Today I turn 38 years old. I love my birthday. I love the grace of another year of life lived. I love the messages and phone calls from dear friends, presents, fancy dinners, and champagne. I love being celebrated. I love celebrating the life I get to live.
This year, in particular, I'm bubbled over with gratitude. I have an adoring husband and our love seems to get better with every year (just celebrated 16 years of marriage!). Our three kids are more fun than ever before. They are real little people who can shower themselves (praise Jesus!), help carry in groceries, and say the sweetest things - unprompted! I am the luckiest girl in the world with my circle of friends - women and men who know me deeply and love me toward my best self. I have a unfair number of mentors who see me, push me, call out the truth in me. I want to be like them when I grow up and they want me to be the best version of myself. #winning I have work that I LOVE to do. Even today, on my birthday when I'm away from my Fav Four, I'm traveling doing work that matters, that I'm good at, that I love.
And just this last month our family went #backtothefuture in a #socalorbust move to our beloved Southern California. We've settled in our miracle home (still need to hang pictures to make this home truly cozy) and are playing at the pool nearly every day. We're reconnecting with friends who feel like family, sharing meals, watching our kids play like no time has passed, telling stories, drinking wine, laughing and hugging with the deepest gratitude.
In the words of one of my mentors, "CA has never let me down one day." Nancy and I met for an obscenely early breakfast exactly a year ago, when moving to CA wasn't even on the radar. Since she shared my story of feeling like a stranger in a foreign land, I asked her if she was happy to live in CA after her exile. She blurted out between sips of tea, "CA has never let me down one day!" I burst into tears. Me neither. Since we entered the state on I-40 something deep and important clicked back into place in our souls. We've come home.
Someone pinch me! HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY?!?!
I'm grateful for life and breath. I'm grateful for CA sun and water. I'm grateful to be known and loved. I'm grateful for the sale of our IN home which enabled us to move here. I'm grateful for family who supports us even in the midst of their loss. I'm grateful for coffee in the morning and wine at night. I'm grateful for Anthropology and Korean food and the beach and the Spectrum and doTERRA essential oils and cultural diversity.
I'm grateful for all the growth in my life this last year. I pushed myself to grow this year more than most others. And I feel the benefits today. I have some really tired muscles that need to be rested, but I'm also re-invigorated to rock the world.
- I've learned to listen to my body and honor what she's telling me.
- I've immersed myself in non-white, non-male voices this last year to better understand the cries, passions, and perspectives of those who are different from the American majority.
- I've grown in vulnerability, especially when it comes to expressing my desires, longings, and hopes.
- I've grown in skill and confidence in my teaching, preaching, and training. I know my value as a female preacher who has a unique voice of God.
- I grown in my ability to be present with my Fav Four, putting the phone down more often, and looking at them in the eyes when they talk to me.
- I've become a better coach, walking with people to achieve what they want.
This next year I will live with greater intention, vision, hope, and contentment than ever before. I'm more committed than ever to use my voice and gifts on behalf the outcast and marginalized. My heart is set in learning about things I don't understand and didn't fit into my previous worldview or theology. I'm creating some business goals to create some freedom for our family. I will write Book #2. I will persist.
Here's to the next year of life, of being a strong warrior (EZER), of relaxing into our home, of becoming a better version of who I was created to be!
Thanks for being a part of the journey. It's an honor to share life with you. XOOX