedback. The Lord is ever so gracious to us to patiently show us what we are missing while reminding us of His presence through God winks!
Visiting today from Holley’s link-up. I love the idea of looking at life with a new lens. It’s amazing what we see when our perspective changes, with even a small shift, isn’t it? Enjoyed reading your thoughts today!
Thanks, Valerie! Yes, it is! One of the challenges is to be aware the perspective has shifted. It can be subtle like when the lens of glasses has a smudge that somehow we miss that affects the clarity of our vision.
Kingsley’s poem hits the mark. God winks are so much more refreshing and joyous, aren’t they? Enjoyed visiting with you today via #coffeeforyourheart.
Thanks, Kristi! I appreciate your encouragement. Yes, God winks are!!