There I was, waking up in that quaint cabin in the middle of an enormous cruise ship. The soft humming of the engine played the melody of promises for the day.

"Hi there," my friend greeted me. She must have come in while my hubby left to finalize details for the day's excursion.

I yawned and stretched. "Hey," I said half asleep.

She pulled up a chair beside the bed. "I just came to see if you're doing okay."

"I'm fine," I said.

"So, do you plan on enjoying the cruise?"

What kind of a question was that?

"Yes, I do." I sat on the edge of the bed, placing my feet inside my soft slippers. "We've waited a year for this vacation and we plan to enjoy every minute of it."

She headed toward the sliding doors. "Wow!" She pulled back the curtains to the balcony. "Look at this view."

I didn't look up.

Then she gasped, "I'm so sorry, I keep forgetting you're blind… how insensitive of me."

"That's okay," I said. I stood up and walked to the bathroom. The ship swayed. I misjudged the distance and…ouch!  I bumped my head on the open bathroom door. A tear slipped down, but I ignored it.

"Oh my! I hope you don't mind me saying this, but a different type of vacation might have been a better choice for you than a cruise." She rubbed my arm. "The activities on the ship are to be enjoyed. How will you do that, being unable to navigate on your own?" She sighed. "And these tight quarters are a trap for a sightless person."

I nodded.  "I guess you're right." Tears slipped down my cheeks. "It doesn't make much sense to visit the islands…can't really enjoy the scenery."

"I guess it's not all bad," she said. "Think of the wonderful meals you'll have. And think of the fabulous shows you'll see…" she stopped abruptly. "I'm sorry, that was a mean thing to say. I meant to say, you'll enjoy the music."

"I can manage," I lied.

What my friend pointed out sure made sense. What a stupid idea for me to come on a cruise.

I heard the door open, and with the back of my hand, I quickly brushed tears from my cheek.

My husband bounced in, came to me and gave me a kiss, "Hey, are you okay?"

I bit the inside of my lip. "Uh huh."

"What's the matter?" he said, as he drew me close.

I looked down. "Maybe it was a mistake for us to come on this cruise," I stammered. "I want you to have fun without having to lead me around."

"Stop that nonsense." He hugged me tight and kissed me again. "I'm going in the shower, and we'll go on the top deck for a great breakfast. It's a gorgeous day."

I gave him a fake smile and was glad he didn't say much about my friend's presence.

He took me by the hand. "Got everything?" he asked as we left the cabin.

Once on the top deck, we exited the elevator. The aroma of fresh pastries and coffee wafted through the hallway. Caribbean tunes played in the background and a soft ocean breeze blew in from the large doors.

While I munched on pieces of fresh pineapple, another friend stopped by our table.

"Hey," she said, "I can tell your hubby really cares for you."

I beamed. "He does."

She noticed, and reminded me of just how much he loves me. And her comment added a little sweetness to the tea of my vacation.

"I was feeling kind of down," I confessed. "Thinking I'd never be able to enjoy a cruise…" I brushed the napkin across my lips. "You know, being blind and all."

"Ha!" she said. "There's so much you can do. And besides, aren't you the one who says, with Jesus by your side, there's nothing you can't do?"  

She was right. I could choose how blind I wanted to be. And that's when the ship of my heart turned around.

I listened. I tasted. And I relished in the fun and laughter coming from my friends. Hubby and I visited exotic islands, sang along with the "oldies" songs, and danced to Salsa tunes.

I delighted in the exquisite meals. And I savored the love from hubby and whispered a ‘thank you' to God for allowing me to see the scenery through the eyes of my heart.

Friends, can I share a secret with you? Both friends—the one who greeted me as I woke up and this last one—have the same name. Everyone calls them, ‘attitude.'

Whether on land or at sea, God requires that "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5)

Father, how often life played on the screen and my attitude chose to see it as a sad movie. Grant me the ability to see all the details of my life with eyes filtered by your love, your goodness, and your abundant provision. In Jesus' name, I ask.

-- What attitude rules your world today?

-- Have you seen the good in negative situations?

-- How does attitude impact your decisions, mood and reactions?

Published in November 2010.

Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker, author, writer and ladies' Sunday school teacher. Through her blindness, she has seen God's light to triumph. www.janetperezeckles.com