I suppose a decade change is a good time for reflection. I’m officially 30 years old today! I have so many wonderful memories to look back in from my 20’s. It was a phenomenal decade for me.
I graduated from Florida State University alongside my then boyfriend named Andrew. We have traveled the world together in the last decade. My 20’s brought me to eight different countries and eight beautifully unique cultures to experience. One of my favorite parts of celebrating my birthday is to watch the well wishes flow in from around the world from friends who have been a part of my life throughout the years. I think you have to find your community and your people. But when that has a chance to spill over into other communities, I truly believe it makes life more beautiful.
I got engaged and married that wonderful guy I met when I was 18. We got real jobs and entered the very real world of adulthood and responsibilities. We bought our first home together, our sweet little beach house. My oh my, does it take serious determination to stick it out in the throes of home ownerships. Every time something breaks, you drop to your knees and pray it isn’t the most costly repair in the world.
As far as the jobs, I can look back and see how poorly I handled some situations early on in my career, yet how it prepared me for what was to come. Never am I one to pat myself on the back, but I can see now how much better I handled myself in a similar set of struggles and situations years later, only by going through it and learning a lot the first go around.
Somewhere along the way, we picked up this ridiculously cute puppy named Mack who has made life more fun since he came into it. Even as a reread that sentence just now, I know that while fun is an understatement, so would be every other word I could use. There are no words for how grateful we are to have that little nut in our life. Couldn’t have imagined when we got him that he would move to a foreign country with us the very next year. I mean seriously could not have imagined… that dog went through some crazy puppy phase destruction in that first year. For so long I thought to myself, we will never be able to not crate this dog when we aren’t here. Never. But Mack worked it out with the Holy Spirit because he was awesome when we moved to Costa Rica.
Ahhh yes. The move. I’ve only ever lived in Jacksonville, Florida (minus a couple of years in Tallahassee at FSU) and really only dreamed of living abroad. Then of course, God made that dream a reality for me when He commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations. Andrew and I sure set off on the adventure of a lifetime when we agreed to go. I’ll never stop thanking God for the opportunity to do that.
When we returned to the US, it was time to start a family. Baby Ruth has filled our lives with so many blessings. I could go on and on forever with how much I love that sweet little girl. She is Andrew and I’s greatest blessing. I now see why people have one child and stop there. She is my whole world and it is difficult to imagine her not being my entire focus. Can I say… that is the reason we have just Mack. We have considered for years getting another dog. But time and time again, we’ve decided against it because we love Mack so much and don’t want him to feel like he’s not our whole world when it comes to fur babies. Now I sound like a crazy cake discussing dog psychology so I’ll move on.
I struggle with cloud 9 syndrome, more so now that ever before. I am forever grateful for the life I have and genuinely feel it is too good to be true, that perhaps it will all disappear out from under me one day. But what thing that can never disappear is all of the experiences and memories and people’s imprints in my life that have gotten me to this point.
I’m lucky to exit my 20’s with many of the same people I came into it with. I am thankful for the friendships that have spanned this time and hope I’m still doing life with this group of friends when I exit my 30’s.
Here’s to a new year, a new decade, all new experiences and travels to new places, new memories to be made and friends to meet along the way, but most importantly, here’s to the same awesome life!
I’ll leave you with some lyrics from a song we sang in church this morning that resonated with my soul…
I will sing of all You’ve done
I’ll remember how far You carried me
From beginning until the end
You are faithful, faithful to the end
There wasn’t a day
That You weren’t by my side
There wasn’t a day
That You let me fall
All of my life
Your love has been true
All of my life
I will worship You