tomorrow, I turn 21. I’ve been counting down to this day since I was about 17. and it’s weird that I’m just supposed to be okay with it finally being here.
21 years. I’ve learned a lot in those years. I’ve made some wise moves and plenty of other wrongs ones. I’ve met the Lord in those years, then ventured off on my own. I’ve met people, loved people, lost people, needed people, relied on people, related to people, hugged people, kissed people. I’ve eaten foods and traveled in planes; I’ve wished on flowers and counted the stars. I’ve read books – hunched over the pages, tears pouring, heart invested. I have had my heart broken and repaired and broken and repaired. I’ve started blogs, shops, and found something like a calling. I’ve fought through the mud to become the woman that I am today.
I wouldn’t trade any of these little pieces, or any of the other million little pieces I have, for anything. I treasure these days in my heart. Yesterday, today, tomorrow – I believe they all matter. I believe they’re worth something like gold.
I’m sure that if you looked back at my older birthday posts, my advice here wouldn’t be too different than my advice then. but I’m just gonna cross my fingers and hope that I’ve learned some new things over the last year. cause we always know I could use some preaching to myself.
1. coffee is good for you. I mean, really. of all the addictions I could have, I think coffee is a good one. brew me another cup, barista. (speaking of barista, I got a new job as one at a coffee shop downtown. adventure stories on that later. #brenthebarista)
2. what you think is good is not necessarily what the Lord would call good. don’t weigh your life on the emotions that you feel because emotions change and waver and move. but they also overrule, so all logic leaves when emotions run wild. just be mindful of that.
3. read. read a lot. read books, blogs, articles, news, read it all. fill your heart with words. words are one of the only pieces that have lasted since the beginning. people have always seen the need to communicate. never stop communicating, little chatterboxes.
4. write. write a lot. write grocery lists and blogger rants and instagram captions and handwritten notes. again, communicate. time wasted writing is never time wasted.
5. work hard. work well. work with your heart. work is not solely a means to an income, but an insight to your character. do not take that for granted.
6. no social media from 10-10. 10 pm to 10 am. it makes all the difference and it’s worth it. social media is heavy and, if you’re like me, it weighs really heavy on you. ain’t worth it after 10 or before 10.
7. watch sunrises. no one wants to wake up that early, but I am convinced that we spend too much and not enough time sleeping [too much as in I could sleep for 15 hours a day; not enough in that I’ll stay up until 3 when I know I have to be up at 7. hashtag dumb]. go to bed earlier, wake up earlier. sleep better. see the glory of the Lord in the rising of the sun.
8. trust the process. trust the season. trust His hand in it. two years ago, you would have had to pull me, kicking and screaming, from college. now, the fact that I will leave in a year is easier to fathom – easier today than yesterday, easier today than three months ago. the Lord prepares you as you need it, wait for Him.
9. there is a lot to be said about the character of man and woman in the beginning, the Fall, when Adam and Eve fell. read that over and over. recognize that inside of you are the same traits that made Adam, Adam and that made Eve, Eve. [really just read Captivating by John + Stasi Eldredge; that’s a good word.] the desires of your heart are not random; they are pieces of His, He who created you, heart.
10. yard sale and do it a lot. the finds are irreplaceable (not to mention cheap) and it’s fun. give me an antique table over a brand new one, I’ll take it any and everyday. there’s something to be said about pieces that have seen some history. maybe that’s because we all just want a safe place to know that we are still worth value, even when we’re older and we have some scratches and we’ve seen some stuff? that’s a whole other blog post.
11. college isn’t easy. but also, no one said it would be. stop complaining about hard classes and do the work (preaching @ ya, brenna). like before, work hard. Jesus worked really hard to earn us a chance to work.
12. paint your nails. wear dresses for no reason. buy flowers. do those things for yourself and no one else. do what makes you feel good.
13. don’t fool yourself into believing that sin is no big deal. this is a heavier one, but I’m not sorry. God doesn’t sin lightly, so I’m not sure where we convinced ourselves that we could.
14. choose to see the little things. you’ll miss them if you don’t choose to see them. feel the wind, notice the flower, taste the brunch (brunch is my fav). take a second and notice it. and count it as a gift.
15. don’t closet up through depression. be open, talk about it. I know it’s hard, but I also know it’s worth it. you need to know that you are seen. life was meant to be lived in community. let relationships do their thing. it is always worth it.
16. money is money is money. it’s just money. I know it has influence, but it is not the end all. it’s just money.
17. use grace. both with yourself and with others. forgive yourself often and forgive others often. we all need grace.
18. pray often, hard, and for what the world would call impossible. I think that, a lot of the time, God is waiting on us to pray big things and actually extend Him some trust. what could our world look like if we actually asked for what we desire?
19. know that no moment is ever by chance, even the hard ones. you are more than a conqueror and victory lies in your veins; it is pumping through your arteries. nothing is too big for you.
20. top knots are a hidden gem. tease it up, hike it up, twist it up, done.
21. find those irreplaceable people who will bend over backwards to do anything for you; there is no greater joy than being able to call those people “friend”. lucky for me, I’ve found a few and I couldn’t trade them for the stars. these are those that answer your calls, whether it’s 3 am or 3 pm. they throw you surprise parties and continually remind you just how loved you are. they send surprise gifts and squeeze you tight. they tell you the hard things because they care more about the person you are and the person you become than about your feelings being hurt by them for a couple hours. they are more than gold. also, work to be this person.
I, in no way, shape, or form, have it all figured out. in fact, I’ve probably got less figured out than you do. but I think words are worth speaking and lessons are worth learning, so here are some of mine.
here’s to the wild ride of 21.
all is grace,