It’s another cloudy, gloomy day here in eastern Iowa. We haven’t seen the sun in days, and the weather forecast shows we may not see it anytime soon. Goodness. I know I’m not alone in saying I miss the sun and I’m beyond ready for it to return. We know it’s shining up high in the sky, but it’s blocked by the heavy cloud cover. You know? Maybe it’s time to make our own sunshine.

Some days we just have to make our own sunshine.

Some days the only sunshine we might see is the sunshine we make.

And today, I believe, is one of those days. Just because it’s a cloudy day, doesn’t mean this day is garbage. No, not at all. After all, the psalmist said in Psalm 118:

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 NRSV

Yes. This day is a gift from God. Even if the sun is hidden. Even if the gloom is originating from our situations, hearts, or attitudes. We can still rejoice and be glad it in. It is still a beautiful day. But how? How do we rejoice in today? How do we make our own sunshine? Let’s brainstorm.

Here’s a short list I wrote down this morning. Feel free to add to it in the comments below.

12 Ways To Make Our Own Sunshine Today

1. Listen to your favorite music.

Better yet, get up and add a few moves to the music. Today might be a good day to break out the 80s. (What’s your favorite music, by the way?)

2. Watch a funny or uplifting video on YouTube.

May I suggest John Krasinsky’s Some Good News? That’ll brighten anyone’s day!

3. Journal what you’re grateful for today.

Add to it when you think of it. Who knows? Maybe this’ll become an uplifting habit!

4. Get out the crayons and color books.

Don’t have any? Doodle, write, or just be creative on paper. Make a paper airplane and see how far you can launch it. Allow your mind to get creative.

5. Get active.

Take a walk or ride your bike. Why not invite a friend or neighbor to join you, six feet apart, of course (during this time of social distancing)? Activity helps our attitudes!

6. Do something nice for someone else.

Make sunshine for another. Pop a “thinking of you” card in the mail for someone, or take an iced tea to the neighbor working in her yard (social distancing, of course). Call someone who has been on your mind, or send a thoughtful text. Reaching beyond ourselves always brings the sunshine.

7. Cross something off your to-do list.

The simple act of crossing something off as “done” lifts our spirits. Is there something you’ve been putting off? Maybe today is the perfect day to finish it. Think of how that’ll feel once it’s done!

8. Dig in the dirt.

This is a great way to make sunshine. Plant a flower or two. Pull some weeds (or in my case, a lot of weeds). Plant a garden or your favorite vegetable in a pot. Also, watching something grow that you planted is encouraging and sunshiney!

9. Do something you enjoy.

What is it that you enjoy? Reading? Writing? Exercising? Baking? Sewing? Do that thing. That’ll make sunshine, for sure!

10. Try something new.

Try a new recipe, or modify a current one. Why not try crafting or painting or a hobby you’ve always thought about venturing into? Learn a new skill. Breaking out of the norm helps lift our spirits!

11. Plan an adventure.

Today may be a great day to make plans for some fun. Even as many things are canceled this summer due to COVID-19, there are many things in your state that are still open. Get creative. Consider it an adventure. Sometimes we don’t know the hidden gems in our very own backyard!

12. Pray.

I’ve found the thing that helps me most when I’m struggling in the absence of sunshine is to talk with the One Who created sunshine in the first place. He knows everything about us and wants nothing more than to spend time with us. It’s always a great day to pray. This will surely add sunshine to our days!

Any day is a great day to make our own sunshine!

We don’t have to wait until a gloomy day to do so. And the thing is, the sunshine in our lives spreads into the lives of others. Whether it’s natural or the sunshine we make. Our lives can brighten the lives of others. If for no other reason, that’s a great one to make our own sunshine!

You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.

Matthew 5:16 VOICE

Maybe the sun is shining brightly where you are today, and I hope that is the case. But, if it’s not, how will you make your own sunshine? What will you do to brighten your corner of the world today?

The sun will return, friends. Stay encouraged!

Much love,

Linking this post with Mary for #TellHisStory.

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