Tuesday, August 22, 2006

my deepest thanks

Recently I've heard a lot of people give me compliments. I think the fact that it was my birthday had something to do with it....regardless, they were nice to hear. Most of the time I just say, "Thank you," and don't really believe thay they are being honest and I never ponder them long enough to see if I believe what they are telling me. However, I heard something the other night that I have been pondering. I had a friend start to tell me how thankful they were that I was in their life. It's crazy to think how much God will use you if you just let Him. My friend named all these things that I was "responsible" for. I said, "Thank you," like we all do, but then I sat there and thought about it. I'm not responsible for any of those things. It's hard for me to find things these days and not see God's work in it, however this is something that from the beginning I've known was God's work and I would follow Him wherever it lead. It's lead to learning a lot about myself, a lot about putting others needs before your own, and a lot of great memories that I think will continue. I hope that I'm always as willing to be used by God as much as I have been in this situation. Regardless of the outcomes, I want to be a part of Kingdom work, I want to be useful.

Pondering this compliment also made me think about the people in my life that I am thankful for. There are many. It's fasinating to think about the impact one person can have on your life. I think of family members, teachers, pastors, friends....many have people have contributed to who I am today, and for that I am thankful. I feel humbled to think that God would ever choose to impact anyone's life in the way others have changed mine. I've always had a passion for people and being social. I have a new burden for community. I want to invest fully in the lives of those around me so I can in turn be blessed by their friendships. There are great things to be learned from all people. I hope I'm always willing to be taught from them.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

themes, cakes, parties, oh my!

Today I heard someone tell me, "Happy Birthday!" My birthday is tomorrow so I'll probably be hearing this a lot over the next day. If you know me at all you know I love birthdays...not just mine, but more the entire concept of celebrating someone's birthday. The idea of one's birthday being very important was instilled in me from the very beginning. Since I can remember, and from what the pictures show..even before I can remember we always had a party and that party always had a theme. There was the clown party, the purple party, the lion king party, 50's sock hop, a night on the town, scavenger hunt, cajun, polka dot, luau...just to name a few. This will be party number 24. I wonder how long I will keep this up? Despite the fact I was raised to go all out for birthdays, I think there is a part of me that really does value the celebration. I think it's important, especially as a child but equally as important to adults. I feel like I could right a whole essay on why it's important to celebrate your birthday. I won't do that here, but possibly one day. Maybe I'll just write a book about throwing birthday parties and the importance of them will come across in the details of the party planning. We'll see if that happens.

It's been a fun year of being 23. I've made some wonderful new friends, strengthened some friendships from way back in the day, found a job that I love, traveled to Moldova to play with sweet orphan children, and I've found a new apartment with a great roommate to move in with. God taught me so much through my friendships this year. I learned a lot about not acting out of fear, when it's time for me to be by myself (which isn't often, but it is necessary), how to trust Him with things out of my control...which is everything in a since I guess but more specifically my future and Jimmy's health.

I'm excited about tomorrow. It means it's a new year with new adventures...new friends, new lessons to learn, new place to live, maybe better sleeping habits? (we'll see about that one) I hope that you all are able to embrace your birthdays whenever they happen. I think getting older is a treasure and a gift. I'm honored to live another year and I'm exicted that God continues to use me for His glory on earth. Happy Birthday to each of you when that day comes! I'm excited about tomorrow and what God has in store for me this year! Here's to turning 24!