I’m completely overwhelmed.

I think this day has to be the most love-filled day I’ve ever experienced to date.

Today, February 22nd, is my 21st birthday and the joy and bountiful blessings have just been pouring in on me all day long! I always get introspective around special occasions, but this has been an especially poignant birthday for me as I’ve had time over the past few weeks to really ponder over just why I love birthdays so much. I wondered over my penchant for birthdays because I’ve known so many people who lament them, either because they’re getting older or because they don’t know of good presents to ask for or because they don’t get to spend it with certain people. But I love them (and let’s be serious – I adore mine) because it really is a celebration – God’s brought it to my awareness more in these past few weeks, but each day really is a gift. No day is promised to any person, so to have the opportunity to celebrate another year of life? That is truly a wonderful, heavenly gift that deserves to be celebrated. And even though it always shocks me how quickly time passes by, one of my co-workers put it into perspective the other day, saying that “when time passes so quickly, it’s because life is good.” So there’s no need to lament growing up another year… I see it as a time to be immensely grateful for all God has done in my life over the past year and as a time to look forward to new growth and maturity, both personally and spiritually.
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Head vs. Heart

There’s a phrase that many people use when they are extremely happy. They say, “That person is high on life!” In the past couple of months, I’ve experienced that feeling. The exceedingly joyous one, where I can’t keep a smile off my face as I think of the great things God’s allowed me to experience these past few months. The first time was after 100 Days (an event my university holds to commemorate 100 days to graduation for the seniors), and the second time was this past weekend, getting to experience Soul Night for the first time, and as a performer. I’ve always heard and talked jokingly about being extremely content with how situations turn out in life, yet it sure was different – and so much more fulfilling – to actually encounter those emotions in a concentrated and impacting way after the events took place in my life.

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Today is my 20th birthday. It still feels weird to say that, to have a number that begins with a 2. This might be the first birthday I can remember where I actually feel different. Maybe it’s just that this is unexplored territory. I still feel like saying I’m 19 when people ask my age. But overall, I’m so incredibly grateful for another new year of life. That’s the ultimate blessing.

Below are photos from the past three birthdays when I’ve celebrated with friends from school. This is the first year since high school that I get to celebrate with friends and family on my actual birthday!

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Lots of love to all those who share February birthdays.