Two Moments of Hope!

sunset1Two specific events stand out in my childhood memory as recurring moments of hope: The first is the last day of school. What a relief! The pressure of assignments, pop quizzes and social stress was over.

Summer stretched as far as I could see offering freedom to explore, play and let my tattered brain heal in time for the next school year.

The second event was the first day of school. A day that stood before me like a clean slate, waiting to be filled with good grades and new friendships.

It has been 50 years since either of those events have intersected my life. But here on vacation I have been reminded of two daily blessings that glow with the same rays of hope.

shutterstock_1125261651. With every sunset a small chapter of our life closes. The challenges of the day fade with the last glimmer of light. The moment gives us a choice. Hold tight to the burdens that bowed our backs and drag them into the next day, or embrace the rest that can renew our strength for what lies ahead.

2. Every sunrise shines like a clean slate, just like the first day of school so long ago. It signals a chance to be better and to love more. What a gift!

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. Today, I woke to a beautiful sunrise that offered a moment to choose; accept the day as a magnificent gift, as my chance to move one step closer to the person I was created to be and embrace the love that gives me hope OR, stumble along in defeat, dragging yesterdays burdens into this new pristine day.

I’ve made my choice.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.  (Lamentations 2:22-23)

Do you remember those two special days of school?
How do you respond to sunrise and sunset?

sunset cup


  1. When morning gilds the skies
    my heart awakening cries
    May Jesus Christ be praised

    In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly

    From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.

  2. My two favorite times of the day are sunrise and sunset. Both times give me just a moment to relax, to breathe and just be still. If only for a minute, I get a chance to restore my soul. And most days, I desperately need that.

  3. Thank you, what a beautiful message. When I hit the facebook share button, it said oops site not found. I shared from my facebook page instead. Just wanted to let you know in case it needed something to fix it.

  4. Love the thoughts regarding sunrise and sunset. I so often carry things over. Instead of fretting over what I didn’t get done on my list, I get to start over with a new list or even better no list. Yea!

  5. So insightful! I help care for my mother with Alzheimers, and this is so helpful! The stress is unbelievable, and by the time the evening is over, we’re spent. This will help my perspective and my ability to forget when I lost my patience the night before……

    1. My dad succumbed to Alzheimers 6 years ago. My heart goes out to you as a caregiver. Thank God for sunsets and sunrises.

  6. You’ve nailed it, Ken. Sunrise and sunset. God knew we needed a time of rest and renewal and a new beginning. Love them both. Praying that you ever savor the gifts of each new day.

  7. Our Life Group watched “Fully Alive” last Thursday. Wow, I do believe it was life changing for me! It was most certainly thought provoking! I’ve prayed for ‘happiness’, a ‘change of heart’, said ‘thank you God for this day’…. I was diagnosed w/stage 4 breast cancer in Sept 2011. I went though 5 mos of heavy duty chemotherapy and am fortunate to say that chemo killed the tumors in by breast and lymph nodes, but not in my bones. I’m taking 2 drugs to keep tumors at bay and will be on them the rest of my life. So, I’m happy to say that I won’t die from ‘this’ cancer, my demise will probably be be a side effect of the drugs – ha! I’m deeply thankful to God for sparing me. Like I said I thank God for this day… While I was going through chemo, the ‘stress’ got to my then 26 yr old daughter and she started using again after being clean for over 6yrs. Oh my gosh, my life just exploded into one tragedy after another. To make a long story short, I have shared custody of my grandson and am estranged from my daughter. My husband and I are getting divorced because he started having conversations with a younger woman and wouldn’t stop talking to her.. He said nothing was going on, but he wouldn’t stop talking with her, then I started catching him in lies… It’s all so terribly sad… I ‘thank’ God for so much..but I’ve been living my life gratefully with a big chip on my shoulder. I have decided to go back to my home town, I’m taking my maiden name back and am giving myself a huge do-over…
    To get to the point of this post, watching ‘Fully Alive’ has made me really think about my life and how I perceive it. My grandson is not a burden, but a beautiful blessing, truly a gift from God. I’m talking to him sweeter and with more patience than I have in a very long time. I’m looking at my move with excitement and hope of living a sincerely grateful life and sincerely serving God instead of going through the motions of a person who knows their days are numbered and I better get ‘good with God’ to make sure I get to heaven. Sure surviving cancer has opened my eyes, but I haven’t been ‘fully alive’ ever through all this.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you Ken for your movie and this post. My heart has caught up with what my mind has been saying (which I believe has been the voice of God talking to me). I feel like this load has been lifted off of me and I do have the strength and courage to stand up and say “Yes people! I am alive! Fully alive”. My heart is jumping for joy right now typing these words…… It’s still morning, I’m going to get dressed and start my day! And this evening I’m going to watch the sunset and sincerely thank God for this day no matter what happens today! And if it’s God’s will that I wake up tomorrow, I will give thanks and praise to Him for giving me another day to be ‘fully alive’!!!!! Thank you again Ken. I hope you’re having a wonderful day!!!

    1. I prayed today that God would bless you greatly this week. That he would give you a personal sunrise. Thank you for sharing your story.

  8. Sunset is when I breathe….it’s time to say I made it through this day. As for sunrise, I’ll have to settle for when I open my eyes. I am NOT a morning person. I tried to be for a while but realized that was just not me. I was so much more productive if I slept the way I usually do. I enjoy pictures of sunrises.

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