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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.
wow. amen. beautifully said, ali. yes.
I am waiting but full of anticipation and hope and faith thanks to friends like YOU. Love this!
I love this – and I can’t wait to finally meet you in person this month!!
I’m in a very similar situation in terms of job, and the waiting is very, very hard and discouraging. I’m hoping that it means that something incredible is coming, but I don’t know.
Ali, I love that you are willing to open up to the world like you do. You generate such a happy and peaceful spirit everywhere you go and I am so thankful to be apart of this new journey!
Thank you for being inspiring and for giving others hope for a brighter future! :)
This would extend to a “happy parent moment!” You are a blessing.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on being blessed. It’s a good reminder to not get too weighed down by waiting and also by disappointments, blessings are just around the corner. You have been an amazing inspiration to me and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to work/sing with you! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, can’t wait to read more!
I’m thankful for the blessing of great friends!
Love this, Ali! So happy for you. :)
Hey girl, I am reading this as I eat your recently posted White chicken chili. Both post and chili recipe are a blessing to me. Proud of my lil’ leadership buddy for her grateful attitude and thankful heart-May you continue to feel blessed!
I knew you could do it, Ali. Happy for you!
The journey of life has interesting ways of shaping our lives. So happy for this place you are in and the elated feelings you have of your blessings! You deserve it girl!!!
So beautiful! You know what’s funny…while you were waiting through the hard parts (feeling not-so-blessed) you were still blessing the people around you. With your honesty, with your patience, with your friendship. And you’ve definitely blessed me and the other Gimme Some girls by opening up your blog and life and all-around-smartness to us! Sometime we forget about that part of “blessing”…that we have a choice to be that in other people’s lives. So glad you chose to be a blessing in mine!
Thank you SO much for sharing this. I’ve found myself in a seaon lately where I don’t know if I should be praying for patience or for courage. But I guess the real blessing is that no matter what I’m praying for, I have a God who listens!
ALI! Wow. It’s so good to hear you so happy. I’m so glad I got to walk through the tough and fun seasons with you. Your new blog and journey is so bright and beautiful. Can’t wait to walk this new journey with you. Congrats friend. Love you!
Love this, it’s amazing how God works things out in our lives. Nothing is more powerful than prayer!
Ali – I know it is years (decades) ago, but I am very thankful to have known you along the way and I continue to cheer from the sidelines all that you have so creatively accomplished. You are legit – and your love of life, creative industry, commitment to all that is right and good are a real inspiration to all of us. Bless you in the deepest sense of the word and may your days continue to be filled to overflowing with every good gift. Should our paths cross sometime in the future, I would love to visit with you in person and fill in some of these intervening years. In the meantime, may all that is right and good be yours. Michael Wilder
What a blessing to me to read this, and affirm that my daily prayer for you is to be “happy”, however life makes that happen, in unexpected and creative ways.
I am blessed because I’d randomly fell upon your blog, I now work for a thriving church and sometimes wonder, when am I going to the awesome things I dream about, at times I may become anxious but I am never dissatisfied. Thank you writing this and taking the journey so people like me (27yrs) and single. I can remind myself to ride my seasons of life out. Look around and be grateful I am truly blessed, even if I just enjoy a slice of apple pie. :)
love this alison! just glad our talks over coffee at starbucks didnt lead you to law school. :) I am b-word to have you as a friend and thoroughly miss our days together in rezonate. it will never be the same but those memories are some of the best I have!