The day I got glasses for the first time, my world changed. I vividly remember the first tree I looked at with my newfound vision. The rough, jagged edges of the leaves, each tiny vein, the movement of light through the leaves, rough textured bark I could almost feel without touching.
None of it was as simple as I had previously thought. There were no smooth edges, no blurred lines. Each small detail wove together with the next to make one whole.
I remember saying, “It’s like I can see for the first time!”
Anyone who’s ever gotten glasses knows this feeling. It’s the feeling of being awoken to the world around you. Coming to life all over again.
I remember the second day I came back to life again.
Twenty-nine years old, married 9 years, three young kids. All of it had blurred together. We were living in the most beautiful place on Earth and still I struggled to find joy. All the lovely details had blurred together into one big overwhelming life. The nitty gritty details of mothering young children and balancing a marriage and trying to find meaning in it all had me barely treading water.
And then a life raft was tossed into the water.
Our Bible study decided to study Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts. I tucked a small journal into my purse, prepared to seek out beauty, joy, grace, gift in the boring, mundane, even painful everyday.
We grappled with big things like how to find the gift in struggling with addiction, in loneliness. Where is the gift in dashed dreams and crushed spirits?
Sometimes days were uneventful and so we became noticers. And we thanked God for the simple beauty of small things: the sharp rise of mountains out our windows; the rough, comforting wood grain on our tables; fresh food; the clean smell of fresh snow.
And now, years later, my life is blessed by the noticing. I see a thousand small gifts of grace every day: soft, downy kitten fur; hot pink sunrises; the wild imaginations of my children; texts from dear friends; laugh-till-you-cry cat videos the moment before I crumble under the weight of my own expectations.
Where can you find beauty in your life? Where has God placed little reminders of his love?
Slow down and notice. Notice the coffee warm you from the inside out. Notice the smile of friends and family and coworkers. Notice the sunset. Get up to watch the sunrise. Take time to look into the eyes of the people you see every day. Literally smell the flowers. Hug your kids and really feel their warmth.
Notice the beauty and the gift of your life.