Last January, I wrote a post about my dream jots for 23. My life as a 22-year-old was broken up for most of the year. I experienced intense spiritual warfare and disappointment. I had to give up long-held, suffocating views of God to really see the God who sees me, the God who doesn’t live in my box...ever. Life at 22 was a necessary, flat-on-my-face, long fall into the shadow of God’s wings. Here I learned to hope and rest in God.
But then my 23rd birthday came like a crossroads. And I was ready to fully live. It was time to step into life. My desire for 23 was simply, “I hope I can look back and say, AH, I lived rich. I lived better. I lived LIFE.“
Perhaps, the best birthday present I receive today is that I can honestly say those words. I lived rich. I lived better. I lived LIFE. In God’s grace and with the boldness He gave me to stop hiding beneath my covers, I was able to open my arms wide and step into life….again, again, and again.
I could cry for the joy of it! This year, I surrendered life to God over and over. I spent the spring picking flowers and soaking in life. I turned a lot of figurative corners as I grew rich in life with God. I filled my hands and my vases with wild things and loved every minute.
We started a porch garden which has become a visible picture of my own soul as it has grown and reverberated with life. I still have green things growing, and I love that!
I spoke for a Women’s Retreat in May and my whole heart expanded in size! I’m still amazed that God gave me such an opportunity. He reawakened old dreams of mine and made them new! Speaking for that Women’s Retreat was a highlight of 23!
I spent the summer learning what it meant to become a song to God. Most of my summer mornings began in the Psalms and my soul grew courageous in the love and kindness of God. We got goats! And they have been the greatest (and funnest!) addition to my year. They’re always chewing their cud, loving their goat life, and following me around anytime I’m near.
I spoke for an all-girls horsemanship camp in July. Once again stepping into another opportunity given by God to share the truth of God in a personal & honest way. I love sharing about God with girls & women alike, and these speaking opportunities given so close together was a delight to my soul…truly!
In the fall, I worked tirelessly on my book for its publication. I hosted a fall party that would have been unimaginable for me in October 2017. And we still have pumpkins sitting in our one-day-soon garden. 🙂
I taught a Creativing Journaling class for our sponsored fall Women’s Retreats at Wolf Mountain. There were tears and laughter as we all learned new things together! Another speaking opportunity, another joy! I also opened my heart wide for my email subscribers and have been so encouraged by them all throughout this year! What a gift you all are to me. Thank you!
I finally published my book, A Pygmy’s Life for Me, and my spirit has been uplifted by the feedback. I have heard of your tears, laughter, joy, and healing as you’ve read my book. I had an inkling our story was much the same and hearing that your heart has been encouraged is such a sweet gift! Our God is kind!
As the holidays approached, I hosted our second Thanksgiving. I brought out the small, God-given gifts I had tucked away in a blue jar. He is faithful! I read through the tiny scraps of paper and my eyes took in what my heart already knows. God is good and He is good to me!
We had a lovely Christmas at home, just us. I walked through our small patch of woods, collecting greenery to celebrate the birth of Jesus, my Hope & Joy! Our home is still filled with that greenery as I sit here writing.
This was 23….so full of life, so much bigger than I imagined. I’m still breathing it all in!
Last January, I wrote a list of dream jots for 23…small things for me to walk into. But God let me speak at a Women’s Retreat. And God gave us three hilarious goats. God let me speak for an all-girls horsemanship camp. And He gave me the best summer of my life.
God let me teach a Creative Journaling class where I met and connected with many different women. And He healed my heart so I found myself pushing a cart full of pumpkins for a fall party. God made it possible for me to publish my book. And then got my book into the hands of the people who needed to read it. The number of hands far exceeded my own expectations. God has done the far exceeding all year….as He always does, I think. But this year, my eyes were open. I saw!
God has made 23 so different and so beautiful. I look at a year in which I said, “I’m ready to live right here.” And God said, “I’m glad you’re finally ready. Here’s a garden, some goats, a summer you’ll love, speaking opportunities, a published book, and a celebrating soul. Look what I can do. Look at the life I can give. This is life with me. And I delight in you.”
I have no dreams jots for 24. I simply plan to steward what God has given me at 23 ( b/c gardens, goats, relationships, and books take some work…!) I resolve to anticipate God and be ready for life…whatever that means, however it looks. And I hope I get to 25 and say,
Yes, this is life with God!