I watched as flaxen-haired brothers bent down to the edge of our bonfire to light their sparklers. They postured their arms like airplane wings, flying through the darkened sky; no fear of where they were going. High above them appeared random bursts of different trees made of colored stars, each approaching with a BOOM! Parents in lawn chairs gasped in delight with their toddlers clapping upon their laps as lovers squeezed hands and teens laid out upon blankets looking as if they were catching rays under the bright lights of the fireworks show. This 4th of July celebration was truly spectacular.

Later that evening, I found myself having trouble sleeping. No doubt, my body was on a sugar overload from Aunt Gwen’s homemade red velvet cupcakes. I lingered in the thought of how thankful I was to be encircled by such good people, not only earlier in the evening, but in the whole of my life: friends, old and new, and family. What a beautiful, sometimes crazy tough, journey; yet totally worth every day. And as I was thinking, a flickering on the outer edges of my bedroom blinds grabbed my attention. Without a sound, I got out of bed and glanced under the window covering. Beyond our tree line was the grandest display of lightning I had ever seen. I quickly put the covering down as to not wake my husband by the brightness. Tiptoeing, I made my way out of the bedroom and up to the balcony, into the warm, breezy air. It was around 2:00 a.m. and the only light out was that of the lightning. There was no boom of thunder. No sound at all other than the sound of our old metal glider which creaked as I curled my knees up to my chest and gasped as bright lights of God’s fireworks show stole my attention.

Without realizing it, I was hugging my knees and smiling. A rush of peace came over me. I felt like God was gifting me a private showing of his majesty. Goofy, I know, but true. I even cried. Just earlier I was busy cleaning house, preparing food, making sure guests were being taken care of, etc. And now God was tenderly taking care of me: Silly ol’ me. Such a marvelous, joyous peace is what I felt … from soul to skin.

Yes, this was the best fireworks show I have seen in my lifetime, and I had thought just earlier I had seen my best. What a reminder that God is more than capable of topping our best efforts every time, whether it be our very best loves or our very best successes. God loves us more, and God can outperform us even on our greatest BOOM day!

We certainly should have an appreciation for what is love and lovely here, yes, but may we each have a focused reverence and absolute joy and peace for what is eternally good and consistently truthful. After all, eternity looks good on all of us!

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (Romans 12:2).

SGLY, dear readers.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. You can find her newly released books, “H.E.R.O. Faith” and “Bad Disciples” on Amazon. To submit feedback on SGLY, please contact news@amtrib. com. Follow Chartier on Facebook: facebook. com/ tiffanychartier and Twitter : @tiffanychartier