i'm so glad i live in a world where there are octobers.

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it was all a blur, honestly. that's been the theme here, in my little monthly recaps. the first half of the year was so slow moving. it always feels that way, but for me personally, it felt like six months of "not yet."

i once heard my dad say the second half of the gas tank goes faster. i don't remember what conversation we were having that prompted him to say this, but it has stuck with me for the way i cannot wrap my head around the truth of it. why does it happen that way?

the same is true of the calendar year, and i am just as baffled by it.

birthday month.

i turned 28, and am declaring all things golden for this year, not just the birthday.

andrew belle printed my handwriting on a t-shirt again. this time, in blue.

i spent all my free time working on side projects and laughing out loud when i suddenly realized, months in, that my season of waiting is over and my discomfort about life was entirely because my introverted homebody self does not love the life of hustle.

my "books of 2017" list still currently rests at 24, where it has sat for three months.

i visited 19 different cities in 12 different states (if i counted correctly) because i'm on tour again! more on that later.


THIS YEAR SO FAR

january | february | march | april | may | june | july | august | september

charlotte | golden.

part one.

what happened was, T & family were on vacation the week before and flying back on saturday, and my parents were getting ready to leave for their trip and flying out on saturday.

saturday, my actual birthday.

i went to charlotte on thursday and spent the first part of my trip with my parents. we went out to dinner, shopped at the outlets, and watched a movie. in lieu of cake, i had my mom make chocolate chip cookies. i knew i'd be having cake with T and also my mom makes the best cookies of all the cookies, so i decided to mix it up. i do not regret this choice.

per my request, she made the cookies while i ate breakfast so i could eat one (or two) fresh out of the oven with my coffee. so basically what that means is i ate cookie dough for breakfast.

starting twenty eight off strong.
 

part one-point-five.

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in between the departure and the arrival, i went to not just coffee. by myself. on my birthday. and wrote in my notebook, while i sipped my coffee. it was kind of perfect.

i talked on the phone and got to catch up with friends and have full conversations without feeling obligated to cut it short for the sake of who i was with, in person.
 

part two.

T and lee and the boys got back on saturday afternoon and powered through a full birthday dinner celebration that night, homemade meal and all. we talked about going out, but T insisted that on my actual birthday, i deserved a nice home cooked meal.

we spent the next few days hanging out, eating pancakes, reading books, coloring, looking up rescue bots on my phone, sitting in boxes, and writing our names in chalk paint.

i thought a lot about how i wanted to celebrate my birthday this year. my golden birthday. a day trip, a trip out of the country, the beach, a stay-cation. but this, my monthly trip to charlotte, loving on my nephews and hanging out with my people, was at the top of the list. it only felt appropriate, considering they are what make my life so golden.

10 | t w e n t y e i g h t.

this year, i celebrate my golden birthday.

if you're unfamiliar –– like my mom, who looked at me hesitantly before slowly saying "there's nothing golden about 28..." –– i turn 28 on the 28th. that's what makes it golden, or so i'm told.

i first realized this was a thing when i was in high school, and my friend was talking about her golden birthday. looking back, i'm realizing the "golden" birthday may be more of a thing for kids, as she described turning 4 on the 4th, but i've kept it in the back of my mind ever since that day. when i turned 28 on the 28th, however far away it felt, it would be golden.

and y'all, what are the chances that this year, in particular, FEELS golden? (100%, of course.)

after 25, a year of breaking
and 26, a year of rebuilding
and 27, a year of being steadfast
i feel like i am perfectly set up for a year of golden –– properly launched by a golden birthday.

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recently, i found this old sharpie quote from pastor steven that i wrote out a long time ago and actually forgot about.

i had to do a bit of research to find which message it came from. it turns out, it's from last easter's "a tomb with a view." (definitely worth the listen, even a year and a half later.) i have since realized, though, that what's posted online is not the version in which he says this particular thing – perhaps because this particular thing wasn't his main point.

and yet, this is what i wrote down. this is what stuck with me. this is what i wrote out, as a reminder –– or a declaration or a promise –– in thick, black ink.

when i come out of the fire, i'm coming out gold.

this is essentially job 23:10, but pastor steven said it in reference to 1 peter 1:6-7. the message version puts it like this, "pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine." the message was about perspective, about not having a circumstantial praise but a resurrection praise, about genuine faith. "what fire is to gold, trials are to your faith," he says.

i don't remember writing this down, in particular. but i remember march of 2016. the lowest of the low. i wasn't yet out of the fire, but i knew that when i was, i would come out proved pure gold, with genuine faith.

when i found this quote, i laugh-cried at seeing it from the other side.

turning 28 on the 28th is technically what makes this a golden birthday, but i'm declaring that 28, as a whole, will be a golden year. partly because there are a handful of things i can think of at the top of my head that point back to this word, and it's no small thing to unpack, but mostly because i am out of the fire. i am pure gold. my faith is genuine. and it's just the beginning.

books of 2017 | 005

present over perfect (shauna niequist)

shauna niequist is one of those writers whose words make me feel alive on the inside. her stories, her voice, her way of wrapping words around a particular feeling that i want to write on a piece of paper to keep in my back pocket so i can pull it out when i'm trying to explain something. it's like this.

this book is no different. there are elements of her life that i cannot relate to, of course. i am not a wife or a mom or an enneagram 7. but she is a woman and a writer and a human being. i still find myself lingering on certain passages, gasping at the way she reveals what's true for me too.

nothing to prove (jennie allen)

i kept hearing about this book and went back and forth, trying to figure out if i just know a lot of people who know and support jennie allen or if it was that and really a book i needed to read.

i was pleasantly surprised, and a little taken back, by how life-giving this book was for me. chapter after chapter, she digs deep into the book of john, offering a fresh perspective on the gospel, and challenges us to breathe in the truth and let go of that backpack we're convinced we need to carry. more than once i let out an audible, "oh" after reading her words.


books of 2017: 001 | 002 | 003 | 004

favorites of all time.
 

i received a free copy of nothing to prove by jennie allen from blogging for books
in exchange for an honest review.