Open Windows

This morning I sat and ate my breakfast with two windows open behind me… Ok, ok. I know that a lot of you know how much I love winter, but that seems a bit extreme even for me. Here’s the story:

Back in 2014/15, I used to eat MorningStar Farm’s Maple Veggie Sausage for breakfast all the time. No really – just about every single morning. I haven’t had any since, but this week it sounded SO GOOD. So this morning when I went for a small grocery run, I decided I’d pick some up and have that for breakfast. I got it home and after I got all of the groceries unpacked and put away, I read the directions. Recommended cooking method: stovetop. Cooking method I’d always used before: microwave. Honestly, I was all about giving the stovetop a try. I try to make breakfast for Toby and/or the kids every morning, so I almost always start the morning with a pan on the stove. To learn how to perfect cooking my veggie sausage on the stovetop would be fantastic! I could just throw them into the breakfast mix and have them ready to go whenever I finally sat down to eat.

Such good intentions.

Anyway, the first step is to spray the pan with nonstick spray. Done. Then cook them on medium for 9-10 minutes… Well, our stovetop doesn’t have a “medium”. There’s a “medium high” and a “medium low”. I chose the “medium high”. Oh man. How do I put this? I chose poorly. (Did you read that in the voice of the knight guarding the Holy Grail from Indy and the Last Crusade? Good.) My nonstick spray was smoking a little in about 2 minutes and by the time I’d reached 5 minutes, the kitchen was kinda hazy. Major fail on my part. The sausage was finished at least – don’t ask me how… Open went the windows, on went the whole home fan, and there I was looking at my normal spot situated right in front of where the cold air was now coming in.

I’m not going to lie; even for someone who loves the cold, I was kind of dreading sitting down next to those open windows. My mind told me I would be freezing and that I’d hate it. But then I walked over and… it felt glorious. My plan had been to go grab a sweater and when I put my plate and mug down at my place at the table, I was feeling pretty vulnerable to the cold in my leggings, tank top, hair up, and bare feet (sorry, Mom). But instead of feeling cold, I felt completely invigorated. I sat down, surprised. I’ve been making it a point to stay undistracted when I’m eating, so as I began enjoying my hot coffee and sausage, I really let myself soak in the outdoors. There was a soft whisper of wind and I could hear the birds chirping. It was truly beautiful.

It occurred to me that without my mistake in the kitchen this morning, I never would have opened that window. I wouldn’t have listened to melodies of the birds or felt the gentleness of the wind carrying its crisp freshness into my home.

Life is so often like that, don’t you think? You make a mistake. Maybe it’s a stupid one like burning your nonstick spray, but maybe it’s bigger or even life-changing. It lands you in a situation that your mind is telling you to run from or protect yourself from. But even in your failures and missteps, God can bring beauty. Even in situations that seem unlikely to bring grace, there can be unexpected peace. Even when we are forced down paths we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves, there is still hope.

All we have to do is open our windows… and our hearts.

This is what I hope for all of us: that when we error, we can keep our hearts open to the goodness of God, feel his love, and take our seat at his table. Because even when our humanness takes us on journeys we could never anticipate, his unconditional love will meet us there.