You know what? 20 hours on a plane is hard. There are about, oh, maybe a million things I could complain about in this moment, in hour 10 (hour 2 of listening to the poor child a few rows up testing their lung capacity), but I’m not gonna. Instead, here are 7 things I am oh so grateful for in this moment

1. The sun is rising and the woman to my right very graciously has the window open. It is stunning to see the sky meld from deep crimsons to spiraling blues, all from above the clouds.

2. The seat next to me is empty. In normal circumstances, I know of about 2 semi-comfortable sleeping positions in which I don’t bother the people beside me. Not only am I seated on the aisle, but the empty seat allows for at least 10 possible contortions to choose from, meaning more time to rest before my limbs fall asleep and my muscles cramp.

3. The person closest to me is my friend, Ben, who is a secret Tic-Tac-Toe expert. I’m serious, don’t play him, it won’t end well for you.

4. They now pass out FULL BOTTLES of water instead of small plastic cups. So I am well hydrated AND have the bonus of being consistently forced to get up and move due to my bladder being the size of a safety pin.

5. The knowledge that I have friends and family back home who love me to the literal ends of the earth. It’s hard leaving them, but knowing the overwhelming support I’ve been given makes this trip so much easier.

6. In my last walk-and-stretch session, I almost touched my toes. It’s a big day for me people.

7. Knowing that by the time this is posted and read, I will be comfortably in a bed, probably drooling, having one of the best sleeps of my life.

So, even though my arms somehow manage to fall asleep before my brain does and this recycled dry air is giving me nose bleeds, I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you, God, for helping me see the beauty in the sunrise and for the child You handcrafted and watch over in the rows ahead of me. May I just as desperately cry out for You in my every breath. (2)