Will this be the happiest year of my life?

There was recently a study about the age at which people are the happiest. Do you know what the answer was? 33.

Today is my 33rd birthday.

And I think I understand the results of the survey.

Crossing over into my thirties had some fear attached to it. I was letting go of a younger decade and planting myself firmly into adulthood. But now, I am here. I know I am no longer young, but I know I am also far from being old.

I have learned much about how I want to live my life. I am excited to move forward living it that way.

And what is it that I have learned? How is it that I want to live? Perhaps my thoughts are best summed up by the Annie Dillard quote, which says,

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

As simple as that quote may be, it is also profound.

Our lives are made up of the sum total of moments. If we don’t pay attention, regrets can add up more quickly than spare change.

As I have gotten older, I have learned to stop and take notice. To recognize the joy and the depth of meaning that are embedded, not just in the big events of life, but in the small, ordinary moments of everyday.

That’s why this blog is called Everyday Awe. It is a journey of seeing God move and hearing God speak, all around me, everyday.

I have grown in my understanding of a verse that used to seem impossible.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I used to wonder how it was possible to pray all the time. What about talking to people? And reading? And playing games? How could we pray simultaneously with the activities of our lives?

But now, I see. I do not think this verse means we need to say particular words at particular moments throughout the day. I think it is telling us a simple truth about life with God.

Noticing moments means noticing God.

Recognizing beauty. Feeling God’s peace. Appreciating relationships. Expressing gratitude. Finding joy. These are the moments that make up a life of purpose.

And so, I would like to end this post with a celebration of some of my life’s recent moments. Moments I spent doing some of the simple things that make life wonderful. Moments when what I was doing made me notice, rejoice, and give thanks.

So, as I turn 33, I do not dread getting older. I look forward to the moments yet to come.