Today is my birthday. Just like I do around the New Year, I get very introspective around my birthday. As I reflect on the year past and begin to anticipate the year ahead, it always helps me to write things down. (I know, I know. You’re shocked.)
I made a list of things I did this year, and in so doing, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for this past year. It was a hard year for me, but a very full year. There are big things, like postpartum depression, a third baby, and a new house. There are also so many other smaller moments, and though they seem less significant, they tell quite a story when they are added up together.
Here’s some of my story from my 28th year:
1. Watched the Olympics entirely online, and shared the fun and excitement with Ian (who seemed to especially love Aly Raisman). (Side note: This feels like decades ago! ha!)
2. Saw Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes at Meijer Gardens, and sang “Home” aloud with the crowd after they had turned off the sound system. Later, saw The Head and the Heart at 20 Monroe live, and then listened to them almost exclusively for months.
3. Flew by myself from Florida to Michigan with Ian and Leo (while pregnant with Ruthie). This was the worst day of my parenting life thus far. Never again.
4. Launched The Drafting Desk.
5. Went to a college football game at The Big House.
6. Started volunteering in children’s ministry again. (Then stopped when Ruthie was born.)
7. Joined a new small group at church.
8. Said good-bye to Nanny.
9. Went for a sleigh ride in the snow.
10. Voted in the 2016 election.
11. Drove to Traverse City to binge the Gilmore Girls revival with Meaghan.
12. Bought a minivan.
13. Gave birth to a third baby (a girl!), and this time without being induced.
14. Met Sarah Bessey and heard her speak and preach in-person, and did it with my dear friend, Melissa.
15. Bought a house.
16. Came to terms with my postpartum depression.
17. Started drinking hot coffee.
18. Participated in 6 book launch teams. (I think it’s 6? I’ve kinda lost count.)
19. Learned that I actually enjoy yard work.
20. Ziplined in Jamaica, and swam with dolphins in Grand Cayman.
21. Read a lot of books.
22. Joined a few writing-focused Voxer groups.
23. Helped chaperone a field trip and plan preschool class parties. (I still can’t believe I’m old enough for this sort of thing. But…I do have 3 kids. So, there’s that.)
24. Learned about the spiritual discipline of anticipation.
26. Called my senators and representatives to make my voice heard.
27. Figured out that I am an Enneagram Type 9, and wondered whether I might be an INFP instead of an INFJ.
28. Struggled. Questioned everything. Still felt Jesus with me. Didn’t quit. Found joy again.
Not bad for a year, huh? Life seems so abundantly full when I look at it like this, all numbered and listed out in front of me. I see so much reflected here: experiences and dreams, faith and creativity, technology and current events, family and friends, things acquired and things let-go. Here’s to 29!