Posted in Birthday, Blessings, Gifts, Reflection

Turning 24.

Today is my 24th birthday. It is a gloomy and raining Wednesday morning, and with Spring Break it is going to be a slow-moving day. It’s a strange birthday that (outside of a large amount of Facebook notifications) doesn’t quite feel like a birthday. BUT, getting up earlier than normal this morning is letting me take time to think and reflect and be grateful for the things in my life. So, in honor of birthdays and FINALLY being my favorite number…24 things to be grateful for today:

  1. I am in a school that I love (most days), studying the things that I love, and finding a calling that I love. That’s pretty cool.
  2. I get to graduate from said school in December – a semester earlier than normal – and then begin working in ministry full time. I love school, don’t get me wrong, but I am so ready to be done!
  3. It is Spring Break, and I have read 5 books in the past 3 days (hopefully adding more to that number today!). I have slept and visited friends and rested and spent days with my husband for the first time in months. Life is good.
  4. I have a house. It’s a rented townhouse, and as much as I would love for us to own a place right now, I am grateful that we have a warm and cozy place for cold days like this.
  5. I have a job(s) that helps us to pay our bills. Even though I can’t work much with school, I can make enough to help with things, and I’m grateful for that.
  6. My husband has jobs that pay our bills. He works hard as a teacher and a coach to make sure that we can buy the things we need and pay the bills that we have. He works long days and crazy hours and chases the things that he loves, and I’m grateful for his work ethic and the things that he does for us.
  7. While I’m on the subject…I’m beyond grateful for my husband. I don’t know how I would have made it through most of college and all of seminary without him by my side, and I’m so grateful for the 5 years that he have had together and the (almost) 2 years that we’ve been married. He’s a pretty spectacular human being, and I’m lucky to have him.
  8. It’s springtime – birds are back, flowers are back, pollen and allergies are back, and even warmer temperatures are starting to come back. Winter is finally over!
  9. (since I am writing this in real time – my husband just made pancakes for my birthday. YUM! Pancakes should definitely make the list of things that I’m thankful for.)
  10. Part of the “work” that I’m doing this week is to prepare for Camp Zion, the summer ministry that I directed at my church last summer and get to direct again this year. Seriously – my job is to browse Pinterest for craft ideas and find songs and games and field trips for us to do this summer. Who wouldn’t love that?!
  11. I know the direction that I’m being called to in life – to work in the church and to work with children – and that is something that a lot of 24 year olds don’t know yet. I’m thankful for the people who have taught me and the God who leads me.
  12. That calling has lead me to some pretty incredible kids over the past few years. I won’t list them all here, but there are hundreds of kids from camps and babysitting and friends and mission trips that have changed my life and how I view the world, and I am so thankful for them and the lessons that they teach me.
  13. I’m thankful for the friends who have supported me in this journey – from college roommates to the friends that I’ve had since the 4th grade and high school, and seminary friends who sit in classes with me each day, I am surrounded by people who love me and support the things I’m chasing. And that’s really great to have.
  14. I’m thankful for my family that have always given me support and love and have encouraged me to follow the dreams that I have and the calling in my life. I wouldn’t be here without them, and I’m glad to have them with me!
  15. Seminary has helped me to stumble upon Zion Reformed Church, and I could not be more grateful that I accepted an internship there two years ago. Not only has Camp Zion changed my life, but the people we have met and the lessons we have learned there are incredible. I am so lucky to be there!
  16. While writing this list, it struck me how lucky I am to be able to be writing. I have the ability to form thoughts in my head (that usually make sense) and then use fingers to type them and red them back. How cool is that?
  17. I have a great laptop…and iPad…and phone…all of which I can write my thoughts on and do my schoolwork with. I might be “poor” in some regards, but I have the things I need to work with and even more. I’m lucky to have that.
  18. Not only can I read my own words, but I can read the words that others write and understand them. I can fly through books like nobody’s business, and I love to do it (maybe more than anything else). It’s a gift to be able to understand the world that somebody created and to get lost in it.
  19. We have two cars that get us to places that we need and want to go, and the money to put gas in them when we need to. Around here, that’s common place…but still something to be grateful for!
  20. I can walk upstairs and pick from an overflowing closet while I get ready. I have more clothes than I know what to do with (ask my husband, he’ll tell you!), and I don’t even wear some of them. A gift and a curse, perhaps!
  21. I can walk back downstairs and grab a meal or snack from a pantry and fridge and freezer that all have food in them – and a lot of food. That’s a gift that many people don’t have.
  22. As I think about the things in my house that I can use and eat and access – I can walk to all of it. I have working legs and arms and lungs and a whole lot of other body parts, all in good working order. I am mostly healthy and that is something that I take for granted too often.
  23. I am thankful for my personality. I am outgoing and fun-loving, a planner and a worrier, someone who loves people and events (but not crowds) and someone who can laugh and joke and have fun. It’s a complex ball of things, but it’s who I am, and I’m grateful for that.
  24. I’m thankful for the God who made me how I am, and the God who gave me everything else on this list that I am thankful for. I don’t know what other words to say…I truly am blessed to have what I have and to be on the path that I’m on, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

So, there it is friends. I encourage you to think of the things that you are grateful for today (birthday or no birthday) – it might change your day and give you a new outlook on some things!



Children's Pastor. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Enneagram 6. Sports Lover. Writer. Book Enthusiast/Nerd. Living at the intersection of it all with anxiety, ADHD, GAD, and a healthy dose of grace.

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