Fifty-two years ago on this day, I took in my first lung-full of earth’s atmosphere and awarded all those in attendance with a hearty bellow.

Or so I assume.

Today, though, when I took my first conscious breath of air and wiped the sleep from my eyes, I was quiet. I slipped out of bed and walked outside into a delicious pre-dawn coolness, choosing to greet this day – my birthday – with the sun itself.

Glancing up, it appeared that there was not a cloud in the sky. It looked to me that the sun would come up over the eastern horizon without much fanfare, its giant golden orb peaking up steadily over the tree line. But, as I watched, a small strip of cloud lit up in brilliant pink and found me delighted. I love pink clouds, and I whispered a prayer of thanks to their Maker, and mine, for this sweet gift as His fingers of cool breeze wrapped me in a hug.

But then I thought to look up.

And, awestruck, all around.

Small wisps of clouds, previously undetectable, lit up the entire sky, enveloping me in that cotton candy goodness. My heart was full as it remembered afresh what it’s known all along.

It takes clouds to set off a truly beautiful sunrise.

You see, our family has hit a bit of a rough patch in our life’s road. Nothing that we can’t weather, mind you. I have a friend whose child was in a lock-down from a shooter on a college campus yesterday. I have a cousin whose child is very critically ill. No one is threatening the lives of my children, and we are all healthy, so trust me when I say I have perspective.

Still, it’s been hard. I’ve been really, truly angry, which is not my normal state of mind, and my heart and mind have been taken captive with worry over the hearts and minds of those I love who’ve been affected. You probably wouldn’t know that any of this is going on if you saw me. Outwardly, my life can look like a cloudless sky, and for the most part it is. But we all have stuff going on. Hard stuff, that can knock the wind from our sails, or find us running for cover.

If we allow the Son to come in and expose the clouds, however, He will make them into something beautiful, painting our lives in the pink glow of fresh beginnings.

It takes clouds to set off a truly beautiful Sonrise.

I walked inside, a smile on my face. It’s good to be alive. Another year older, yes – YES – and thankful for it…and the reminder that not every cloud-lining is silver.

Sometimes they are a brilliant pink.


God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness! ~ Lamentations 3:22 MSG