But first, a little something about my birthday...
Last week I celebrated my thirty second birthday. The funny thing is, I don't feel an ounce of sadness about "getting older." I feel it is a wonderful milestone, getting to celebrating living thirty two, wonderful, joy-filled years here on this earth. Maybe I feel this way because I've shed too many tears this past year for those who have passed away. A few, like my Gramma Dorsey, lived long, full lives, but many others were lives that were much, much shorter than anticipated, making the sorrow of being parted and the sting of death that much deeper.
Although I couldn't tell you the exact reason why, I so often found myself in quiet introspection over this past year. This has left me in a place of thankfulness, joy, and contentedness such that I've never known before.
|Shades of pink: peonies from our garden. They are in full bloom every year just|
in time for my birthday.
So to me, turning thirty two has symbolized the turning of a page in my life. And anyhow, I've always felt like the passing of each birthday was more of a fresh start at new beginnings than the passing of each New Year's. But that's just me.
On my actual birthday, I received a gift in the mail from my sister, Erin. We don't normally exchange birthday gifts, but she surprised me this year. She presented me with the most perfectly perfect gift because 1). I've been in need of a new daily devotional book, and 2). the title and theme of this book coincides exactly with my current state of mind.
|The beautiful cover to this book makes it a worthy edition to be displayed on the coffee table.|
The title sums up my newest mission: to truly savor life and all it's little moments.
It's taking a step back, removing unnecessary distractions, and truly being present in each moment. It's very much what I endeavor this blog to be all about--noticing little details and taking delight in the small things of life.
A few weeks ago, I was busily washing dishes at the sink. I glanced up out the window and noticed a small sparrow sitting on the fence. It was windy out, and I could see the breeze ruffling his feathers. I turned off the water and watched him for the remaining thirty seconds or so he sat on the fence. I took in the details of his adorable face, noticed the whiteness of the feathers on his chest, and watched the branches of the lilac tree next to him sway in the wind. It was such a small and quiet moment, but it was so very lovely.
I enjoyed that moment so deeply and I was so happy I glanced up from my busy work. It was a moment of perspective where I realized that taking in the small things must become a daily exercise. I need to put forth a real effort everyday to push aside distractions and take notice of the life that is happening all around me, of the beauty that is so near.
May I take it all in, little by little: the bright blue shade of the summer sky, the smell of the flowers in our garden, the feeling of the breeze brushing my skin, the smell of my daughter's hair as she rests her head on my shoulder, the sounds of birds chirping and neighborhood kids playing at the park. I want to slowly and deliberately savor the flavor of my food and drink. I want to relish the comfort of laying in my own bed. I want to write handwritten notes and letters instead of texts or emails. I want to drink tea from china teacups. I want to stop saying I'll do this and that later, saving it for a special occasion. Today is a special occasion, filled with endless gifts orchestrated just for me by my loving Savior, and he's just waiting for me to unwrap each one of them, if only I'll take notice.
Now I begin the next year of my life, filling the hours with these exercises in savoring. My prayer is that after diligent practice, I'll no longer need to force myself to take notice, that savoring the moments will become my second nature.