This morning my daughter and I celebrated the recent news of her foreign exchange placement. She is going to the Czech Republic next school year. She is excited and relieved to finally know where she’ll spend her year abroad, as am I and the rest of our family.
We had croissants at National Boulangerie, a French bakery we both enjoy. It’s a lovely atmosphere and what better place to celebrate news of heading to Europe than a European cafe?
I am learning there are still moments in life to revel in, to rejoice in, even when I am inwardly sad and depleted. My current overall state is not the best, in fact, it’s quite possibly the worst I’ve been. Yet, there are glimmers of joy. There are expressions of hope and love that shine through and I find I have to smile and allow myself to experience them, despite.
There’s a beauty in winter that can’t possibly be found in the other seasons. Winter is extreme and often brutally cold. Yet it offers a quietness and a mask of white that only comes during this time. It’s a lonely time and quite frankly, I don’t like it. But I have no choice in the matter. I have to experience it. Winter is here and doesn’t ask my opinion on how long it should stay or how harsh it should be.
Life doesn’t yield to our desires. We are taken through seasons we would never choose. And in them we have to decide if we will be defeated or march on. And we learn. We learn so much. I have found people care and want the best for me. A friend gave me a gift this week, a few items she knew I would like. It was a sweet gesture and the items are now displayed in my kitchen.
Another friend emailed me a scripture verse this week that she felt would be helpful to me. I’m thankful for this too. Others listened to me and offered their thoughts and concerns. A friend sent a text checking in on me. For these things I also celebrate. There are people who offer light and warmth. People who come along beside.
My daughter and I are Winter Olympics fans. Having never heard of him before last night, we found ourselves cheering for some guy named “Sage”. And another young man from Canada who had a good story. And of course, Ashley, the female American skater. Oh, and the 15 year old girl from Russia who is the same age as my daughter. We celebrated their victories and accomplishments from our living room across the world. Even though their sporting endeavors mean little, if anything, to what we face. Yet the respite, the time to smile and yell and rejoice with them and their loved ones is so refreshing. It’s proof that we all have good days and bad seasons.
I want to focus on what’s celebration worthy. The things that bring joy, even if it’s only momentary. So I’m thankful today for authentic croissants even though I’m in Kentucky, Anthropologie type kitchen accessories and friends who know me well. I’m thankful for the beauty of snowy February days and my daughter’s future endeavors in the Czech Republic. I’m grateful and I celebrate the people who help get me through the really dark, cold days. And I’m thankful for some guy named Sage who makes my daughter and I smile.