Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Two weeks ago today I was walking along the shoreline of the Siesta Key Beach in Florida. It was in the high 60s-low 70s. There was a cool breeze and the water felt warm on my feet. The sand at Siesta Key is unlike any other beach sand I've ever seen. It was cool to the touch, with the consistency of softened light brown sugar. Oh, and the seashells. Thousands of seashells. When I saw them I knew they would make a great souvenir to bring home.

I probably spent an hour by myself collecting those precious shells. What a glorious hour it was! I was nearly overcome with joy and peace; two emotions that I have not experienced in many years. I was so in awe of what God has accomplished in my life. I felt like I was bursting with gratitude to Him for the healing that has taken place thus far. Yes, I still have a lot of work to do in fighting the OCD, but the fact that I am even experiencing any peace at all is nothing short of a miracle.

Until recently, the word peace was a foreign concept to my heart and my mind. I ached for it though I became convinced it was an impossibility for me. For so long, I've literally been afraid of my own shadow. Through the lenses of anxiety, it seemed that everywhere I looked was another opportunity for disaster or danger. It was easier to withdraw from life than to face more agony. Continual days of torment are no longer my reality. There are moments of it, yes, but the never-ending pain that filled one day after another has ended. The world actually appears differently to me today.

There will be more peaks and valleys ahead as I live out my days here on earth. I realize that I am on the mountaintop right now and I'm going to savor each moment. I don't want to forget that perfect golden hour on the beach when every little thing in the world felt just right. I created a small memento out of my shells as a reminder of God's faithfulness, and of the hope that He has restored to my life.

I'm saying a prayer right now for everyone who reads this, that you will find hope, joy, and peace too.


  1. Thank you for your prayers!

    I am so happy for you. Peace just radiates from this post. I know a lot of work and pain went into gaining that peace.

    If you wouldn't mind, post a photo of your memento you made. I'd love to see it!

    Grace and peace to you.

    1. Hey Tina! Guess we're both up late tonight. Thank you for your sweet words. You always have the most encouraging things to say. : ) It is my privilege to pray for you.

      I will definitely post a photo. I'm not the craftiest person in the world so don't laugh hard enough for me to hear you through the computer! ha ha ha

  2. Oh, goodness, I won't laugh. I am not very talented with crafts or art. But enjoyment we get from doing it is the important thing!

    By the way, I hope you will write more about your singing and acting. It sounds like they are very important to you.

    1. Yes, every now and then I do get some enjoyment from crafting a little something. Unfortunately, most of the time though, it doesn't come out the way I pictured it. This actually came out somewhat how I envisioned.

      I do enjoy singing and acting. I'm very amateur level though. Even though I've been doing both for well over a decade, I still am often pleasantly surprised that God would use me in that way to serve Him at church. I've also enjoyed directing and working on audio equipment at my church too. It's kind of neat to direct and do audio because now I've been on the other side of both the singing and acting. Gives me a new perspective for both of those activities.

  3. Your post is beautiful.........not only because of the joy and peace you describe, but because of your gratitude for it and your appreciation for all the good in your life.

    1. Ah, thank you Janet. Though I sure wouldn't want to do it again, when you've experienced really bad things, it makes the good things even sweeter.