Birthday Reflections: Being Fully Here This Year

Today is my birthday, friends! :)

I’m a big birthday fan.  Really, I am.  And not in a celebrate-me kind of way.  I just love the opportunity to tell people in your life how much they mean to you.  How the world is better because they specifically are in it.

Have you ever taken the 5 Love Languages Test?  If not, you really should!  I know my love language is words of affirmation.  All the way.  And I have felt SO loved today by all the affirming words people have sent me, written to me, that show me, hey, there’s something that makes a difference about me being in this world.  And that makes my heart overflow :)

I thought I’d take a minute to reflect with you on this birthday and the new season ahead – how I feel, what I’m hoping for and dreaming about this year.

For some reason, turning 29 has felt a little like an out of body experience.  I’m usually hyper-present to birthdays, but this year I’ve been a little distracted.  I’m starting wedding season THIS weekend in Malibu, California – and so I’m typing to you right now from beautiful Costa Mesa.  I just got off of a season where I traveled a LOT and am honestly a little tired.  But I’m realizing that sometimes life doesn’t slow down to meet you and say, hey, I’m glad you decided to show up.  We have to be the ones that decide to slow down and show up and then somehow, life meets us.

That’s what I’m hoping to do today.  To not be so distracted by life that I miss out on the one life I’ve been given.  The one day I’ve been given.  The one hour, the one minute.

Last weekend, I celebrated with my parents and boyfriend Derek by going to an AMAZING hike to this cave.  We took a lot of pictures on the way, on mossy rocks, in front of flowing creeks, and then I went inside and Derek started taking photos of me.  I honestly couldn’t see what he was seeing.  But at that moment, a beam of light cascaded behind me into the cave – for just one precious moment.  And he was capturing a magic that I didn’t even know was going on.  I was smiling, unaware of what was happening behind me.  But he was seeing the whole thing unfold.  And he was drawn in to how beautiful photography is – the reason my heart loves it every time.

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We have moments that we can be aware of the magic and beauty around us.  And we have those moments every day.

I guess my birthday wish this year is to be just as attuned to my own moments of magic as I am for other people’s moments.  To see the beauty of what God is doing in my life right now.  To see the ways that I’m growing.  To appreciate those things instead of just straining ahead to what’s next.  To see God show up in small ways – like this beam of light cascading.  

Life is a journey – and it’s such a great adventure.  I don’t know where my 29th year will lead.  I have high hopes.

I found love this year, in such a wonderful man.  I am rebranding my photography business.  I’ve had a dream to start writing for over 7 years – a dream I’ve only started to make into a reality.

So I have hopes.  But my hope ultimately is not in these things.  The hope that anchors my soul is in the Lord.   This year this verse got spoken into my life so many times:

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord.  ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jer. 29:11)

So here’s to hoping.  Dreaming.  Showing up for every beautiful second and to not miss what’s happening right now.  

That’s what I’m going to do today.  I’m going kayaking / paddle boarding in the ocean with my cousin in California, and I’m not going to miss the beauty all around.

Here’s to another year, friends!  As always…thank you for being a part of the journey!

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A life filled with gratitude begins with finding thankfulness in the small moments

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