Thursday, July 23, 2015

Birthday Thoughts

I am, by nature, a very reflective person. I love to look back on the past (and hopefully learn from it). I truly enjoy drumming up dreams for my future and writing out all my crazy ideas that go along with those dreams, some to play out, others not to.
  Birthdays bring about both of those two qualities much like January 1 does for most people. 
 Many people I know don't enjoy birthdays- they groan about being older or claim that as an adult the birthday doesn't really matter anymore.
  Perhaps it's my inner child that still thrives in me, but I love birthdays. Like I get giddy about them even. Perhaps it is the fact that growing up, my mom always made a wonderful deal out of each of our birthdays (and trust me, with little money and all 4 of us born in July and the fact that July was often a busy month with wheat harvest, baling straw and the county fair, having a big deal out of our birthday was extra special.) Perhaps because it's a good excuse to spoil myself for a day. Perhaps I love the idea not just on my own day, but on everyone else's, too, that it's a day all about them, and it is a special day. Unique to any other. 
 I'm not really sure I know why I love birthdays so much, but it doesn't really matter.... I just do.

 And I hope that remains the truth for me every year, no matter what my age is. 

 This week I turned 33. I don't say this so that everyone will wish me a Happy Birthday. I simply write about this because writing is what I often do when the ability to say the adequate words escapes me. Writing helps me capture a moment in time, much like a picture does. 

 The last year of life brought along many lessons for me, many of which have spurred on a growth unlike any I have ever experienced prior to it. My hope is that, as is expected, it means I am growing in wisdom. 
 I have learned much about being quiet, and yet speaking my mind when it is necessary. That has never been an easy task for me, but in practicing it, it has become a healthy one, when exercised in the right manner.
  I have learned to let go. Of people. Of past. Of expectations. (Ok... I'm probably still working on letting go of expectations, but I have learned the value of holding less of them because that so often leads to the wrong road of disappointment.) 
   I have learned (or am learning) to better laugh at myself. 
       I have, in a sense, in the last year, grown into my skin and love it for maybe the first time ever. God has made me who I am and that is beautiful. 

  I have gained new job opportunities and experiences. i have traveled away from my family for the first time ever. I have pushed myself to do new things I never thought possible. I have gained new friendships, deepened long lasting ones, and let go of others. 
  I have been reminded that life is about Him, not about me. 
 It's been a challenging year in certain aspects, but an amazing year.

 And now I embark on a new year.  Of course, I wouldn't be me without some goals in front of me. 
  My word I chose for the year 2015 is different. Which also translates into making a difference. 

 It has taken me 6 months to really come around to embracing the meaning of that word, and I am excited to be endeavoring into new opportunities.
 while in the last year, it has become a very important part of my journey to embrace me, and love who I am,  in wanting to be different and make a difference, I know I must let my focus be on Him. Let Him shine through the me He has made me; the me I have come to discover at new depths. 
   In the next year of my life, between now and my birthday next year, there lie many opportunities in front of me.
    - Potentially a mission trip to Colombia
      - A new exciting idea of a running group ahead, where I can encourage women in their own journey of faith, fitness and friendship and family.
        - Opportunities to serve with my children  as I watch them grow during this pivotal time of their own lives of middle school years
           - Finding that balance in being content with where God has me, but still striving to become all He wants me to be.
 I am looking forward to : New Races to run, New places to travel, New faces to meet and no doubt, new experiences which will grace the threshold of my door.

  Goals? well, you know me... I always have goals rolling around in my head. I'll save those for a different blog.

 I am not so naive as to think it will be a perfect year. There will be challenges. That's a part of life, while difficult at times, I have come to embrace. But I am excited to see what new possibilities will open for me in the days and months to come.

 So, while birthdays hold a darkness in some people's minds... for me it's light and joy. Not just because it's "my" day and a great excuse to eat lots of cake,  but because it brings ahead a fresh chapter of the story of my life. And I cannot wait to see what climaxes might be written in my 33rd year.
     Being different, so I might make a difference. 

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