Last Saturday was my birthday, I turned the big 2-1 (even though most people think I’m still the younger 1-6). The most exciting part about this particular birthday?!? To me, was that I got to celebrate it eating sushi and having quality time with ones I love.
I can’t even begin to express to you the work God has done in my life over the last year. He has grown and changed me in ways I never would have imagined possible. Now don’t mistake me here… I know I still have a long, long way to go. I could sit here and list my faults, mistakes, weaknesses, shortcomings, that I know I still need to work on. But, (no one wants to read that and) I know that at any point in my life there will still be a list, it will just hold different items. Fotunately, I have my Heavenly Father and amazing family to help me with my “list.”
The last year of my life has been one that I know I will never forget. It has been a year of hard work, confusion, loss, blood (I had an incident with a glass dish and the sink), sweat (I started a new exercise schedual) and tears… it has also been a year of faith, trust, growth, change, family, love and a raw, pure joy like I have not felt in (I’m not even sure how many) years. I am so grateful for this season in my life and I thank God for it every day.
When I turned eighteen I thought I knew everything… I was an adult now and I had all of the answers and could make my own decisions. After doing a pretty good job of messing that all up on my own, God quietly reminded me that while the law said that I was legally an adult and could now go to prison… I was far from being grown-up. Now that I am twenty-one (which is considered another major milestone in the aging game) I know that I don’t know anything.
But, I have learned a few things…
- I have learned the importance of modesty (of course this has to be the first one). Modesty not only in the matter of clothing and appearance… but, also in the way that I carry myself, the way I conduct myself, the way I speak to others and so on.
- I learned that I can be a dweller; I can waste entirely too much time thinking, over thinking and re-thinking something I said or was said to me or an event that spanned over about .5 sec of time that ends up taking 5 hours (or 5 days) of my life… and that is simply not okay.
- In knowing that, I have learned to take a deep breath, pray and go. I have learned that it is okay to accept GOD’s amazing grace and forgiveness; and, that it’s okay to move. on.
- I learned that I am sensitive to dairy. Which, was a life changing discovery for me. To have felt lethargic, to have had aching headaches, to have had terrible acne (Tmi? Well, it’s the truth.) and to have felt sharp pains in my ribs while breathing for so long it was incredibly freeing to all of a sudden not.
- I have also learned that… it is, in fact, possible to eat your favorite foods (a lot of them) and ice cream, only workout when you can, and still lose weight. My journey started at a dress size 14 to an 8 (and always striving to do better). I have gained such an appreciation and passion for good and good for you food, along with exercising like I never have had before (and honestly, never thought I would).
- I learned that it is okay to talk about things that hurt you or make you upset, it’s okay to say if you’re mad or sad and it is just as (maybe even more so) okay/important to talk about things that make you happy and excited. (I also learned that it’s okay if I maybe… accidentally… happen to… snort or “cackle” a little when laughing. Because, well, that’s how my happy announces itself.)
- I learned that seven is God’s blessed number from the same beautiful woman who taught me that true family is not the people that share your DNA but your heart and your life; and, more often than not these people look nothing like you.
- I re-learned my love for classical music; which, now graces the number one spot on the presets in my car as I drive to take Miss Norma home from dialysis (whom, I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve).
- I learned that it is okay to grow and set new boundaries with pre-existing relationships. It is not my job to make others happy and I am here to live for and serve my God, not the world. That it is okay to move on and separate from people and things no longer serving me in a positive, Godly way.
- I learned that I love tortoises! My “pet rock” Thoosie is so cute, I love him and watching him grow. Loving him so much made me want to share him with the world! But, I learned earlier this year that I, actually, don’t need social media. So with all forms of (anti)Social MEdia deactivated and deleted I shared him on my little blog here.
- I learned that I love writing to you on this blog! Writing and making time to do so is important to me and makes me a happy camper.
- I learned that my love for old movies (preferably musicals) is still alive and well! I learned this while learning another very important lesson: when you are sick… rest. Your body needs it. God will make sure all of the little things are taken care of and that pile of laundry will wait patiently for you.
- I learned that I love baking, but more than that I love giving what I bake away. In the same hand I absolutely love serving others and helping when and where I can.
- I learned that I do need people…
- However! I need people (like Mama, Papa, etc.) who are older and wiser than I am to guide, correct and encourage me – with God and love as their only motives.
- I learned that who you choose to spend time with really is very important (1 Corinthians 5: 11, 15: 33); and that I need to fill my days with people who are going to have edifying conversation and fill my cup and feed my soul and grow me… not with people who steal from my cup drop by drop, feed off drama and live to not only bring others down but thrive on worldly things.
- I learned that I am not quite as grown up or mature as I thought…
- I also learned that that’s okay. I could be 21… 30… 50… or 99 and I will still not know everything and will still have some growing to do.
- I learned that it is okay to let people in and to trust them to love genuinely with no ulterior motive… aaaand likewise, I learned that it is okay to serve and love others selflessly without being scared or expecting anything in return…
- I learned/was truly reminded that every single time I bow my head to pray no matter how loud or quiet my voice, my Heavenly Father hears and listens to me. He is there fighting for me, ready to answer my prayers in His perfect time if I only ask. (Romans 8: 28).
- Most importantly above all else… I learned that I am enough just as I am in the eyes of my LORD and that no amount of human efforts or deeds done here on earth could ever buy me what the blood of my Savior Jesus Christ did on the cross…
While birthdays are fun and all (and are a good excuse to eat some extra dessert) I realized something this year… every day that GOD gifts me is a reason to celebrate the life He has so graciously blessed me with. I open the best present every day that I get to wake up and have the life that I do. Thank you so much for reading and I hope that you have a blessed day!
What is something you’ve learned this past year?
What are some major changes you’ve made?
How has God walked you through it?
Until next time; I pray your day, every day, is blessed.