Thursday, September 23, 2010

and wiser, too

this morning i woke up and i was 29 years old.

this morning i put on my favorite ruffle-skirted dress and yellow shoes to celebrate.

this morning EH left me a plate of the most divine donuts i have ever tasted for breakfast.

and then i was flooded all day long with phone calls and e-mails and facebook messages and cards and letters from people who i love. if i could choose only one blessing to keep from my abundantly blessed life, it would be my people. i am blessed with such good people who make my life happy and special and full every single day.

if i could choose to keep two blessings from my abundantly blessed life, they would be my people and my cheekbones. but, i don't want to be too greedy.

this afternoon, i changed into these clothes...

... and did a little hip hop dance performance for my co-workers. because on a day when i receive so much, i like to give back a little, too. turns out, it's taken me three hour-long classes to master one minute worth of dance moves. but, it is a pretty bodacious minute if i do say so myself. i have a video, but i am performing again at my birthday party talent show tomorrow and i don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone. so you'll just have to wait on that.

this evening EH and i went out for some delicious sushi and now here i am, sitting in my cozy house, curled up with my sleek, stealthy stella, reflecting on another year when i got more than i ever could have asked for and certainly more than i could ever hope to deserve.

i had high hopes to lead up to today with some reflections on a few of my remaining 28 goals. but i think we can all see that didn't happen. so, i will have to do that reflecting later. i actually still have a few of those left over (there are sooo many smithsonians!), so i'll carry them with me into 29. and i have started so many things (sewing! dancing! cooking at home!) that i can't wait to keep doing forevermore.

as for this year, i decided to take it back down to the basics. well, first i thought about making one of those "30 things to do before i'm 30" lists. but then i got tired. so then i decided to take it back to the basics. one thing i've learned this year, and one goal for my next year.

here is what i have learned. and when i say that i learned it, what i mean is that i understand it for the first time, and believe it in a truly full way that has already changed my life. it is this.

it is possible to put our lives in the hands of the lord.

and when we do, he will take them and guide them. he will give us little promptings, small pieces of guidance along the way. and then he will let us do our best. and then he will make our best better. and then he will shine the light a little bit further out. and we will feel such peace and comfort. and we will feel that peace and comfort even when the things we were working for do not come. and we will feel that peace and comfort even when what happens and what we wanted to happen, what we hoped for so hard, are two very, very different things. when we have done what the lord has asked of us, when we have made him a part of our lives from the very beginning, when we have done it his way from the start, our confidence is pure and our peace is assured. even when nothing looks right to us, we can know that it is right in the sight of the lord, and that he will help us see it for what it really is.

i can't even tell you in words how deeply i know that this is true, how deeply i have learned this. i learned it because i lived it for what i really think is the first time. i could not have wished to learn anything better.

and my goal. this year i want to be a better friend. a better neighbor. a better community member. a better sister in the gospel. i want to keep plans, remember birthdays, return phone calls, make phone calls, give service, drop by because i felt like i should, send cards and letters and e-mails, know about people's lives from what they say and from what they don't say. i feel like for the last year or so i have been so focused on myself and rebuilding my new life in a new place that i have taken more than i have given and i would like to change that dynamic. starting now.

that plus my leftovers from 28. (i'm looking at you, perfectly fitting jeans!) so i've got my work cut out for me. but 29 is going to be just fine.

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