Today I woke up with an overwhelming gratitude for life.
I sat up and noticed a bush of red hair poking out from under the covers next to me. I heard a little girl crying above me, waiting for me to walk in and care for her. I peeked in to the room of my only boy and there he was, standing, in tears. He had a nightmare and I walked in just in time. I wrapped my arms around him, comforted him and sent him on his way to start this beautiful day. A day full of essentially, nothing, but truth be told--everything.
There is something to be said about choosing joy.
Looking around at your circumstances and literally deciding that despite it all, you are going to feel happy. This life and the greatness that it offers is meant to be celebrated. It was given to us as a most majestic gift. All of it, or parts of it, can also be taken away and many times will be. But even still, the gift itself was meant to be enjoyed and devoured.
I believe we are meant to seek pleasure in the things that we have. I believe that by having them alone, we should be content and overjoyed. This life is incredibly short. It's delicately tricky. It's painful and sorrowful and confusing. But it is also rich, full, wild, elevated and decadent.
Yesterday I held Mabel as she giggled at my touch. It seems that no matter how small of a portion of myself is touching her, she is happy. This is how I feel about Jesus. I am happy just to know He's near. I draped her limp little body across my lap and she trusted that I was going to continue caring for her. She smiled, giggled out loud even. I have never felt more alive than I do during these days of holding her.
This morning I took the time to really look at Nora as she lay sleeping in my bed. I reached over and kissed her cheek while smelling her fresh-from-sleep, morning breath. I memorized that moment and the way the early sun hit her freckles. I won't forget.
And as the day has gone on and this boy of mine has made every noise that I wish he wouldn't, I have purposed to at least remember that he is little now and won't be for long. His feet are small and his heart is tender. His hands, though busy, are gentle and easily redirected. He is a perfect re-creation of me in so many ways and I love him more than I could possibly ever tell.
I have always believed that there are some people who just feel things more deeply than others. I am one of those people. I love fully, fiercely, quickly and wholly. I see the sunlight hit the trees in just such a way that my heart explodes with fullness and excitement. I smell the wind blow across my face and appreciate the day for everything it holds. On the other end of the spectrum, my empathy, sadness, and often grief are explored in much stronger ways than others as well. It's a hard balance, but a rich and rewarding one.
Today I am thankful for the reminder that this life is fleeting. I desire nothing more than to swallow it up with a full heart and know that I have done so with no reserve. With no expectations other than to love the people, the moments and the experiences that make up my days here on this earth. One day I will reside elsewhere, a Heaven that I believe is our final reward. Until then, even in the pit and the pain I will surrender to the knowing that these days will not last forever. And in the meantime, they are mine to adore.
And that I do.