Feeling the shadow drift over my mood at yet another rainy weekend forecast; my thoughts turn back to the messages on my desk. Sorting through the messages, I glanced up at a photo of my two-year old granddaughter in her raincoat, boots, and umbrella. Dancing in the rain, her smile spoke of sheer delight. Somehow, when we grow up, we no longer see the hope held in the renewal of rain.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
rain, rain go away
Nothing short of horror gripped my insides as a colleague blithely commented six months of the year, it rained twenty days or more each month in Seattle. Of course growing up there, she saw no real issue with that much rain, and wondered why the weeping and gnashing of teeth over a rainy weekend forecast.
Glancing back at the photo of my granddaughter, I realized no memories of rainy day fun flooded my mind from my own childhood.
Memories of spoiled outings and vacations, however, came to mind along with angry punishments for getting wet on the walk home from school. Even as an adult, rainy days play the spoiler, requiring great effort to find a glimpse of hope or renewal.
renewal of sorrow
Rather than any hope held in the renewal of rain, I found only a renewal of old sorrow. When faced with a rainy day, I knew the tears of old wounds hastily covered would pour forth from deep inside.
And I am not alone.
Many people suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a very real mental health condition which rears its ugly head during rainy seasons and gray winter months. I have no desire for debating scientific or medical evidence; but I also know rainy days mimic the sorrow locked deep within my heart.
Until recently, finding the hope held in the renewal of rain seemed foreign to me. What hope did tears hold? As the first few drops of rain fell, my inner floodgates opened with hopeless memories.
Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.Acts 14:17
hidden hope in showers of blessing
Pondering the beauty bursting forth in my garden after several days of rain, began a journey of discovery. The abundance of overnight growth and the fresh, clean air all came after the rain. Slowly, my heart opened for a second look at the renewing power of heaven’s rains.
As with many things deemed “unpleasant”, our rigid mindsets shutter the possibilities for new perspectives and prosperous change.
Choosing a reflective posture of mindfulness on the next rainy day helped me welcome the hope held in the renewal of rain. If you struggle with the gloom, despair, and sadness of rainy days, try the mindfulness activity below for help with acceptance, peace and hope.
hope held in the renewal of rain
Secure a quiet place free of distractions for at least ten minutes. Choose a comfortable position either sitting or lying down. Begin with simple deep breathing: exhale twice as long as you inhale. For example, inhale for a count of four, exhale for a count of eight.
Eyes closed works best for eliminating distractions. Let thoughts come and go, but avoid latching onto them. I enjoy letting them float by like balloons on a gentle breeze.
After a few moments of gentle, deep breathing, slip into prayer. Simple ask the Lord to open your heart and mind to the hope He desires for you in the midst of the falling rain.
Move through each reflection below slowly and reflectively.
Invite the Rain
Listen or watch the falling rain without negative judgement. Notice how the raindrops slide down the window glass. Watch the rain on the sidewalk, deck or driveway. Observe how it flows along the ground or puddles.
Reflect: The rain comes not to drown you in sorrows, soak you in sadness or overwhelm you with despair. God sends the rain for cleansing, for growth, and for refreshing nourishment.
Respond: Ask God to reveal areas in need of cleansing, growth, and nourishment in your life. If you enjoy journaling, write about what impresses your heart.
Receive the Rain
As you watch and listen to the rain, consider how nature ebbs and flows just like the rain. Ponder how light gently breaks the darkness and day leisurely fades into night. linger with the contemplation of dry places receiving times of refreshment; and painful places tumbling into joy.
Reflect: Resting in acceptance of the rain allows you a vision into its intrinsic dance within nature. All of creation praises the Creator through fulfillment of its purpose. Savor the gentle essence of the rain as it weaves in and out of nature.
Respond: Ask God to reveal any areas of your life where you feel stuck; where things are not flowing gently and smoothly. Consider any areas where you feel rigid or gripping things too tightly. If you enjoy journaling, write about what impresses your heart.
Rejoice in the Rain
Enjoying the sights and sounds of the falling rain, notice flowers, leaves and small plants as they dance in the rain. Imagine yourself dancing in the rain. Savor the feel of the rain on your skin, the smell of the rain all around. Dare you step out and dance?
Reflect: Imagine the raindrops falling all around you as infinite possibilities for growth, joy and healing. Feel the rain washing away old stories, renewing your hope for new beginnings. What holds you back from dancing in the rain?
Respond: Ask God to bring healing to areas of your life which evoke painful thoughts or memories. Open your heart to joy in His Presence as you linger with Him. If you enjoy journaling, write about what impresses your heart.
Rest in the Rain
Close your time with a few moments of gratitude prayer. As you continue with gentle, deep breathing, thank God for the gift of rain and the hope held in the renewal of rain.
As I worked through these reflections, some difficult emotions surfaced for me. If you experience a slight overwhelm of emotions try my custom RAIN Technique for processing those emotions in a healthy way.
The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands.Deuteronomy 28:12
embracing new hope in renewal
While not ready for dancing in the rain yet, my perspective of rainy days altered as my hands opened in acceptance. Though the rain still illicits sorrow locked deep within, I now understand the flow of tears, like raindrops cleanse and heal hidden wounds.
Only in the embrace of heaven’s cascading springs can robust growth thrive. Watching the rain refresh and nourish tiny seedlings, delicate flowers, shrubs and trees, spoke of hope in renewal.
The same hope and renewal God speaks into my parched and wounded soul, at times through the tears of release. Perhaps it’s not too late for learning to dance in the rain.