I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's All About Perspective

Have you ever had one of those mornings when you are trying to herd three kids under the age of 6 out the door in time to only be 10 minutes late to the dentist? My friend had one of those days last week. She finally had the kids fed and dressed and in the minivan and the only thing left standing between her and a free toothbrush and smiley face stickers happened to be a set of train tracks.

As she approached the tracks, the lights started flashing and the familiar warning bells clanged. As she sighed and tried to estimate the length of the train and the number of minutes this translated into, her five year old daughter Ellie squealed and started bouncing up and down in her seat. “Look, Mommy, we get to see a train!"

We GET to see a train.

What for my friend was a common sight, an inconvenience, really, was the highlight of her daughter’s day. She couldn’t wait to tell Daddy about the train. Even the dentist heard about the train between Mr. Suction and the power toothbrush.

How often do we see obstacles as inconveniences or a source of frustration? Writing is a hard road filled with many “trains.” What if instead we chose to have Ellie’s perspective? What if we saw the trains in our path as opportunities, placed there by God Himself?

Can you remember a time in your life where something that seemed to an obstacle was actually a blessing when you changed your perspective?



Image from freephoto.net


  1. I didn't win a particular contest I really wanted to, but later in hindsight (always hindsight) I realized I wasn't ready for what winning that contest would bring. My manuscript was a disaster. I would have been overwhelmed beyond belief. I appreciated that train!

    A thought-provoking post! Loved it:)

  2. Hi Jessica! I completely agree that contests can be a great time to change our perspective, even if it's so hard at the time. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh, no, Amy...(groaning)...this is 3 times I've heard this message in 2 days...I must really, really need to change my attitude. lol.

    But you are so right. It is all about perspective. And like Jessica said right above me, if I'd gotten some to the things I really wanted and prayed for, it would've been a disaster!

    Thank you, God, that You give me only what I need.

  4. Following in the footsteps of my grandmother and mother, I was a third-generation worrier until God changed my perspective. I used to worry that bad things would happen as the result of what I did wrong or failed to do right. God taught me that I'm not in control, so everything bad thing that happens isn't my fault. It's a waste of time to worry about things I can't control. So I just pray and--worry free--leave the results to God.

  5. Last summer. I had surgery, and had "an unexpected outcome," which resulted in more times on an operating table, pain and the opportunity to see many glimpses of God's fingerprints of love on my life. I don't want to repeat what I went through last summer, but I wouldn't trade the deeper understanding I have of God's passionate love for me. :)

  6. Ah, perspective.
    But such a priceless commodity.
    My surprise pregnancy when I had 3 teens -- I mean really,what was God thinking?!
    And then ... ah, the unexpected blessings for me, for my husband -- and for our teenagers! Our family was changed so wonderfully by that unexpected blessing.

  7. Thanks for this refreshing reminder of changed perspective. It's good to remember that even rough situations produce good long-term results.

  8. Amy - I had to laugh when I read your post. I was "trained" twice today already, bringing my son to marching band practice and coming home. Of course, when you live less than 2 blocks away from a double train track, that happens quite frequently.

    When we first moved into our house, one of the big negatives was the fact that it was close to a very busy track. We knew the trains would be noisy, we knew we'd spend much time waiting, and--our kids being 5, 3, and 2 at the time--we were weary of safety issues. But naturally our kids had a different perspective. Every time they'd hear a train horn they'd rush to the window to watch it. Even more exciting was when "people" trains passed. To them, living close to the train tracks was the greatest perk of our new home.

    Now, several years later, I've come to enjoy the trains, especially at night when their rumbling lightly shakes the house like a soothing lullaby.

    You're right, perspective makes all the difference.

  9. Hi Pat! Isn't it great when a theme keeps popping up like that? You want to say, "Okay, God, got it, message received. Can we move on yet?" :)

    You are so right, God gives us only what we need. Thank God!

  10. Roxanne, I'm so glad you were able to break free of worrying. It's so hard, and I'm finding it even harder now that I'm a mom.

    As a kid I used to watch Rescue 911 all the time, then get worried I would get hit by a car or drown in a pool or choke on hard candy. My mom had to remind me that God was in control and he already knew what was going to happen to me. I remember feeling so comforted by this.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Jeanne, I love the idea of God's fingerprints on us and I'm so glad you got that perspective out of a trying circumstance. You're right, his love for us is absolutely amazing, and I'm so glad we get to see glimpses of it through the hard stuff.

  12. Beth, I love your story and the blessing your youngest daughter has been to your family. My husband is of the current mindset that we should only have 2 kids, and I tell him ALL THE TIME that I'm praying for 2 kids and a surprise blessing (or twins for #2 and 3) Hee hee. It's good to know God has that under control. I just hope he doesn't surprise us with twins for # 3 and 4! Yikes! :) I guess then the surpirse would be on me, but worth so worth it.

    1. Ack, typos galore. And on a response to our TEE. Hanging head in shame.

  13. Dear Dee, we are continuing to keep your family in prayers, I know it must be hard to read something like this during the current challenges. Remember, God does work for the good of those who love him. Blessings, my friend.

  14. Brenda,

    I love your story and that God can change your perspective on "actual" trains, too! That's awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  15. I've had major road blocks in my life in the past two years. And, yes, God has done some major shuffling in my perspective. God's given me a number of opportunities to "get to see trains". As always, His way is best even in the times when I don't understand why.

  16. God has brought many corrections in my life and a couple of very painful ones. It was hard to get past the pain at the time it was going on, even the anger I felt toward God for the first time. But humbling myself and confessing my anger helped God to help me. That time is forever etched in my mind but as I looked back on it, I knew it was THAT time that changed me the most. And changed me into the person I am becoming in Him and I am forever thankful to Him.

    Great post, Amy!

  17. Amy, so sorry for replying so late. Love the truth in your words. Working with little kids allows me to see the world through their eyes...and their excitement.

    When Hubby kept getting turned down for jobs, it was because God had something greater in store for him. I see that now, but it was tough at the time.