Ever watch someone take the last piece of cake? Just before you get there.

Hey, no fair! That was MY piece.

A childish reaction, right?

If you’re like me, maybe that’s what life feels like for you lately. Someone else just took your piece of the contentment pie.

You watch other people skipping through life while you tip toe around mental illness (MI). You notice others going about their day smiling. Seemingly carefree.

When will I get a chance to have fun? Or just get a break. Not a vacation—just a break. A few happy moments. Some relaxing time without having to handle emotions. Some time for refreshment away from witnessing turmoil.

Many moms who have a child with serious MI can’t get away. The child with MI can’t be left unsupervised. Or maybe it’s a teen with MI. So getting a babysitter would not be an option. Perhaps it’s a grown child with an intellectual disability who also has MI. Not many would be qualified to relieve a parent and stay with such a needy individual. To handle such complex needs.

Is it possible to find small pleasures without getting away? Has life destroyed your ability to enjoy small pleasures?

We can learn a lot from toddlers. They embrace everything with glee. Our granddaughter loved the tiny white lights in our garland. As if gazing on sparkling diamonds, she responded with an up-down sing-song, “Oo-oo!” She took each of her stuffed animals to show them. One at a time: “Oo-oo!”

Awesome pleasures can be found in unexpected places. When we least expect it. Like on a muggy summer night.

An oppressive heat wave has stalled over our region. Complete with high temperatures and unbearable humidity. Each afternoon the air is so saturated with moisture that we get a brief thunderstorm.

Last night God treated us to a simple pleasure using those uncomfortable elements. Here’s how He orchestrated it. 

Wind whipping the trees outside announced the surprise. Howie and I went outside to watch. The rain hadn’t started. We could smell it in the air. They sky looked ominous. Billowy grey clouds swirled above. Our giant evergreens swayed and danced. The menacing clouds crept closer. Howie and I bathed in the cool breeze. Such an unexpected reprieve from the heat! Ahhh.

Then the raindrops came. Plunk. Plunk. Plick. Plick. Plunk. We enjoyed the staccato music of the approaching storm. Finally the drizzle turned to a torrential downpour. Time to go inside.

“That was nice,” Howie remarked. In the same tone he’s used after watching a heartwarming movie.

We enjoyed the unexpected concert. Compliments of God.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for sending small pleasures my way. Help me notice them. How awesome are the sights, sounds, and smells of Your surprises.

Phil Wickham wrote of God’s stormy orchestra in “Cannons”

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