First things first…when it comes to nights that are not ideal to leave your cell phone at work, the night before your birthday is probably pretty close to the top. Sorry, world. But I’ll be back soon!
This concludes this morning’s Public Service Announcements. In other news…
On Sunday night I went to bed late. (You’re probably thinking that this post is really riveting so far, but trust me, it gets better!) The kind of late when you hope you go straight to sleep in .05 seconds so you’ll get as much sleep as possible to make up for your decision to stay up into the early hours of tomorrow.
But I couldn’t get comfortable. Oddly, because it’s only mid-April in
Antarctica Rochester, I was too warm. I wanted to crack a window for some fresh air but there were a variety of reasons not to. Street noise was a big one. The proximity of my face to the fire escape was a big one too, seeing as how it’s the place where all the good drunken ramblings and domestic disputes take place (thank you, city living) and I didn’t want an inebriated stranger crawling through my window to snuggle with me in the middle of the night.
The lull of fresh air, though – air that was reportedly not freezing – it was just too much to take after 6 months of frozen air! So I pulled the blinds, pushed back the curtains, and opened the window to backfiring buses, HBO-style feuding, and…
the most welcome gust of cool night air I’ve ever felt.
I was in awe. The gentle breeze, the warm lights from distant windows, the beauty of angles and architecture. All of which I had the chance to experience solely because I decided to open a window. I opened it despite of the perceived inconveniences. And I received SO MUCH MORE in return.
I went to sleep that night feeling so grateful for life. For the scene right before my eyes. For falling asleep in a bed, under a roof, with clothes on my body and food in my stomach, employed by a variety of gracious employers, loved by two parents whom I love, surrounded by wonderful friends whom I don’t deserve, overwhelmed by the Lord’s constant presence, mercies, and unfailing love.
I slept better than I’ve slept in weeks. And I woke up to this:
It made me so aware of the abundance of blessings I too often take for granted – or worse – choose to complain about. It made me so aware of the Lord’s great love and of my great ingratitude.
Today I get to start a new year. (If anyone knows how I’ve already arrived at 26…please feel free to fill me in.) Today I get to set the pace for the 365 days that are to follow. With that in mind, this year I’d like to:
- be fiercely, relentlessly grateful for every second of my beautiful life and the nouns that make it so meaningful
- stay humbled by God’s moment-by-moment love, grace, and provision and to share that same love, grace, and provision with everyone I encounter
- open windows of all kinds, without hesitation, every chance I get
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
[Thank you, Lord, for LIFE!]