Happy Birthday to Me

20. Where have I come in the last 20 years? Where am I going in the next 20? Life sucks. I mean, am I right here? We run around this world like chickens with our heads cut off searching for the perfect job, the perfect spouse, the perfect friends, the perfect life...and where is it? nowhere within reach. Nothing on this Earth will meet the perfection that each of us are seeking. That only kind of perfection will be found when we leave this world and go to be with the wonderful Creator. As I was driving home tonight, I closed my eyes as I approached the bridge next to my neighborhood, and I thought to myself...wouldn't it be easier to just keep those eyes closed for a few seconds more, and be done with all of this. Then I could be truly happy. Then I could be truly fulfilled...but the truth is that God did not call us to live the easy life. He called us to live the holy life. He created a world in which we would hopelessly seek for something that only he has. He created a world meant to taunt us. As I look back over the last 20 years I am proud of how far I have come, and I am unbelievably ashamed of how little I've grown. On today, the first day of my twentieth year, I give up the one thing I've been holding so tightly that I didn't even know I had it. I give up control...wholly...completely. I surrender it to my Lord and Savior. I pray that as I struggle to let go, and I have no doubt that I will struggle, the Lord will gently be there to show me how to trust in Him. trust in him. I don't know that all of this is very cohesive, and for that I apologize. I do promise, however, that it is 100% honest. This is me. This is me at 20. Happy Birthday to me.


The Forgotten Holiday

We are guilty. Hailey and I have already decorated the ENTIRE room for Christmas. Our only tribute to Thanksgiving is Sammy, the turkey that hangs on our doorknob...right next to our matching stockings. I feel kind of bad for Sammy. There was a day long ago when Thanksgiving was a true and valued holiday, but it seems that year after year we push up the Christmas season as much as we possibly can. Maybe we need more shopping days. Maybe we want to put up the lights before it gets too cold. Maybe we want the "magic" of Christmas to last just a little bit longer. Whatever the case, I think that we are jipping ourselves of a really meaningful time of year. The season of Thanksgiving is a time to look back and remember all the blessings that we've received this year. It's a time to remember to tell people how much they truly mean to us and how truly thankful we are. As I wrote "Love" on my arm today as a part of To Write Love On Her Arms day, I realized that we really do need to tell the people in our lives that we love them. Sometimes we forget. We feel like if they already know, then we don't need to tell them as often. So this Thanksgiving I am truly thankful for my mom, dad, and sister and the constant support and encouragement they give me. I am thankful for Hailey and Joseph and the friendship they have held with me. I am thankful for Courtney and our weekly dinners and a listening heart. I am thankful for Tate and the new friendship he has provided. I am thankful suitemates and their inept ability to not kill me in my sleep. I am really thankful for CJ, for the patience and understanding he has in our relationship, for the support he's provided me in times of weakness, for the kind word, for the gentle encouragement, for making me laugh, and for making me cry. I'm simply thankful that he loves me back. But most of all this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my Lord for the challenges he's provided me this year, and for the constant hope and support he's brought me through those circumstances. I am thankful for the truly unconditional love that he has for me. I am so thankful that when I start to run away from him, he is always right there when I turn around, ready to pretend like it never happened. He doesn't stop loving me if I ignore him. He doesn't stop loving me if I blame him. He doesn't stop loving me if I cry to him. He only loves me more. Now that's magic. That is something that I wouldn't want to skip over just to get to a lame tree that sheds on the carpet or stockings that fall off the door every other day.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Tell the people you love how thankful you are to have them in your life.