Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Birthday, a Time for Thanksgiving

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
Is the day I turned 19.

On Sunday, distant family joined me to celebrate my birthday a few days early.

As we were sitting down for dinner,
My dad said a prayer.
Like usual, he thanked God for the food
That He provides so abundantly
And then,
He thanked God
For bringing me through to celebrate yet another birthday—my 19th birthday.

That really got to me.

I seem to often forget that God is able to at any moment take my life away.
I am so blessed that I have had 18 years of life on this earth
And that God is giving me yet another year.
I don’t know why He is keeping this sinner around,
But I am so thankful for His loving mercy.

Since then,
I can’t stop thinking about all the blessings I have had in just the past week.

My sincere apologies if you are getting sick of my rants about blessings
But I can’t get over them!
God has been way too good to me.
I feel like a child who is getting candy not just given but
thrown at them!

Yes, life is that good.

Seven is a good number,
A number that represents whole-ness,
And my favorite number.
So here are just seven things that have made my life over-flow with happiness this past week.

I live in the country.
When I say country, I mean that the nearest town is about 6 farms away
(equivalent to about 10 miles)
And consists of a grocery store, a Subway, a McDonalds, and 3 gas stations.
Country as in
The country roads by my house are so untraveled that I could go running in my Swimsuit and no one would ever know.

When I look out the back window into my back yard,
 I can’t see past a dense forest of trees.

My summers consist of chopping and stacking firewood for the winter
And I rake the mowed grass to put in my mom’s garden.
The only noises I hear when my window is open is the breeze running through the leaves and the birds singing their song,
Which is only interrupted every once in a while by a car cruising through the country.

Life has a leisurely pace here
That is only rushed by the setting of the sun.

The country is my home
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m not one that cares to make plans for my own birthday.
I don’t really care for having the attention on me
And presents aren’t a big deal to me.
However, my friends made a point to celebrate my birthday with me anyways.

I was surprised with presents, a cake,
Front row seats at my favorite band’s concert,
 And was serenaded by the band upon request by my friends.
But beyond all of that,
They were there to put a smile on my face
And make my day memorable.

My friends are the greatest.

On my birthday,
I received a phone call that made my heart skip a beat.

My friendship with the person that called me had disintegrated in the fall
And I was left bitter.
I didn’t understand the meaning of our friendship when things came to an “end”
But this phone call showed me why.

In time, God has showed me the highest quality of friendship in this person.
Though things ended roughly,
It was because they were doing what was in my best interest.
I had never experienced a relationship before in which someone was so self-less.

Despite the “end” in our friendship,
They reached out through this phone call
And made an effort to once again show their care for me.

The phone call was bittersweet.
I was happy to talk to them
But afterward, I was left haunted with the great memories we shared
And knowing we would never again be that close.
However, this call finally removed my bitter feelings
And has left me with peace knowing that we have finally reached the point where we can be friends again.
I felt as though a 20 pound weight was lifted off my chest.
I was finally felt at peace with the situation concerning this person.

It is amazing to see how God has in time revealed the reasons for that friendship after I had questioned it so much earlier.

A phone call has never meant more to me.

I went for a bike ride with my dad and younger brother on Memorial Day.
It’s safe to say that I fell head over heels for biking.

I love how the world looks different from a bike.
You ride fast enough so the scenery is changing often
But slow enough to look around
And notice things you would miss when driving in a car.
I love the challenge of up biking up-hill
And the freedom of cruising downhill.

If my approximations are correct,
I have biked about 50 miles in the past two days.

Yes, I think I’m madly in love.

I have made plans to
Go to Joplin, Missouri at the end of July
 To help with tornado disaster clean up.

There is nothing I love more than helping someone else.
It makes me feel worthwhile.
It puts meaning into my life.

I think this is a great opportunity
To which I can dedicate my time to.
I will be able to help people at a time of great need
And share the love of God.

This will be something to remember.

My older brother, Michael, is the best.
I don’t think he realizes how much I look up to him
Nevertheless how proud I am of him
And his astounding art achievements despite his under-grad standing.

I was in a little pickle earlier this week
When I turned to him for help with a decision.
I guess I knew the right decision all along
But something was tempting me to rationalize the bad decision.

Like always,
He was there to help me out
And set me straight.

I love him!
Enough said.


I think what makes me the happiest is noticing all the blessings in my life,
To just see God all around me
And to be surrounded by His love.

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning”
Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of His love,
I am able to keep my head above the water.
I am not consumed by this world
Because His compassions never fail
And they are always new.
And He gives me happiness.

My God is amazing.

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