On Friday, I turn 31.
Many events, celebrations, gains, and losses have occurred in the first 31 years of my life. I have experienced countless adventures, treasure all my friends, and value God and my family above all else. These 31 years have taught me much; I can only anticipate with great relish what the next years will bring. On the celebration of my birthday, I will be attending the memorial for a dear co-worker and friend of mine, Carole. Carole passed away last week from a heart attack. She was a lovely, kind, generous lady. I was privileged to call her my friend.
In light of the happiness and the sadness of 9-11-2015, I offer up these few thoughts:
To say that life is short is to be repetitive: I will engage in each moment because I don’t know what is around the bend. In every moment, I have the choice to criticize or to be filled with wonder. I choose wonder.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ is one decision I have never regretted.
I believe in eating dessert as much as possible. After a run, a brownie is my preferred choice. Feel free to emulate my practice.
Marriage is an institution I highly endorse. I’m a huge fan of it, particularly my own marriage. My husband rocks my world. I’m totally in love, just like a school girl. I’m giddy, excited, passionate. We are going to grow old together, travel the world, and play lots of video games. It’s amazing.
I’m searching for the “road less traveled”, to quote Robert Frost. That seems to be the more fun way to go. One meets more interesting people there too.
Jumping from an airplane is not a goal of mine, in case anyone was wondering.
The stretch marks from pregnancy both annoy and thrill me. They are both ugly and beautiful. Scars and war wounds. Sometimes I look at my son and think, “How in the world did I ever push you out?” It had to have hurt. I don’t really remember.
Parenting is the most difficult, most rewarding, and most exhausting endeavor I’ve undertaken so far. This includes half-marathon training, learning to swim, and attempting to climb 14-ers. I wouldn’t change it for a billion, trillion dollars, Euros, or Swiss Francs.
Working hard and achieving goals will bring more satisfaction than lounging around in a hammock.
Reading a good book is time well spent. I’m learning not to narrow my approach to books. I look for recommendations from friends, co-workers, even podcasts. I like giving new authors a try. Every man can be my teacher, whether I agree with him or not. I want my mind to be stretched. I want to think.
Running brings great joy to my heart, unbridled peace to my mind, and giant blisters to my feet.
Lounging in a hammock is sheer bliss.
Why does everyone drive so fast? Surely we don’t have to speed or cut each other off. A little friendliness goes a long way.
Chocolate makes everything better.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Love each other deeply from the heart.” I wonder if the wars would cease, the refugees would find a home, and the politicians would resolve their differences if this motto was lived out.
Cancer sucks. We have to find a cure. To borrow from Forest Gump, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”
For one day, maybe we should pick up the phone and call a friend, or meet them for coffee face to face, instead of communication via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I love social media, but I also just love being social. Let’s get together with each other, talk, ignore our phones, and connect like real humans.
Bill Bryson writes epic books. He knows how to tell a tale and keep his readers in suspense. I recommend all his works.
For me, it’s not about the Starbuck’s drink; it’s about who is drinking the Starbuck’s with me. (ok, ok, ok, it’s also about the drink—it had better be right, darn it! Don’t make me come behind that counter, barista!)
I don’t have to climb a mountain, gallop on a horse, or go bungee jumping to feel exhilaration. I just have to wake up each morning and look into my son’s face. Then my heart almost bursts with joy. I’m thankful every day for his health, his presence, and his laughter.
Dogs are wonderful companions. They lick your face, rub their fur in your sweaters, and chew up the living room curtains. They are good listeners when you need to spill your guts to a pair of soulful eyes.
A swim in the ocean cures all ailments of the soul. Ask anybody.
Why aren’t we eating more ice cream? Stop counting calories. Just eat a spoonful and enjoy it. Eat it with a friend.
Pete Holmes is the funniest comedian ever. Just sayin’. I didn’t laugh easily at comedy until I listened to his stuff. Now I giggle like a little girl at my cubicle and know that my co-workers believe I am insane. The lesson is to learn to laugh. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at the simple things. Laugh because it is good for the heart. Laugh because God is a part of joy.
“The greatest single cause today of atheism is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then go out and deny Him by their lifestyle.” –dctalk. I couldn’t say it any better.
Be nice to the cashier, the barista, and the waitress. Tip generously. Food service is hard. It doesn’t pay well. You could be in their shoes. I was once.
Here’s an idea: let’s stop ranting about negative things on social media. Tell me what you love, not what you hate. Show me pictures of your kids. I love those! Society is saturated enough with bad news, celebrity gossip, random opinions, and haters. Let’s see more babies and puppies, please. Thank you.
I want to take my family to Germany someday. I want Thomas to experience the food, the culture, and the beauty there. It is a great country with so many wonderful places to see. I’ve thought about trying to find work there, and taking the whole family overseas for a few years. At least, there, I wouldn’t be laughed at for wearing socks with sandals.
My church brings a fresh approach to Christianity that I am grateful for every Sunday. My pastors are honest about their struggles and encourage others to do the same. It’s refreshing to be a part of congregation who isn’t pretending. The smiles I see are real. The hugs received are genuine. The love there is tangible. I am happy to raise my son around these values.
I want to ride a jet ski, go rock climbing, run a marathon, publish a book, visit Seattle, see the Eifel Tower, and spend the night in a yurt. I would like to have these experiences at some point in the next 31 years.
Go outside, look up at the stars, and marvel that God loves you. You are unique. You are created. You are wanted. God has great things in store for you. Watch and see.
before you close your eyes tonight,
for the love of all that is good and true,
I will be.