I'm always so reflective on my birthdays, and today is no exception. It always kind of feels more like a "new year's" day than the actual one. An opportunity to take into account all that the last year has taught me, while looking ahead to all this next year might hold. My mom always put so much intention and thought into our birthdays, and that makes this day all the more special each time it comes around. Even more special is that this year more than any other I finally understand why my mom has always loved celebrating her children's birthdays...because I was able to experience the delight of celebrating my own child's this past year. Kevin, Selah, and I have had a sweet weekend making some fun memories and eating some yummy food to celebrate this day. I am thankful for my little growing family...and even today I mentioned how I look forward to celebrating our birthdays in the years to come with our sweet girls. Such an entirely new joy when the little ones are involved.
Today (Sunday), I am officially 32 yrs. old....seems like it should sound crazy to me, but the honest truth is I feel totally at home at this age. My twenties held all kinds of mountains and valleys, depth and emotion, yet it was a time that feels further and further away. I'm thankful for the opportunity to grow in wisdom and peace with who God made me to be. I feel like with each new year I get to live, I grow closer to the quiet spirit I so long and pray for. Less concern with what others think of me, and more concern over my intimacy with Christ. And with an increasing awareness of how short this life truly is, I feel grateful for another new year to celebrate. It's a gift to turn over another year, and I am truly thankful.
I am also overwhelmed today with thoughts of so many people who have invested in my life and encouraged me in some way. So many have been so generous, kind, and encouraging to Kevin, Selah, and I this past year and I feel truly undeserving. Now I am looking ahead to this year and how I can be more generous and kind to those God has placed in my life. Thoughtfulness is always an area I desperately pray to grow in. I am hoping I get better and better at this with age as well.
Another emotion I experienced today was the realization that with age comes an increasing heaviness at times, if that makes sense. Meaning that is the experience of loss and sickness and trial among the relationships in our lives grows as we age. Sounds obvious as I write it, but the experience of it is still shocking. I guess that's why they call it "the innocence of youth." Yet I know in all these things we are only to be assured that this is a momentary stop in the midst of eternity. Our journey here is nothing compared to the eternal glory we are headed for. I am reminded with each year that lightness and real joy can only come by truly learning the discipline of truly believing and surrendering to the Word when it says to "cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." (Psalm 55:22) In the midst of these things I am continually learning to grow in my ability and desire to battle for others through prayer....while longing after a continually deeper relationship with Christ through it all.
I love what I read in 'My Utmost for His Highest" today..."It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to step more intimately with Him. Fruit bearing is always mentioned as the manifestation of an intimate union with Jesus Christ." John 15:1-4
This coming year I pray that God continues to allow my heart to beat and to give me each new breath...and that my life will bear more fruit than ever. As a woman, as a wife, as a mother, a daughter, and a sister...I truly will be seeking to take the time to step more intimately with Jesus. Thank you Lord for pursuing me for the 32 years that you have...I am thankful for our relationship in the year to come.