A year ago today I walked through marble halls. I looked out window panes at magical gardens spreading far as the eye could see. I watched fountains dance and marveled at the wonders of the Hall of Mirrors. Never in all of my life could I have imagined that I’d see the beauty of Paris not once, but several times.
I travel. It's something that makes my heart race and one of the greatest joys I've been given in life.
I make the descent to the home stretch and after coming out from under the fog of the dreaded jet-lag, I re-enter my forever favorite place called home and share the experiences with the friends I have missed.
And as I tell of the wonders that I've found on the other side of the world; right in the middle of that story of the time when we hopped a bus to see Paris lit up at night, that's when I begin to see the familiar look within their eyes.
I can see the thought flash through their mind as if it were spelled out in plain letters for every eye to see - I wish I was her.
And yet, as my friends go on to tell me about their ordinary day as wife and as mom, which plant to put where in their very own home, or the birthday party yet to be planned for their kiddo who’s turning two, you could lean in close and take a good look into my eyes because the very same words will be spelled out just as plain - I wish I was her.
Yes, you can laugh and tell me of the great excitement of toddler tantrums and nap time schedules, and then I'll give it back by telling you of the horrid smells of subways and the marvelous blessing of being herded like cattle in a group of over-excited tourists.
And yes, you might roll your eyes and say, "ah, but it's so worth it", and friend I'll say the same to you because after all, aren't we both right?
Life won’t ever live up to be as beautiful as your best friends Instagram feed, not even for your best friend.
That imaginary dream world that your mind goes to in the midst of rocking a screaming child, or dealing with the reality of living alone, friends can I tell you - it’s only just a dream.
And what does it all mean? That there isn’t a scrap of beauty to be found in the midst of imperfections? Quite the contrary.
We experience beauty in countless different ways, and those countless different ways will change a hundred times from the span from our first newborn cries to the very end of our lives.
We’d do well to learn the all-important lesson of rejoicing with our fellow sisters and fight with aggression the great green monster of our own inner jealousy.
Regardless of what sort of life you may be living this very moment, I can guarantee you this- someone would give anything for the very thing that has become your simple ordinary.
And above all friend, I hope that we can both remember this - that there’s a perfect God in heaven who has given us the treasures of today. He holds the weight of orchestrating our timeline and He never fails to grow our hearts and bring us joy - even in the moments of drudgery.
If you find yourself feeling like life is less than best and the hurt weighs more than you had anticipated, know this - that this perfectly loving God does all things well for the heart that continues to hold on.
Your life is important because it holds an eternal value.
Your day has a purpose because the Holy Spirit is living inside of you.
Your life is not measured by the standard of Instagram likes and bucket list moments, but rather by faithfulness shaping each and every moment.