“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

I make vinyl signs as a hobby and have made this sign for many a living room wall. Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time on Pinterest or Etsy has heard this phrase many times over. I know it’s completely cliché, but tonight I find myself asking exactly what that phrase means to me. What are the moments that take my breath away? Regardless of the insurmountable amount of blessings in my life, I still often find myself in that search. In moments of despair or hopelessness, it can be very difficult to see even the smallest amount of light, much less find a moment that will “take your breath away”. The wonderful thing is however, that all we have to do is open our eyes just a little bit more and we will realize that we are surrounded by those moments every single day!

Last night we sat as a family and watched a Christmas movie. My daughter giggled through the whole movie and I took in every sound she made, which filled my heart with complete joy. This was a moment that took my breath away.valparaiso-vin%cc%83a-del-mar-16 Today while sitting in church, my daughter came to sit on my lap while my son sat next to me and leaned his head on my shoulder. They sat like this for nearly an hour. Both told me multiple times while we sat there how much they love me. This was a moment that took my breath away. Who am I to deserve such great blessings? As we drove this afternoon as a family, I looked up and saw the sun setting against the mountains near my house and it was absolutely beautiful. This was a moment that took my breath away. Tonight before bed, my wife and I talked together. We laughed a little and cried a little. This was a moment that took my breath away.

Every day of our lives, we are given opportunities to have our breath taken away. All we have to do is look around us. When the outlook seems bleak and all we can see is the dark and the difficult, we simply need to open our eyes. There is always a beautiful sunrise, a smiling face, a breath of clean air, a child whose innocence heals the broken heart, or the phone call of a friend. These are the simple things in life that will take our breath away. These are the simple things in life that make our lives complete. May you each enjoy a moment today that will take your breath away.