L et me start with a confession: I’m a window creeper. Before you go reporting me, allow me to explain: every time I go on a drive at night, especially when I’m on a neighborhood street, my eyes are drawn to the houses with lights on and a curtain or two open.

It’s magic to be able to glance through the window and see this tiny slice of life that another family is leading. Sometimes there are people in the room, sometimes it’s empty. I love that I get to see grandma doing embroidery in the big arm chair or the turquoise color that someone used on the walls. I have no idea who these people are, but I feel a little more connected with humanity when I get a look into their lives.

Once while back in college, I was walking back to my dorm room late at night with a friend. I had my head craned up at the windows, eyeballs bouncing to the ones where the curtains were up. I told her that I loved looking in those windows and she in turn told me that, as a friend, she would be out of line if she didn’t warn me to NEVER ADMIT THAT TO ANYONE ELSE.

I followed her advice until now but, as of today, I’m throwing in the towel. I really don’t think I can be alone on this little obsession of mine. Window creepers of the world, unite!

It’s not like I skulk around people’s homes and camp out by their lit windows. I don’t slow down the car or stop my nighttime walk to gaze into a home for hours on end. But I do let me eyes turn there, just for a few seconds, and speak a little blessing into that home. That the chicken turned out just right and the wine and conversation are flowing and that there is a tenderness being shared at the table.

(OK, please just pause for a moment and look at how AMAZING that apartment looks – is it a jungle in there?!? Look at all the plants!)

When a blog is at its best, I think it’s just like that lit up window on a neighborhood street. It allows people – even complete strangers – to peek into a different life and somehow connect, even if just for a moment.

In the same way that I’m inspired by the paint colors I see splashed against walls of other people’s homes, I’m inspired by women and men who allow me to peer into their lives through their stories and photographs online. I have been encouraged through the gorgeous ways people live their beautiful, complex, messy, joyful lives and share this with an audience whom they don’t necessarily know. What a gift.

So here’s my little open, lit up window. If you’re a fellow window creeper, then come. Let’s break bread.