There we were, on the viewing deck of God's theater.

Today we had the first sunshine in what seems like a week.  At least.

Oh how I missed the sunshine.

To say I was elated to see sunshine in the forecast was an understatement.  I wanted to spend my entire day outside, soaking in every single ray of light and warmth from that huge orb in the sky.

However, at a whopping 13 degrees… even at 11 o’clock in the morning… I just looked out the window.

Fortunately the temps quickly rose to the high twenties by mid afternoon and I made the most of it. Outside.

There we were on the viewing deck - A frozen Lake Michigan shoreline

As the day came to a close, we stood on frozen ice soaking in the beauties of the setting sun illuminating white mountains of frozen waves and small ice bergs floating on the calm lake.

I did not take for granted this spectacular event.

There we were, on the viewing deck of God’s theater.  We were there to see the final and one-time-only show for the day.  We were there to see our Creator paint on His magnificent canvas of lake and sky.  As the sun descended below the horizon, God painted colors I cannot describe (nor can my camera capture), nuanced by the change of light and angles.

There on the shoreline at sunset on God's viewing dec

As we stood in awe of this movement of color it was like standing on holy ground.

In those moments we felt small.

Time stood still and simultaneously turned from day to night in what seemed like a blink.

After a week of hard days our spirits were lifted.

Despite being nearly frozen to the core, our hearts were strangely warmed.

Our walk home was expectant.

Somehow in those moments our hearts were renewed and filled with the knowledge that God IS.

God is

  • Greater than all the hard days.
  • Greater than all our fears.
  • our Comforter, our Deliverer, our Provision.
  • our Hope, our Peace.
  • Bigger and more Powerful than anything we have or will encounter.
  • Loving, Faithful, and Ever Present.

Home again, we keep looking out the window while making supper.

There on God's viewing deck at sunset on Lake Michigan

Our hearts longed to stay outside to see the intensity of colors mingling as twilight approached.

We shivered, still frozen from the cold, and yet in delight.

The wisps of clouds were no longer white, but dripping with the deepest shades… pink tinged ever-so-slightly with a slight purple tinge.

Our encounter with God filled us with wonder.

Our spirits touched the essence of God’s beauty and creativity.

Our hearts were filled with JOY!

A deep wellspring of joy… bubbling up… over and over… to overflowing.

Our hearts could not stop exclaiming… “God you are amazing… good… loving… !!”

Overwhelmed with gratitude we prayed…

“Thank you Lord for this day.  This moment.  And for creating this sunset for your glory and our enjoyment.”

“Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!”

From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspired shouts of joy. -- Psalm 65:8 a Scripture photo :: A brief mediation to inspire your heart and some gorgeous Lake Michigan winter photos.

Those who live at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets,
you inspire shouts of joy.

Psalm 65:8 NLT

There on the Lake Michigan shore at sunset - it's JoyDay!

It’s JoyDay!


Out of my heart overflowing with JOY… I’d love for you to join us in community here and count…. just seven.  

Take a quick (or careful) look back over the past week and find seven things for which you are thankful… the good and yes, bad… and list them here with a thankful heart.

You don’t have to be feeling grateful for the not-so-good stuff to include those things/times in your list.  I believe that something happens in our spirits when we recognize the hard and choose to give thanks.  It’s in the doing… true gratitude begins to grow.

Won’t you try it?

Please join me in counting just seven…

I’ll start!

Thank you God for…

  1. the sunset and that moment where we felt heaven touched earth.
  2. my husband.  So grateful to celebrate him on his birthday.
  3. releasing my SIL from her fight with pulmonary fibrosis.
  4. my friend who is faithful to pray for others in spite of her own trying circumstances.
  5. being my healer.  I am trusting you to heal that incessant discomfort in my arm.
  6. a ray of hope to a long prayed prayer.
  7. sunshine.

Now it’s your turn!

Scroll down to the “Share your Extraordinary Thoughts” box below and tap in your ‘seven.’ When you do, you’ll find the corners of your mouth turn up and the joy meter in your spirit rise.

Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave your sweet thoughts.

May your week overflow with unimaginable Joy! Signature -

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  1. Janice says

    1) Thank you God for sending your Son to save me
    2) Thank you God for my family. They are extraordinary.
    3) Thank you God for my wonderful husband
    4) Thank you God for releasing him from his body after 11 1/2 years of battling cancer
    5) Thank you God for taking such good care of me since he has been gone.
    6) Thank you God for a warm house when we have 16 inches of snow and single number temps.
    7) Thank you God for whatever is in my future, Because I have you I have no fear of tomorrow.

    • Janice, your spirit of gratitude blessed me, too.
      Thanks for taking the time to share your ‘seven.’ May you sense God’s loving care for you throughout the week and my your heart overflow with HIS joy!

  2. Debbie says

    Beautiful photos Diane and thank you for a wonderful message this morning! God bless you!

    • I’m so blessed that you have enjoyed the photos Debbie, and for your warm and encouraging words. 🙂
      May your week be filled with God’s goodness and JOY! [hugs]

  3. Debbi Saunders says

    Thank you Lord God:
    1. for providing for our needs in the small things as well as large….
    2. for the Blessing of all the Godly Friends who have been holding me in prayer, offering encouragement and hope as I approach this 2nd surgery next week!!
    3. for using me to serve others through you Lord! To you be all the Honor and Glory!
    4. for sending me endless messages of hope and encouragement, and assurances of your Love and plans for me in so many ways; church signs, bumper stickers, your word, sermons,music, through friends, devotionals, photos of your magnificent, glorious beauty in nature! and the list goes on!!
    5. For this gorgeous sunny day that has so uplifted my spirits!
    6. Diane for the beautiful, perfect description of who you are!! for using her to write these profound,insightful,inspired blog posts ,sharing you, Lord, with all of us and for the magnificent beauty she captures and shares through the lens of her camera of your breathtaking creations…
    7. For touching Diane and Tim so personally and intimately through yesterdays glorious Sunset!
    Happy Birthday Tim!!!!

    • My dear friend your sweet spirit of gratitude blesses me more than you’ll ever know.
      God has been so faithful and good through these difficult days you’ve had to walk. He’s been your constant companion, at work in you and through you.
      As next week’s surgery approaches you will be covered in prayer. I will stand with you believing that God will not only walk with you each step of the way, but that He will guide and direct the hands of the surgeon and all who care for you. God holds you in the palm of His hand and He loves and cares for you more than you can imagine. I look forward to seeing how you “shine” and God is glorified through it all. Love you!!

  4. WOW JUST WOW that is so spectacular that is How I feel everytime I see the majesty and awesomeness of Mt Rainier especially when he is in the sunset of colors or like today magically sitting above the clouds. these truly are Joy moments thank you for sharing your beauty please continue to do so.Susie

    • Thanks for sharing my joy Susie! How wonderful for you to get to enjoy the awesome splendor of a Mt. Rainier sunset, too!
      Hope you’re week has been extraordinary!

  5. Gwen says

    Seven joys
    1. A friend to take me to two appointments. Gladly
    2. Nice ladies here once a week two hours who don’t get upset when I cry. They give me water. Pat my shoulder. Say There there. It’s ok. Can’t a canta –sing sing. So I sing a hymn3. Singing to the Lord helps when those deep sorrows and deep confusion and feeling alone hit
    3. I had enough to give a friend Money during expensive cancer treatment
    4. Lord I’m lonesome for giggling and games and my grandson
    5. I’ll get to see a boy I babysat tomorrow night as well as his wife
    6. We had a gorgeous sunset
    7. I’m sleepy but I’m excited to see Mom on Sarurday.

    • I love how through your singing to the Lord He brings peace to your mind and heart.
      Praying for you and trusting for good news, Gwen. Have a great time celebrating your mom on Saturday!

Please Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts!


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