I’m sitting here on the balcony of my grandparent’s home in Redondo Beach, barefoot and t-shirted, watching the sunset, and suffused with a sense of contentment and rest. “Why?”, you might ask… Let me tell you just a few reasons:
– the oranges, golds, pinks, and infinite shades of blue reflecting off the clouds as palm trees are silhouetted in the fading light.
– celebrating and feeling the weight of the Advent and birth of Emmanuel, the God who is with us.
– much laughter, games, stories, home movies, and crazy cousin antics (our cousin Nick putting Kenny G’s “Silent Night” on repeat, slowly increasing the volume while we had family Christmas for almost 45 minutes until Josiah finally snapped and switched it off, or wrapping items in Grandma’s home and giving them to her for Christmas)
– walks on the beach, flips and cartwheels and acrobatics with the pounding surf in the background, feeling gloriously alive.
– getting sand everywhere.
– chips and salsa, hot showers, and having sand nowhere.
– being with people who know you deeply, and still love you anyway.
– family chess tournaments.
– a day out on the ocean paddle-boarding.
– reconnecting with old friends.
– cross-country skiing, falling in Lake Michigan, and chopping down a Christmas tree in a Michigan winter.
– pink birthday parties with the laughter of children.
– good friends (might as well be family, really) who you can call up on Christmas Eve and they will have you over for Christmas cookies, dinner, and home.
– truth, honesty, grace, and wholeness that pursue me and will not let me go.
– my wounds, scars, and other evidence of growth (as painful and challenging as it is).
I am richly, richly blessed, and the words of Julian of Norwich echo through my mind and my heart:
And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well… our wounds shall be as worships!
It is well with my soul.
So what are you are thankful for right now?