Last week, my daughter and I took a drive. A 1500 mile drive from Atlanta to Colorado. She has a summer internship with the US Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs which requires her car. My protective mother genes thought that was much too long of a drive to make solo.
1500 miles provides lots of time for talking and listening to tunes, and lots and lots of time for thinking. (And yes, even for occasionally fussing at each other. Gotta be real here.)
Finding joy in every journey: that’s my desire. And sometimes, that’s hard to do. But as the miles rolled on, I was grateful for the time with my daughter and for these life lessons, as well:
America is an incredibly beautiful and diverse country. It’s been a long time since I’ve driven to a distant destination because flying is cheaper and so much faster. And honestly, I dreaded the long trip. But driving westward, my attitude changed along with the changing terrain. No matter what state, there was beauty. Constantly changing beauty. We’re blessed, folks. It really is America, the Beautiful.
Kansas seems like it will never end. So do some seasons of life. I know for moms who are dealing with the “terrible two’s,” (or three’s or four’s or thirteen’s), people undergoing chemo, or families enduring military deployment of a loved one, one day really can seem like a thousand years. So does driving through Kansas. (Sorry, Dorothy) But the seasons of life really do change, and nothing lasts forever. Don’t lose heart.
Chick-fil-A needs more locations across this country. A lot more.
Great attitudes can be found anywhere. Even in the most humble of jobs. In one small town, we experienced remarkable service at a drive-through. (And it wasn’t even at a Chick-fil-A) The server was incredibly gracious. When I affirmed her great attitude, she said: “I just love my job.” And she was serious. What a beautiful example about how we should all approach our work, no matter how humble the task. Gratitude always wins and a great attitude is inspiring.
Several weeks ago, I attended a conference for aspiring speakers, and was wallowing in “I’m not making enough progress” after talking to a gal in her 30’s who has a million blog followers. A million. I was lamenting my inadequacies to a wise man who told me not to compare myself to others, but to look behind me, and see where I’d come. To reflect on the progress that I had made over the last 18 months. Doing that gave me a sense of gratitude instead of a sense of “I’m a loser.”
At one point on our drive, we went through a series of thunderstorms. Anne kept saying “there’s got to be a rainbow somewhere.” Sure enough, she spotted one…in the rear view mirror. It reminded me of those wise words to not compare, but to look behind me and see where I’d come. Try it…I’ll bet you’ll find beauty, too! Maybe even a rainbow.
Think about trying a road trip of your own this summer. Go exploring. See America. You’ll be amazed at the beauty you’ll see and the lessons you can learn. There truly is joy in the journey.
Receive a regular dose of encouragement by signing up for the Leave Nothing Unsaid / Jody Noland newsletter!