On this exact day last year, I wrote about the start of twenty-seven feeling like a dunk in chilly waters, a refreshing of the heart, and a breath of fresh life. I felt it so acutely, a shift in my soul, and was expectant for what the year would bring. It blew my expectations away. Twenty-seven was a year of purposefully being young at heart. More silliness, more saying yes, more reminding myself that I am only as old as my actions, because, my age is still actually quite young. In many ways, I felt like a spunky teenager again and it was glorious. It was also a year of recognizing the beauty and weight that comes with each passing year. Phenomenal changes happened- I watched a baby be born, stood by my sister as she got married, and celebrated five years of marriage. Oh, and we had a kid. Heartbreak occurred- my beloved Rockport was ravaged by a hurricane, family members got sick, and my business faltered.
It was a year of redemption. We had closed off the room upstairs that was supposed to be a nursery after I had a miscarriage. One week in April, I decided to quit living with a closed door. Because "one day when" doesn't really matter when we are living now. Each coat of paint, each screw in the table, each pillow fluffed felt like small acts of faith. Declaring, that right now, what Jesus has for us in this season is generosity abounding. The next week, I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant. Twenty-seven was an awakening, a learning of how to balance adulthood in one hand and child's play in the other. It was gorgeous, all of it.
And now, twenty-eight is here. My morning was spent feeding a crying newborn and part of lunch was spent talking about a dying family member. But this week has also included getting late night drinks and dessert with my best friend, shopping with my sister, and rapping to Macklemore as I danced around the house. I may be another year older, but I'm young, dammit. I think I'm getting the balancing act down.
As this new year begins, there are some inevitables that will happen. I will pay taxes. I will go to a funeral. I will eat too many carbs, travel, and watch a baby grow. That's all good, even the less than enjoyable bits because those are the cornerstones of life. However, the best part of twenty-eight is it is unwritten. There is an entire year of youth waiting for me. A year to stay out later, to try new places, to start fresh on old goals, and to go hard in the paint on everything I do. It is waiting, an open canvas, just begging to be splashed with color. Some of it will be dark, it has to be. But the rest of it? It can be as bright and vibrant as I can handle. A baby laughing, a girls weekend, a tattoo, a bold leap, a romantic getaway, a costume party, WHO KNOWS? Those colors and choices are up to me. I'm planning on pushing open doors and splashing color all around as the Spirit leads. Lot's of pigment, prayer, and playfulness will hopefully be occurring over twenty-eight. (ok, maybe not a tattoo, maybe I'll get bangs instead? whatever, I'm young and fun and can do what I want. but seriously, maybe not a tattoo)
There is nothing magical about a birthday. The day can still be shitty, full of bills, arguments, and frustration. The beauty is in the year. A day is simply a day, a small fraction of your new number. It's the string of days that mark the season. So I'm going to keep working on balance, trying to juggle lightheartedness and growing up. I'm going to keep my eye on the whole, knowing that somedays will be losses, some will be wins, and some will be painstakingly mundane. But the days add up and Jesus redeems and with intention, fresh mercy, and help from others, a year emerges as a wonderful picture of life. Suddenly, you are in a much different place than you were 365 days ago, you're a different person with new perspective, growth, and an expanded heart. (PRAISE) That is where the magic lies.
So I'm starting twenty-eight ready. Ready for vibrancy, ready for the process, ready for art the Lord is making that I won't be able to see right away. I'll swaddle my baby girl, take out the trash, drink fun cocktails, wear killer high heels, and let the days color themselves. Fully present, excited to learn, and patient in the small. Twenty-eight, let's do this.