Skip to main content

21st birthday musings

Today is my 21st birthday. It's weird for many reasons. 1. I'M 21?!?! I don't feel that old. 2. I'm not with my twin sister on my birthday. This is one of only 3 birthdays in the 21 years I've been alive in which Katie and I have not been together on our birthday ("age" birth because I was sent to another hospital as soon as we were born, age 16 because I was in NYC for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my high school marching band, and this year). Today feels so bizarre celebrating without her.  3. I'M 21?!?! Oh wait, I already said that.

To commemorate the end of my 20th year and beginning of my 21st, I decided to write a list of things I learned in the past year. This list is not all-inclusive, but it's a good start to what God has been teaching me the last 365 days.

1. Stop caring so much about what other people think. People are going to form quick judgments. They're going to look at your outward achievements as a measure of success. They are not always going to see you for who you truly are. Love God, love people, and don't worry about the rest.

2. Be a true friend. Call people up, spend meaningful time with them, share in joys and sorrows, talk about everything from the weather to the things hidden deep within your heart. Love like Christ loved. Build meaningful connections with people you could do life with on a daily basis.

3. Love (and serve) your enemies, including the people who tear your heart apart, the people who are rude, the people who seem to have an unreasonable grudge against you. Serve those people without spite and without bitterness.

4. Just because life isn't going the way you think it should doesn't mean God's not in control. Life is hard. It's full of pain, heartache, and mourning. BUT GOD holds the world in his hands. He is so big, I can't even grasp it. I choose to trust in my God to reign in my life, even when the chaos doesn't make sense to my human brain.

5. Social media is not the place to start arguments. If you need to confront someone, do so in person. Not on social media, not over text. Personal communication is key. Passive aggression is a cowardly way out of a dispute or controversy.

6. I LOVE my major. Speech pathology is the best major out there, and I'm so glad God directed me toward this path. I love learning more and more about the intricacies of communication, and I can't wait until one day I'm helping a child, a young adult, an older adult, or wherever God leads me in the field learn to communicate better and more effectively.

7. Kids say the craziest things. They just make life so fun!

8.  Technology moves insanely fast. Try and keep up.

9. Plans are awesome, and I enjoy making them on a regular basis. However, don't shy away from a little bit of spontaneity. It won't hurt you, and it might just bring exactly what you need into your life at the right moment.

10. Lead with grace and humility, knowing you are not perfect, and neither is your leadership ability. Seize every opportunity to learn from wiser leaders and expand on your leadership skills.

11. Take time to reflect and remember. Remember God's goodness and grace. Remember the blessings He has lavished on you. Remember the Cross and the sacrifice Jesus made. Remember that if you are a believer in Christ, you are made new. Remember the lowest and highest points in your life. Remember God's faithfulness through the storm.

12. Seek help and encouragement from others when needed. No one can live life alone, including you. It's not a fatal flaw to show that you, just like everyone else, don't have it all together all the time.

13. Patience is a virtue.

14. See beauty in everything.

15. Take risks. A comfortable life will only get you so far.

16. CF sucks. Know that, but don't let it hold you back.

17. "Life is too deep for words, so don't try to describe it, just live it." -C.S. Lewis


Popular posts from this blog

Exciting news!!

It's been awhile since I've written a blog post. This semester has been busy--not only because of school stuff, but also because of exciting life things. About a month ago, the most amazing man got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! And of course, I said yes!

Honestly, there were times that I questioned if I would ever marry someone. Living with cystic fibrosis is hard. Choosing to be with someone with cystic fibrosis is almost crazy. Think about it; I am not a normal 23 year old. I have to plan and plan and plan to make sure I fit breathing treatments, exercise, and eating into my schedule. When I travel, I have to take a crazy amount of stuff with me--my Vest, nebulizers, compressor, pills, inhaled medication, puffers, and snacks. I have to make sure I sleep 8-9 hours a night because my body uses more energy than most, and I need sleep to fight infection. I have to have a course of IVs at least twice a year. It's hard to be spontaneous and adventurous because CF…

CF limits

I was always told I could do anything.

That CF couldn't stop me.

That, even though my day to day life looked a little different with treatments and pills and hospitalizations, I could still be "normal".

I'm finding out now that's not necessarily the case.

Growing up, I knew I was different, but I still functioned like a normal kid. The only time I remember CF limiting me was my freshman and sophomore years in high school. My doctor, mom, and I made the decision to sit out of marching band my freshman year and to keep me on the sidelines running the metronome and helping how I could without actually participating my sophomore year. Junior year I was finally able to join marching band, and my senior year I was a drum major, so CF didn't limit me that much by the end of it all. I finished college in four years with a major, a minor, honors, and summa cum laude. I am in grad school now and will graduate on time summa cum laude with my masters in speech pathology.…

The false narrative

Today I was at church with my parents. After the baby dedication, the pastor prayed over the families. It was a fine prayer until he said something along the lines of "raising kids in a Christian home is the best way to ensure kids grow up healthy". This is when I opened my eyes and tuned out the rest of the prayer. Honestly, this is where I tuned out the rest of the service. This false narrative is exactly why American Christianity can be so out of touch with the world.
No. No. No. This is not how God works. Yes, in a world without struggle and pain and heartache, I wouldn't have cystic fibrosis. But in our current, broken world God uses illness and weakness to prove His strength and power and love. If God wanted to heal me, I have full confidence that He could and that He would. I know there are people who have experienced divine healing. But in many cases, God uses our weaknesses rather than spontaneously healing us. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul says, "But He (the Lo…