|Dramatic clouds about an hour before sunset|
Sitting by (or, more often, but less photogenically, swimming in) the rooftop pool with condo towers rising to one side and church spires to the other as the final rays of sunlight transform the sky into a glowing backdrop, I have more than once this summer been powerfully reminded of how very much I have been given. God has provided this amazing place for us to live, and I still remember walking in the first day and thinking, "This apartment is amazing; I must never stop thanking God for it." That was over 8 years ago, and by God's grace I have been able to keep that promise. His provision has at times been miraculous and other times seemingly mundane, and through it all, I remain very aware of the privilege we have to live here. To have a comfortable home where we can extend hospitality to others (current record = 16 people in the living room), where we can sprawl out on the couch to unwind with Netflix (her) or the Food Network (him), where we can have a cool place to sleep in the summer so I don't end up with heat stroke (actually) - these are amazing comforts and gifts for which I am profoundly grateful.
Perhaps, as an introverted homebody who usually prefers a night in to, well, pretty much anything else, it's easy for me to be thankful for these "comforts of home." Yet how easy it is for me to take so many other blessings for granted, be they little or big. The "Thankfulness Project" originally started as my answer to the celebrated concept of the "Life List." (Not that there's anything inherently wrong with a Life List, for the record!) I can't think of any better time to revive it than during my vacation month when I have been afforded so many quiet moments to remember that I have indeed been blessed beyond measure by the Giver of all good gifts.
P.S. The night I took this photo there was another resident enjoying the view from the terrace while I was swimming. He walked the entire perimeter of the pool deck, taking in the full panoramic vista from all sides, and after circling back to his starting point he could no longer contain his enthusiasm and joyfully exclaimed, "I think this is the nicest rooftop pool and patio in the whole of downtown! It's as if the entire city was built around us - and that view!" (Later on he came back with another gentleman, explaining to me that he just couldn't keep this view to himself and had to share it with his friend!)