Today I turn 26. Getting older is a weird feeling and every year that passes past college feels weird. But strangely, I don’t really feel “old,” I feel full. I’ve been very blessed to live a very full life for the first 26 years. So, in celebration of that, I wanted to share 26 ways that I’ve been very blessed.
1. A relationship with the Lord.
I grew up blessed to have been pointed toward God at an early age. My relationship with the Lord has greatly grown in the past 5 years and I’ve been very blessed to be called into His own. My soul has found its worth in knowing that nothing I do can be good enough to earn my way to heaven, but God’s wrath for me and my sin has been propitiated by Christ’s death on the cross. Because of this reality, He offers me life eternally with Him and life abundant on earth now. This is my greatest joy.
2 & 3. My Mom and Dad
It is such an understatement to say that I’m blessed to have the parents that I have. They have loved me well by providing for me physically, emotionally and laying a foundation for me spiritually. My parents take the time to teach me which has prepared me to be able to stand on my own. A paragraph would never be enough words to explain the depth of my love and thankfulness for them.
4 & 5. My Siblings
I grew up with 2 older siblings, Laura and Adam. There’s been some rocky times through our childhood but as we’ve grown and matured being adults together has been so fantastic! For how different Laura and I were growing up, we are pretty much twin-minded now and I love spending time with her. Adam has crazy powers of persuasion and is so funny. To be the little sister of these two has made for some very sweet memories. To have added Zach and AnnDee to our sibling group in the last few years has also been wonderful and have you seen my niece and nephew? – probably the cutest and most clever kids you’ll meet!
6. My Second Families
Anybody who really knows me knows that I take a lot of joy to have been raised by a “village.”
Through my childhood and even now as a 26 year old I’ve been greatly blessed to have second parents who have invested greatly into me and second siblings who I have trouble finding memories that they are not a part of. I wish that I could name these people individually and give them each a paragraph because to think about the depth of their investment in me is humbling. To each of you, you know who you are. 🙂
7. Working in Ministry
I’ve been working at CE National since I graduated from Grace College which means this summer will be my fourth Momentum. To see the ways God has moved in the lives of students and to work with people who also love the Lord has been amazing.
8. Working With CPR-3
I’ve been working with CPR-3 as their graphic designer since 2010. Through this I’ve known a great mentor and friend, been able to spend time in and fall in love with Haiti, and have become a part of the CPR-3 family. This has been an honor.
9. Growing up in Alaska
I grew up in the Last Frontier. I greatly value a childhood full of hiking, camping, exploring, fishing, the most beautiful landscape, community, snowmachining, and so much more.
10. Living in Lake City (Winona Lake)
I’ve stayed in Winona Lake after having graduated college in this city four years ago. It’s a great place to live, especially in the summer since the Frances’ graciously let us spend so much time on their boat, whipping across the lake on a tube. It’s the time of our lives.
11. Monday Night Dinner
4 years of spending Monday Nights with people I love and who love me well, building a strong community and eating good food. Enough said.
12-20. My Community
Is it cheating to use this many numbers for one item? Maybe, but I was going to write about a few people individually and thought it better to just elaborate on them as a group. I was very blessed to make friends in Winona after graduation, considering most all of my college friends left the area. 😦 Loyalty and really deep community is really important to me so it has been beyond what I can describe to “do life” so intensely with this group.
I also realized last night that it’s been 13 years since I met Stephanie McNutt Pahl. We’ve gone through middle school, high school, college and the four years after college together. How many relationships do you know that have lasted that long?!?
My friends challenge and sharpen me spiritually, make me laugh, ground me, put up with my shenanigans, offer me grace when needed (lots), and are on board for adventure, and I could not be more thankful for them.
21. My Time in College
I went to a small christian college and it was the time of my life. I was blessed to be a part of a very close knit group of friends who I loved doing life with. It was hard to see them leave the area after graduation and I wish I could see them more often, but I don’t take lightly the 4 years we got to spend together at Grace. I was blessed to go to Grace because my time there was maturing and lent itself to when my relationship with God grew most prominently through classes and professors who built into me.
22. My Health
I’ve always been blessed to be a pretty healthy person, meaning I don’t get sick very easily, but the last couple years I’ve been blessed to become a much healthier person!
It has been a blessing to be able to travel to Haiti, Mexico in multiple places, and spend time with my family and friends on great vacations and missions trips in these places and more.
24. Bethany and Heather
This past year I’ve been mentoring two Grace College students, Bethany and Heather. My relationships with them have sharpened me and pushed me further to grow closer to Christ. I’ve loved sharing my life with them and pointing each other towards the Gospel.
25. My Church
I’ve been attending Christ’s Covenant Church for the last couple years and have come to know that the teaching there is excellent and the community is solid. What a joy to be a part of this body.
26. My Future
Because I know that God holds me in His hands, I can be thankful to know that He plans my days ahead of me. I’m looking forward to the next 26 years. 🙂