25 | The year my birthday didn’t feel like my birthday.

Yesterday I turned 25 years old, and for some reason I feel the need to talk to you about it.We celebrated with family, enjoyed a dinner out with just the two of us, and I was intensely spoiled with gifts that are much too nice for someone like me (read: my husband bought me an Apple Watch and I just don’t know what to do with myself now). I demanded a taco night with my mom’s homemade salsa and that’s exactly what I got. My mother-in-law made her homemade chocolate chip cookies and then stuck ice cream between two for homemade ice cream sandwiches, of which I shamelessly shoved two into my mouth before taking a breath. See? Spoiled.

Yet despite my favorite desserts, time with family, and surprise gifts, yesterday did not feel like my birthday. At all. Yesterday felt like any other day. Just with better food and more people. I couldn’t shake the idea that for some reason this birthday didn’t seem as special or important as the 24 before. No person made this birthday unimportant, as I have the best family who do not play around when it comes to celebrations, but rather, I think I did.

My 24th year was defined by change and unknowns. We started that new year with an uncertainty about the future that was overwhelming and chaotic. A job that Spencer worked hard to earn fell through. Interviews for another job seemed never-ending. Living on one income (and a rather small one at that) was becoming so stressful, not to mention almost impossible. We both felt lost in different ways while simultaneously slipping away from the honeymoon phase of being newlyweds. Everything seemed out of place and was just. not. working. On top of the financial stress and unmet expectations we both were carrying, we found out I was pregnant at the end of January and, well, we all know how I felt about that. Spencer ended up getting the job that seemed impossible (PTL) but that meant we had a deadline to move and with no options of renting, we were left with buying our first house in a city that we knew nothing about. It also meant leaving the only home, city, church, and friends we knew as a couple.

Needless to say, January-March was an insane time of life that we are still recovering from.

Yesterday morning I woke to an empty house, light filling every room (because once we finally did decide on a house, I demanded it have an overabundance of natural light). Spencer was already at work and like most Sundays go, I got to have a few hours to myself before heading to the late service. I sat down at the kitchen table with the essentials (journal, bible, coffee) and began pouring my thoughts into the blank pages ahead of me. I am totally a Psalm kind of girl and so when I don’t have a plan heading into my quiet time, I am normally drawn to those well-worn pages of beautiful yet tragic poems and songs and heart-felt thoughts found within the Psalms. In cliche basic girl fashion, I found myself reading the 25th Psalm for my 25th year. Because same number. Duh.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know this. After reading through Psalm 25, which is all about the ability to trust and follow, I looked back on the events of the last year. I wondered how much of my ability to trust and follow affected the amount of stress and anxiety I felt about all the change happening. Was I a teachable person during that time? Did I allow the Spirit to speak first into my thoughts and actions, or did I react according to my flesh? Was I humble enough to allow the Lord to lead me? Did I find joy in where He had me, or did I wish for an easier load? I wrote yesterday morning that I desired to become a teachable and trusting wife. A joyful and joy-giving momma. A free and fearless woman. For my 25th year in this body and living this life, I want to make each and every day happier, lighter, steadier, regardless of what might lie ahead.

Maybe birthdays change once you become a mom. Once the festivities died down and we headed back home last night, I began to realize that my birthday didn’t feel as important this year in light of what is to come. For the last 24 years, August 27th has been all about me. What I want for a gift, a meal, a date. I expected to be pampered and loved on and put first in everything on that date (and probably days before as well). This year was different, and I don’t think it’s because all the sudden I am a selfless, mature 25 year old. The little girl I’ve been protecting in my belly these last nine months has changed my entire life. Not just my physical body, although it has OBVIOUSLY changed, but my outlook, my thoughts, my desires, my purpose have all changed as well. I thought last night that yes, my birthday was a special day and that I should acknowledge it for what it is, but that maybe from here on out it won’t always be about me. Maybe there are more important things in the world than the day you turn another year older. What about all those days in between?

This got me thinking: there should be celebrations, joy, surprises, and intentionality most days and the people in our lives shouldn’t feel especially loved just one day out of 365. I’m lucky enough to have an amazing support system in my life that doesn’t fall short of showing love and grace to me all the time, but my hope is to be that same person in return. I hope to spend time with my husband and not just post about him. I hope to cherish the time I have with my parents. I hope to invest in my baby brother who is just beginning his life. I hope to raise this girl in my belly to become a teachable, trusting, joyful, joy-giving, free, and fearless woman one day, much like I am trying to become.

So, yes. My birthday was yesterday and it didn’t feel very important, yet, I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for the reminder to fully love the people in my life regardless of what day it is, and to soak in these last few weeks before the change and unknowns begin to roll in again with the cries of a newborn baby.

Now I’m off to finish all of the treats from this weekend while figuring out this new contraption on my wrist. It recorded things I said today in the office so I need figure out how to change that setting…

I also keep calling it an iWatch, so there’s that too.

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