December 5, 2013

a cold + bright birthday eve

a few years ago, i didn't think much of my birthday, or rather, didn't think much of the year that had past... putting more focus on what the next year would bring. while i still look forward and anticipate the upcoming year, i've been pausing on the eves of the last couple birthdays, reflecting on the adventures, the griefs, and joys of the past year. i don't think any of my years have been quite so marked by such deep sadness and elated joy as this last one. this year was difficult in a lot of ways, but amazing and lovely in so many others.

as i think back to my birthday a year ago, i had no idea that my heart would break just a couple weeks later, mourning the departure of little lenya from this earth into eternal paradise.
it was the most difficult thing to watch my friends, my pastor and his wife, speak at their five-year-old's memorial service. it made me long for heaven, much like when my father-in-law went to heaven a few years ago. it reminded me that life is so short and to cherish every moment with every loved one, because not another minute is guaranteed. it also exemplified the inexplicable strength of Christ like i've never seen before, and the power of His peace that surpasses understanding. it made me so thankful [again] for the hope i have in Jesus!

with that at the forefront of my mind, i tried to be more intentional about spending time with friends and family, investing in relationships, being present and trying/training myself to choose joy in every circumstance. a lot of the time, happiness came easy this year - like when nic and i bought our first house!! or when we celebrated our 7 year anniversary [more to come on that]!! or when my family came to visit us in montana for the first time!! or when i got to visit california, twice! or when i went camping for the first time!! gifts that were so graciously given by God... so many milestones and mountaintops!

this past year has been so full and rich, days of mourning, of laughter, days of beautiful life... i'm so thankful for every moment, every trial, every conversation, every person in my life... i'm learning that's all that matters, that's all i want to fill my life with - good, hearty relationships with Jesus and people.

and so, moving forward, i really have no idea what this next year will bring [obviously], profit or loss, and i pray that this next year is marked by friendships, by love.... not choosing anxiousness, but choosing whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report... that my whole being would be pleasing in His sight.

i guess i just found my standard for year 29! :)

love to you, friends!! wish i could hug each of you... but i'll just say cheers! and pray that you know how much you're loved and appreciated. :)


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