From sunrise to sunset, let the Lord’s name be praised! Psalm 113:3

My husband calls me out on the porch to watch the sunset. It is glorious—fiery red, dazzling orange with a bit of purple mixed in.

We are in awe and enjoy the companioned silence.

Eleven years ago we decided to downsize—give away or throw away half our life’s “stuff.” After living for twenty years in a beautiful, large, colonial parsonage, we were eager to settle into our own little nest.

The fact that this cottage was high on a hill was a great determining factor for our future home. It was christened “Sunnyside,” and we looked forward to such things as sunsets and vistas of the surrounding New England village.

It seemed appropriate that for the “sunset” time of life, we chose this verse for our home: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us.” Psalm 67:1

He is and He does. All the time. So I endeavor to thank Him “from sunrise to sunset.”

And now it’s time for bed. I set the alarm, turn on my sound machine (ocean waves), and snuggle deep into the warm fleece sheets. As my mind settles over the story of my day, I ask the only truly important question. “Did my life today please you, Lord—have I loved well?”

St. John of the Cross once said that “at the evening of our day we shall be judged by our loving.” Perhaps that means that my list of what was done and what was left undone is not as important as how I attempted each task, each encounter. We can do no great things, only small things with great love.

What small things did I do today—and were they done with love?

I usually go to sleep quickly once my head hits the pillow, but I linger a bit for three final rituals: pray through the names on my family list, ask forgiveness for today’s sin, and begin my litany of praise for every single blessing. Sleep often overtakes me before I can even finish …

Have I loved well? If we can answer yes to that sunset question, it is enough.

  • Live with a grateful heart.
  • Love well.
  • Sleep in peace.

BENEDICTION: My child, a peaceful night of rest is My gift to you at the end of another hard day. One in which you tried to be salt and light in the world. One where you turned to Me in prayer and asked, “What do I say?” or “Show me the way.” And now, I bring you to a quiet moment to simply give thanks. You did love well today. And tomorrow will be another fresh opportunity.

Every Blessing, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2022 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 16 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” , “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most,” “God’s Purpose for You,” and “The Courage to Write.” (Purchasing my books here benefits me as an Amazon associate.) She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words weekly at

Want to read all of the “Grace & Gratitude Summer Blogs”? Click HERE to read as each one goes live. These 14 weeks of blogs — adapted from Lucinda’s award-winning book “Ordinary Graces” — come out each Wednesday morning June 1st through August 31st. Thanks for reading. Click HERE to add your email to get blogs weekly in your in box.


  1. Barbara on August 24, 2022 at 11:09 am

    So grateful for your encouraging words dear friend May we finish strong in these sunset years of our lives. You’re a blessing

  2. Maureen Miller on August 24, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    This is so beautiful— like a sunset painted with words. Love you, dear friend.

  3. Hellen Dale on August 24, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    Very encouraging message. It makes me want to love well today. Blessings!!!

  4. Crickett Keeth on August 24, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    Love this, Lucinda! A great way to end the day. You continually spur me on! Thank you.

  5. Jeannie+Waters on August 24, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    I loved reading this post the week after we celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Your words, as always, are wise and encouraging.

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