Birthday Reflections

So I am now 21. I must say, it doesn't feel that different. I guess it's because I've never felt that alcohol was really that great. The most exciting thing about turning 21 is finally having a driver's license picture that actually looks like me. Or as my grandpa said when comparing the old and new, "You have a neck now!"

Anyway, my birthday went pretty well. I was at work for training again (more about that later). The instructor found out it was my birthday, despite my efforts to keep it secret. During lunch, she went out and picked up a birthday cake and candles. It was really nice of her. I hardly know her at all; just met her today, and she still went out of her way to make such a nice gesture. It was much appreciated.

After work, I went to dinner at Olive Garden with my mom, brother, and sister. When we got home, my grandma and grandpa came over for carrot cake. Jenna and Marlane came to pick me up to meet up with a bunch of friends at a very classy bar in Plymouth. My grandma, grandpa, and mom all gave me a huge talk about how alcoholism runs in our family and stuff. I don't know what they thought I had planned, I was just going to go out to see my friends and have a drink or two as a kind of right of passage. I am not a big fan of alcohol at all. But hanging out was a lot of fun and I was really glad to spend some time with all my good friends.

So here we are. I believe it's time for my annual birthday reflection. That's really the most significant part of a birthday to me. It's just a time for me to look back on the last year of my life and kind of take it all in.

It's been quite a year I suppose. Another year of college done. Several tests of patience and forgiveness. Times of doubt and reassurance. Longing for more. Reassessing myself. Increased assertiveness. The strengthening of some relationships and the diminishing of others. Times of resented compromise. New understandings of grace. New questions about grace. Crossing barriers. Growth.

I guess that's what it all comes down to. I can really say that I've grown this year in so many ways. I've grown in maturity, in understanding, and in faith. I have fallen only to be scooped up by grace. I've realized that I am as broken as anyone else. I learned so much about myself, my relationships with others, and my relationship with God.

My prayer is that this year will bring me closer to all of the people in my life. I've done a good job at creating barriers, and I want to be able to tear them down. I want to push pride away and welcome humility. I pray that God will continue His work in me and lead me closer to the man He created me to be.

21 years. Wow.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” -C.S. Lewis

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An optimist is the human personification of spring

I just realized how long it has been since I've written. April was a crazy month that just flew by (thank God!), so I never really got a chance.

So here we are in the month of May. Arguably the best month of the year!

Here's a quick recap of my life since I last wrote:

  • Went to see Emery and Switchfoot at Calvin with Jenna and Shawn. It was a really awesome and passionate show. I finally got to meet Jon Foreman and told him how much of an inspiration he has been. We stayed the night at a Motel 6 (only the classiest) and attended Mars Hill Bible Church the next morning. I was not impressed. I guess I kind of expected more, but at the same time, it is Emergent....
  • Went to see Emery play an acoustic show at The Shelter. It was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. We got a chance to ask questions and everything. It was a really intimate show.
  • Stopped eating animals.
  • Went to the Seminary Preview Day and a Discerning Your Call Seminar at Calvin. I really learned a lot and got some tips on really listening to God's calling and answering it. I still haven't figured it all out yet, but it definitely helped.
  • Wrote a bunch of final papers and took a bunch of final exams. I ended up with some pretty decent grades this semester, a definite step up from last.
  • Moved out of the apartment and back home for the summer.
  • Started my internship at Comcast.

So that's an overall recap of what's been going on. It was a busy month and I'm so glad that summer is here.

My 21st birthday is in a week. I guess that's really the last huge milestone until I get senior citizen privileges, but that's not for quite some time. I think I'm more excited about having a drivers license picture that actually looks like me than anything else. I guess being able to go to a restaurant and order a drink or something will be kind of cool, but not really a huge deal.

I've got a lot of topics that I'm looking forward to addressing on here, and I think I'll have more time these next few months. There's lots of stuff going on in my heart and my mind that I'm dying to get out into words. So if you have any interest in learning all about that, check back throughout the summer. Who knows what thoughts will unfold!

"An optimist is the human personification of spring." -Susan J. Bissonette

Don't ask about the flower bullet points. For some reason, this layout insists on using them.

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