Sunday, October 9, 2016


That's a little hard to believe.
Where in the world has the time gone?

For some reason, the birthday memory that is most vivid in my mind this year as I reflect, is my 21st. I remember the rain. I remember laughing to myself all day because every single one of my friends could only hang out until exactly 9:45 that night. I remember Josh drawing on the white board library. I remember many lovely friends waiting at the doors of the basement elevator in Zimmerman. I remember that D was only just beginning to become my best friend.

And seven years later. Nearly a decade. I am celebrating my 28th birthday in Mexico. My second birthday on foreign land.

I could not have seen his coming. Not in the least. Had He told me when I was 21 that at 28 I would be living and teaching in Guadalajara, MX, I am not sure that I would have believed it. It doesn't make sense really. At least according to how I thought things would go from there. I could never have seen how here would fit.

But that's the loveliest part of life with Him.
With Jesus.
The adventure.
The surprise.
The not knowing.

Of course I don't feel like that in every moment. But when I get to spaces like these where I can breathe deeply and look back and reflect on all of it. ON the big, beautiful picture that has been my life, well of course all I can see is that I would have never wanted to live my life any other way. Except with Him at the center and beneath and above and around it all.

My plans.
My purposes.
My times.
All in His hand.
I can't imagine it or fathom it any other way.

I am thankful from the bottom of who I am for who He has always been to me. For His goodness and unconditional love. For His steady hand that has kept me from harm and sickness and held me in the orbit of His grace. For the way that He has shepherded me and kept me safely in the rich green pastures of His flock. For His patience to mold me and shape me into someone who can serve Him. For all the times He has carried me. Picked up shattered and scattered pieces of my heart and so delicately put them back in place. For the things that He has woven into me since long ago. Passions and dreams and talents and traits. For the way He is so beautifully revealing to me His purpose through them.

I'm thankful because He loves me.
He cherishes me.
Because I am not a number to Him or even just a name.
 I am a piece of His heart.
 I am a soul.
Because I am a page in His grand story of redemption.

28 years lived in His presence and the knowledge of His love.
And answer to so many desperate, heart-wrenching-aching prayers. A gift to a man and a woman who longed to have a child. I am evidence that He hears the prayers of His people. that He grants longings and desires.

May I live up to that.
Knowing in the furthest places of my soul that from before the beginning of me. Since those heart longing prayers, I was called. That He answered those prayers with purpose
That He would give them a baby if they would give her back.

And oh that's what I'm trying-have always been trying to do!
To recognize His favor and blessing, His hand and His calling on my life.
To not waste a year or a day or even a moment.

To give it all back to Him.

As if I didn't already know how very blessed I am and how beautiful is this life He has given me.
The start of year 28 was the cherry on top.
Okay. Perhaps not the cherry. I don't really love ice cream cherries.
So perhaps the sprinkles on top.
Bright. Sweet. Colorful sprinkles on top of an already banana ice cream sort of life.

Sweet friends.
Real friends.
Beautiful gifts given to me for this season.
People He has allowed to become a part of my story and me a part of theirs.
And to think. When I leave here, there will be a new set of people, a new city, that I can no longer remember my life before.
It's magical really, the way you write and weave stories.

Lovely brunch in a yellow chair surrounded by friends and birds and leafy greens and bright colors.
So many of my favorite things.
Banana pancakes.
Coffee with almond mild that was served in a tiny mason jar.
Wandering city streets with nowhere to get.
Perusing book stores. Just because.
Family Facetimes
Baking pumpkin treats from scratch. The healthier sort.
A charming new book of childrens' poetry. In Spanish. With lovely art.
Some Cuban music and a movie in the park on a giant blanket with boots and a big sweater and a new Mexican blouse with pockets.
With warm pumpkin bread and crispy-chewy-chippy cookies and coffee in a thermos.
More friends.
More laughter.
Endless sweet words from so many friends old and new and all around.

{And now. A photo collection of this years celebratory-ness. Of course you didn't expect any less....}

Wardrobe choice is essential to achieve the right birthday vibes. I needed to achieve fall/don't sweat to death because it's not actually fall in GDL. 


Birthday brunching is like a professional sport for me. Thus, finding the perfect brunch spot is also essential for achieving the perfect Saturday birthday. After often do Saturday birthdays come around!? Thanks to my dear friend Susanita, we brunched at a darling spot on a little back street in the city. Piggy Back for the win. Charming, whimsical, and affordable. Basically heaven for me.

And super yummy food. And coffee. So....

Also. They had almond milk...which is not super common...especially here. And they served it in tiny little mason jar glasses. I'm telling you. This place was perfection. 



Birthday baking is one of my favorite traditions. I usually try something fun and new and pumpkin of course. This year, I kept it simple and healthy. Pumpkin bread to eat in the park with friends. Sometimes simple is best :) 

Some lovely friends found this blouse for me. It could not be more perfect. AND it has pockets. So....a birthday wardrobe change became necessary. 

Friends. Movie. Warm bread and cookies. Coffee. A big sweater. A cozy blanket....I almost believed it was Fall. And my heart was so happy. 


Another birthday gone. 
Another new year of me beginning.
Year 28
What will it bring?
More tacos. More walking. More Spanish.
So much more growth.
Only two more years of this decade.
790 days until I'm 30
So much living to do. And so much loving. And certainly so much adventuring.

And He is here. Of course.
He's been here waiting in year 28 and walking along side in year 27 and back behind me in year 26.
And now we'll adventure through year 28.
And 365.25 days from now, I'll find Him up ahead waiting in year 29.

Of these things I am certain. They are the truths, the certainties I stand on in a life where so much is uncertain.

Year 28.
Here we go.

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