Tomorrow is my 24th birthday. (I know I told several people I was turning 25 … I obviously can’t keep track of my own age.) I’ve been thinking a lot about this last year … a lot has changed in my life since my 23rd birthday. Actually, a lot of heartache has happened in the last year. But you know what? A lot of great things have happened since my 23rd birthday—and I’m choosing to focus on the good over the bad. I’ve decided to list four great things that have happened in the last 365 days.
1. Stephen and I joined Westwood Baptist Church in May 2014. Scratch that—we didn’t just join the church. Stephen was hired as the music/worship leader in early May. Joining a church may not seem like a big deal to some people, but we didn’t just join a church—we joined a family. We’ve made great friends and have built wonderful relationships. We eagerly anticipate our fellowship times with this body of believers. Westwood, we love you. You have made this year absolutely wonderful.
2. I learned what defines me — and it’s not my job. Okay, that seems a little weird, doesn’t it? When I lost my job earlier this year, I felt like a part of me died. I know, I know — that seems a little bit extreme. I was so wrapped up in my job title that I forgot what (and who!) really defines me. I am a beloved child of God (John 1:12), a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17), and a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). My job doesn’t make me who I am. Yes, I love being a writer and an editor. Yes, that’s part of who I am, but it’s not all of me! Getting laid off taught me an extremely valuable lesson—my identity is in Christ, not my career.
3. I picked up some new hobbies. I am currently learning how to sew with some great friends from church. I’m also teaching myself how to use Photoshop and other photo editing softwares. I have a confession to make … I didn’t really have any hobbies. I love to write and read (and binge out on Netflix), but I’ve never really had any hobbies. I love sewing. I’m still learning, but I’m really enjoying it. Same with Photoshop—I currently suck at it, but I’m learning slowly but surely.
4. I had a really awesome relaxing summer. I’m not going to say this summer was full of sunshine and happiness—there were definitely some rainy days (literally and figuratively). However, I had a really great summer. Friends, if you ever get laid off, I hope it happens at the beginning of summer. And I hope you have a pool. (I don’t really wish unemployment on any of you. But if it ever does happen, summer is a great time.) I spent time by the pool, went on vacation with my family, and watched way too much Netflix. I know I sound really lazy, but I have worked every summer since my freshman year in college. It was nice to kick back and relax this summer.
I really could list more awesome things, but I’ll leave it at four. It’s my birthday weekend, and I refuse to focus on any negative things that have happened this year.
Here’s to 24!