July always kicks off with my birthday on July 1st! It is always a great beginning to a month with birthday messages, love, celebrations, and reflections!
Birthdays lead me to reflect over the years of my life, and as I’ve prayed over my 20’s and this next year of my life, I have a bit of reflection to share that I have felt the Lord pulling me to. It feels appropriate to share these on my birthday post.
First to recap, gosh what a great birthday! I mean who doesn’t love birthdays?!
Though, the older I get the faster they come! I cannot believe that I am 29!
I’ve always gone big on my birthday with activities and just spending time with people who have walked through life with me and blessed my days in more ways than I can count.
First up, Cummins Falls. I highly recommend this place if you are wanting a good waterfall experience. You can’t really jump off the waterfalls, but you can climb the rocks and swim in the swimming hole the waterfalls pour into. Also if you are in the Nash area, it is not too far away. Click here for a link for more information
Then, a birthday dinner at Bartaco — one of my very favorite places. Pork belly tacos, thank you for being the best birthday meal!
They were also very accommodating for a bigger group. Click here for more info.
Next, I had a friend/family day at the lake followed by all my cousins and extended family coming for the whole weekend!
Finally, then capped it off with 4th of July. HBD to America with a firework show at the lake and arrived back in time for the Nash firework show.
Some pictures from the fabulous weekend:
The morning of my birthday on the way to the waterfalls. Do I look older and wiser?! Haha.
Lyrics from the song “Growing Up” by Thomas Rhett. It was my jam the whole day!
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My best photographer was in attendance — photo creds to the one and only Jess girl.
^^^ On the way to BIRTHDAY DINNER! Running a little late — per usual. It’s my goal every year to get Situs Slot Gacor better with time! LOL. Again one of those fully known and fully loved. Thanks to my friends for loving me anyways to all my friends and sorry in advance!
The two MVPs of my birthday: My guy, Trenton and my girlie swirl, Em
Lake days are the best days:
The classic getting caught in the rain.
BUCKIES ON A BOAT –> yes please.
So dreamy of a place.
My aunt’s cutie puppy!
The classic red, white, and blue dessert for the 4th of July! 🙂
Thank you to everyone who made the day and whole weekend so special.
One thing I have learned about life is that you NEED people around you who build you up, love you well and unconditionally, and point you to Jesus! I am so thankful for every person who has filled my cup over the years– fully knowing me and fully loving me just the same!
But wow– 29! Many seasons of life to get to 29 with hopefully more to come.
I am not claiming to be an expert as this is all stuff I am continuously struggling with, lessons I am relearning everyday, and habits needing my daily prayers. Though, it is supporting evidence to the goodness of God that I just can’t help but use this outlet to share. Keep reading if you would like.
The passage of time is always weird to think about because imagining a world without time, an eternal heaven, seems abnormal. However, this is the original way God intended.
The one promise about Heaven is that it will ultimately be the best and greatest thing our souls will ever experience (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). I cling to this especially in a world that has a lot of hurt, hardship, and tragic acts of evil/hate.
Though there is turmoil, the best is yet to come, and God will redeem the hurt. It is a constant tension until then — of the now and not yet. Here in the now, we must cling to God, who is the good, as we have hope for what is to come, the not yet.
With that said while in this era of not yet–prior to the Lord fully redeeming hurt, there is a lot we face on the journey. There is times of hurt, times of celebration, times of good, times of bad, and even times of waiting and yearning for the Lord to fulfill our desires. It can be really hard and filled with uncertainties. Why would God withhold desires if we are delighting in Him? Is He denying us his promises as it says in scripture in Psalm 37:4? (My response being not at all! Below is why.)
I’ve been drawn to the story of Esther in this regard. Esther was chosen as the most beautiful by the King and told to come be his Queen. However, there was not much purpose to this role. There was a lot of waiting, and she was separated from her family. It isn’t until Esther hears of the plot to kill the Jews, including her family, that she realizes she is being called to act.
Her uncle pleads that Esther go before the King and ask for deliverance for the Jews. This would be a very courageous act as you must be invited before the King to talk to him. Her uncle shares with her that perhaps this act of bravery was her purpose. This is what you were born for: for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).
Sometimes seasons take time, but there is still purpose in the story. God is in every chapter and every page holding you through hurt and hoorahs! He will not leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6), and He is shaping your heart for exactly what you were made for. Continue to push onwards to the goal in pursuit of God and watch each season become purposeful as we seek not earthly things (Phil 3), but to see the unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18).
I am doing a devotional on idols that I learned about on Instagram (one good thing I cling to about Instagram), and I am hoping to re-center my priorities, as it is easy to make earthly things the center versus being centered on God.
I have found that idols come in many shapes and sizes and sneak in to have more impact than we even realize. My most recent realization is the idol of the perfect journey that we have envisioned for ourselves. You may plan out each season of your life, but let us not forget that God has far better plans for our lives and each stage than our own plans.
Do not find yourself discouraged over your journey not being what you envisioned, because outcomes won’t provide peace. Only God can do that.
At 29, I imagined certain milestones to have been met. Certain chapters of my life look different. Here is the thing — it can be easy to be down on life for not looking like what I had envisioned, but I caution myself to not let these outcomes become an idol.
God knows more than we do, and He is very good at being God. We don’t always get to predict or meet milestones like we envision. That doesn’t mean that God is not with us, in the midst of them, and working together something far better than you imagined. Center yourself on God rather than focusing inward on what life should look like.
Whew. So lots of points packed in, but essentially I am finding out that it is so easy for me to center my life around what I envision for my own life.
- However, these wants and desires are mere earthly and unsustainable. It is the pursuit of God and to live like Jesus that matters as life’s goal with the promise that the best is yet to come.
- Each season has purpose regardless if it is what you envision as you were born for such a time as this.
- Finally, the idolizing of a specific plan for your life will cause you to focus more on outcomes than on God. This will only produce anxiety, fear, and disappointment. Focus and put God at the center of your life to produce joy and peace.
Lots of reflection and points I am continually re-centering on. Prayers for you and me as we navigate this beautifully broken life we are in the midst of. May the Lord hold you close always, and may you come to know the love the Lord wants to lavish on you!
I am thankful for these 29 years of life — the ups and even the downs and to be where I am today, able to tell of lessons learned in every chapter.
I love you all and thanks for reading,