Golden Birthday

I recently turned 24 on the 24th, and around here we call that a golden birthday! So we celebrated with a gold party where everyone dressed up (with some element of gold in their outfit), and we drank champagne and ate delicious dessert. It was pretty much perfect. Here are some photos of the night. I photographed all the details, and my friends Jesse & Cody took the candids and photobooth shots - respectively. Enjoy!

So how do I feel about being another year older? I have mixed feelings - I am mostly really excited and really grateful.

Life right now is so beautiful, so full of love and family and community and art. My days are super rich and colorful, and I'm finally in a really safe stable season where the dust has settled and I can just exist and be. In this season there is room for me to stretch out and breathe in deep, room to grow and to laugh, room for mistakes, room for heartache and rejoicing, room for adventure and comfort all at once. This is a good life, my best possible life. And I realize that with my career and my faith and my family life - I am in the best place I've ever been. Healthier than I've ever been. And those are GOOD things and I praise God for all of it. I never thought I'd be 24 with a stable career in the arts industry, ministering to couples and families, praying over generations, totally immersed in the best community of friends who've become family. At 24 I've done things I never even dreamed of doing - not because I am great, but because God's dreams are so far beyond my own. He is the goodness in my life. And I recognize thankfully that He is actively loving me through all of these wonderfully rich gifts.

And so back to the idea of mixed feelings - underneath the excitement and joy of this current life I'm leading, there are undercurrents of anticipation and frustration. I want more. And I wrestle with being grateful for what I've been given, while being honest about how much more I want. I want to start my own family, I want a partner to share these good things with, I want a squishy baby to love and protect and teach about life and God. It's not that I think I'm ready for all those things now, but it's just that I notice their absence the older I get. The more I accomplish in other areas of my life, the more honest I am about how much more important family and legacy and partnership are to me. How much more valuable love and relationship is over success and credibility.

But still, my true joy is in the Lord, and while He blesses me with amazing gifts, the real treasure is Him alone. And I pray that I learn that deep deep down at my core. The truth is that God has brought me this far. He has turned my entire life upside down and made it so beautiful, so golden (get it?!), and He has dreamed so much bigger than I ever would have. And within that truth, within the testimony of my own story, I can rest assured that He isn't done giving me good gifts and it's not wrong for me to want more of all the good that He has to offer, but I have to wait (gratefully) for His leading. And God knows when I am ready for more things, and if I don't have the more that I want today it's because I'm not ready today. I am only ready today for what God has given me today. And so I want to live today with excellence, knowing that I am fully equipped and totally capable to live today well. And I want to focus on God and not on the places and things that I lack. And I want to continue to be honest about my hopes and dreams and concerns before the Lord and community.

So all that to say, in this season of abundance and waiting, having and wanting, the tension of now but also not yet, I remember my story and where I've been, and I realize that I can trust Him with where I'm going. I am praying for a deep gratitude and joy for where He has me today, because it is truly and surely so very good. And for tomorrow, I can only trust that it will be better than I ever expected - because that is the God we serve.