Turn it Off, then Turn it Up!

Brenda Nail DeLauder


Some days feel as if the only rain falling on us is that of ugliness, anger and hurt. The media, including social media, seems to thrive on as much gore and horror as can possibly be taken in and spread out. One story follows another of wrongdoing, battles of anger, and frustration boiling over like a vat of oil. If you keep watching and listening to all that is out there, it’s not long before it begins to feel as if there is nothing good anywhere. That’s the time to reach over and turn the phones, computers, TV’s, radios, and whatever else you are listening to or watching, to OFF!

Get up, take a break and go outside to see what nature is doing. There is always something good to be found in God’s great outdoors. During a short break this morning I enjoyed seeing our local turtle come by and tear into a snack of grapes and peanuts, leaving not a crumb behind. Shortly afterward, a bunny appeared as if to say “Hey! What else ya got?” I laughed out loud when I saw our kitty, Catcher, enjoying his favorite shady spot over by the gate, with his feet up in the air, snoozing away. Little things in an ordinary day can truly be what brings the joy we desperately need in our lives. Finding ways to share the love of God works too!

Right now, like many others, our neighborhood and church are finishing up Back-to-School Drives. Some give generously and others give what they can. Some choose to not participate because they feel too many take advantage of such gifts. There will always be those who greedily take from the generosity of others, but to stop giving would be devastating and sad for many. We would miss out on special moments we remember for years to come.

Last year that moment came on the day I dropped off a carload of filled backpacks. While holding an armload of bags, I watched a young girl arrive with her mom. She stood slightly behind her mother peeking around when our eyes met. I watched the child’s head raise up and a smile begin to form when she saw one of the backpacks with a light-up owl on it. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that bag was meant for her. When it was offered, she turned to her mom to be sure it was okay, then wrapped her arms around the bag as if she had been handed the most wonderful gift ever. It turned out to be the exact backpack she had seen in a store. Her mother said she saw her daughter looking at the bag with such longing, yet she never asked for it because she knew their budget was tight. Thinking back I realized God had it covered the whole time. As with most things He does for us, more than one was helped. Charity drives bring in the needed supplies, but also become a great way to involve neighbors and church members. To witness the sheer joy of a child touches our hearts. Knowing a child, who doesn’t have a lot of extras, can begin school with tools they need is good. An uplifting feeling for all involved, which is exactly what God intended.

The more we focus on all that is wrong with society today, the more we play a part in spreading the disease of greed, selfishness, and tragedy. Let’s stop. Turn the ugly off and turn up happiness. Be it big or small, find joy again, including it in everyday life, starting with God. Bring on the happiness of sharing Jesus!

Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.