Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Birthday Reflecting...

Every year, I create a list of New Year's Resolutions that haunts me for about 3-4 months, then is dismissed until the following year, at which point I basically write the new date at the top of the old list and repeat. Honestly, the New Year has never meant as much to me as the birthday mark. It's insightful and encouraging to me to meditate on what God has both broken me of and infused into my life from one age to the next. This year was no exception. My birthday was nine days ago and I still haven't made a detailed list or anything, but I have spent plenty of time reflecting on what happened to me at age 22 and what I hope to accomplish/be at 23. It's been eye opening!

Right now, I feel a sense of calm contentment that I definitely didn't feel a year ago (or 5 years ago)! So dissatisfied, so frustrated, and so locked on to my idea of a successful 22 year old's life (that I wasn't living up to)... I was speaking to myself in a downright caustic way. I recently realized that over the years, I've grown to have a pretty cooked up, fictionalized, photoshopped ideal of what it means to be successful. My failure to achieve that ideal has resulted in a very low opinion of myself. (The interesting thing is, most people who fall into a mindset like that have something to blame it on like family or work or religion, but the people I live and work with would be the first to tell me that I'm being unfair and unrealistic and my God loved me enough to place the most valuable thing in the universe on a humiliatingly painful instrument of torture and death in order to restore me to Himself. So no, I have nothing to blame for such unattainable standards but my own pride.)

Since turning 22, God has been reminding me that he deals in grace and not negativity, that he is the one who determines value, and that his plan for my life is the best thing for me. My hope for 23 is that I live in light of these revelations by speaking truth and love to myself, getting excited about what the Lord has in store, and focusing on what is real. 
Don't you want to have eye opening revelations about yourself, too?! :) Seriously, meditating on what the Lord is doing in your life is truly helpful. 

In the spirit of seasonal listmaking, I filled out this list from Jess Lively for summer. You can find one to fill out here. Lists do serve a purpose regardless of how closely we follow them. :)

Thank you for listening to my ramblings. See you tomorrow for something a little more shallow. :)

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