Each day is a gift from God

Published 9:44 am Friday, June 13, 2014

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Janet White

My grandmother kept a diary all of her life. It was nothing fancy. In her early years, she would use a notepad. When they became available, she would get the five-year diaries where you only had about four small lines to write about each day, but she kept her diary faithfully.

Janet White

Janet White

While she never wrote much, just the few notes she made are fascinating.  She often would note the weather. In North Dakota the weather could be bitter, certainly in the winters. She would note briefly what she and/or her husband did that day. When her children were grown she would note when they came home to visit. At the end of her brief entry, she often wrote “grand day.”

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My Grandmother lived a life that you and I would hardly recognize. She lived much of her life without indoor plumbing, without a large refrigerator and without television. She lived most of her life in a town with a population of about 150. The town was an extended family and their lives centered on each other, school activities and church activities. Most days were spent with family and tending to the chores of the day. My mother remembers lots of time for reading, time to play games with the family in the evening, singing with her sister as her sister played the piano and time to just “be.” By today’s standards, it was harsh. And yet, my Grandmother considered most of her days “grand days.”

Clearly, we live in a different time. In talking with parents today, whatever the ages of our children, we live lives very different from my grandmother’s. Often both parents work and have activities of their own. Children are involved in multiple activities. In fact, children are as busy with summer activities as they are when school is in session. It seems we take little time to just “be.”

In our family, our grandchildren who are preschoolers have joined the ranks of children scheduled for any number of activities. The oldest, Alice Ann, wasn’t even two years old when she was in a baby gymnastics class. Our granddaughters are taking swimming lessons this summer. Our four-year-old grandson plays soccer.  Our daughters want their children to begin music lessons as soon as they can. I can only imagine how busy they will all be when these children grow to have voices of their own about all they want to do!

Ours may be a different time, but we still have the opportunity to make choices. As we enter the summer months, remember that each day is a gift from God. Spend time together with your family just playing. Refresh your minds and bodies with the unique kind of nourishment that summer offers.  Go to church to refresh your souls. Whatever you do, whatever choices you make, take the gift of each day that God gives you, and do what you can to make it grand.


Janet White is an interim pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.