We all hope, one day, that our lives are like a peaceful walk through a beautiful meadow. The sun will shine, the birds will chirp, and the wind will gently touch our skin. We will walk through this meadow with a spring in our step, joy bubbling from our hearts, and a feeling of connectedness.

Yet, most of the time, life isn’t a walk in a meadow. Sometimes it’s a war; bloody, messy, and exhausting with casualties on both sides, injuries galore, and more violence than you ever want to see.

Sometimes it’s a trek through a barren wasteland, with little water, few people, and no peace. 

Sometimes it’s a journey through dangerous and unfamiliar lands, carrying a burden you don’t know if you can carry for much longer.

Through these seasons, these wars and wastelands and burdens, what do we do? How do we continue to fight? How do we keep going? Sometimes the answer is the buckle down, pick yourself up from your bootstraps and just keep going.

 A sometimes the answer is to celebrate the small things.

Small things like the breath in your lungs, the wind on your face, the hug of a friend. Small things like, today, today you survived. Maybe it was a hard day, a bad day, but you survived it! You faced the war head on and you made it. You have stared the beast in the face and you stood firm. You were knocked down and you got back up. You were wounded and then you healed. You were stepped on, crushed, defeated, and yet, you are still here.

Your heart beats every day with the small, glorious, and miraculous phrase: I am alive. I am alive. I am alive.

Your very DNA speaks of the thousands upon thousands of people whose genes live inside you; who because they lived, you live too.

Your fingerprints shout of the beauty and detail of God Himself. You were formed by someone who loved you. You are alive because the Creator of the dandelion, the Milky Way, Niagra Falls, and the Grand Canyon thought the world needed you. Because He loved you.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. And beautifully, gloriously alive.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” Ephesians 6:13