The Christmas shopping season has begun! Some people love shopping so much that after eating their Thanksgiving meal, they head straight to the stores. I head straight to my couch.
Others prefer to relax on Thanksgiving day, but the next day, they love waking up before the sunrises in order to get the “Doorbuster” savings on “Black Friday.” You know what I love to do the day after Thanksgiving? Sleep in.
Some people love to brave the crowds and get excited to spend hours shopping. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I am not one of those people. When I shop, I usually know exactly what I want and try to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. And if I can find it online and have it directly shipped to me, even better!
Is your life exactly how you imagined it would be?
For me, my life looks very different than how I envisioned it. My dream of becoming a teacher came true, but nothing else has gone according to my plan. Growing up, I thought I would get a job teaching in Northeast Ohio, live close to my family, and be married with a few kids by my late 20’s.
What does my life actually look like? I teach on the opposite side of the state and all of my family lives hundreds of miles away. At the age of 36, I’ve never been married, and I don’t have any kids. In fact, I’ve experienced years of singleness. I’ve heard some people say that singleness is a gift, but many times, it honestly has felt more like a struggle. (Check out my blog series called The Single Life.)
In Annie F. Downs' latest book, Remember God, Annie says, “I struggle so much when my expectations of God don’t meet the reality of my current experience with life.”
Annie then goes on to explore the question, “Is God kind even when my circumstances don’t seem to reflect that?”
I recently had some remodeling done in my bathroom. I quickly learned how expensive remodeling projects can cost (and the thought of living in a tiny house started to sound even more appealing).
On day 1 of the project, a worker arrived at my home. He was prompt, friendly, and hard-working. I felt bad for my neighbors, as I’m sure they weren’t too happy about hearing 8 hours of loud noises coming from my home. Towards the end of the day, the project manager stopped by. Everything was going according to plan, and the job was expected to be completed by lunchtime the next day.
You were there
at the beginning
from my very first breath
when my eyes opened to see
the loving family you gave me.
You were there
in the room
when my innocence was lost
your heart broke at the sight
you comforted me through the dark nights.
You were there
at the parties
when we celebrated life
joy and laughter filled the air
surrounded by people who care.
Sitting in a window seat of a packed flight, I look around and notice that I’m surrounded by a sea of people all wearing headphones. Everyone is tuned into their own little world.
But then I look out the window and notice the amazing view. Large, fluffy clouds surround us, and when the clouds break away I can see neighborhoods, roads, rivers, and ponds.
An extraordinary view in the midst of an ordinary moment.
Seeing this breathtaking view from 35,000 feet up suddenly makes me feel so small and insignificant. I am just 1 person in this vast world. 1 out of billions. And if I compare myself to others, I feel even more insignificant.
I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.