There are a few words in the English language that I handle very carefully.
The “b” word is certainly one.
Having worked on staff in a mega-church for seven years, and been part of all different kinds of Christian communities for many more, I have heard people throw the idea of “blessing” around in just about every possible way. From the casual to the serious, the earnest to the sarcastic, the heartfelt pleading prayers for a loved one, to email signatures, to the famous “bless his little heart, but (here’s what I really think…)” — more often than not, I don’t even want to use the word.
But today, I’ll say it.
I feel blessed.
When I look at a day like yesterday, I just feel awed and quieted by how life can unfold.
A year ago, I found myself in a place where professionally, emotionally, and even physically life was flat-out tough. I was stuck in a new position at work that turned out to be profoundly discouraging and difficult. I had sold my sweet bungalow and was indefinitely house-hopping living with friends, because even after visiting probably 100+ listings (my realtor is a saint), the usually-decisive side of me bizarrely could not settle on another house to buy that felt anywhere near “right”. I had stood by the side of the last of my long-time single friends as she tied the knot, making it all the more apparent on my 29th birthday that my twenties were not turning out like I had initially hoped. And while don’t get me wrong, most of my days were filled with countless smaller moments of joy, gratitude, hilarity, and goodness, especially when alongside good friends, it just seemed like the overarching framework of my life wasn’t something I was eager to share when someone asked a simple, “How are you doing?”
But that said, I have lived life long enough to know that seasons change. And that every good story in life needs highs and lows to be meaningful.
Without a doubt, sometimes the lows can seem unending. Sometimes there’s only a small up-swing when you need it. But sometimes there’s a knock-your-socks-off, holy-moly-is-this-seriously-happening-to-me change of events that goes far beyond what you could have ever imagined.
Case in point. My life has changed.
Today, I find myself blogging and working from home most days of the week, and getting to partner now with some of the coolest friends I know. I was given the opportunity to freelance with a dream employer in Kansas City, and now get to work and learn from the pros in a rockin’ photo studio. I moved 30 minutes away to my favorite part of the city, nextdoor to my favorite coffee shop, into the coziest, most beautiful little loft I could have imagined. I actually get giddy when I look at my calendar for the next year, and the amazing tickets that are booked to amazing places. And now I have a sweet new blog where I can share a little more about everything!
Believe me, no one was more surprised than me. Still pinching myself that things took such a complete 180.
That said, I really hesitated to share this, because these sorts of huge changes certainly havn’t been the “norm” for answered prayers in my life, and I have many friends who are still in the tough places of waiting for good things to come. And I really do believe that the bigger deal is how we live our day-to-day moments with some hope and gratitude, despite whatever the larger framework of our lives may be at the time. But at the same time, I’m always trying to better learn what it looks like to stop, celebrate and give thanks for good things when they happen.
So today, just wanted to shout from the rooftop that I am grateful. And smiling. And soaking up these good gifts while they last.
And that in the big things, and the small things, on the days when I feel it and the days that I don’t, when I (think I) deserve it and when I clearly don’t, when I remember to give thanks and when I don’t, today at least I hope to remember and humbly give thanks…
…that I am blessed.