27. Equal parts exciting and terrifying.
Exciting because I have loved every year of my 20’s so far. They have been full of adventure, awesome friendships, countless laughs, two convocations, new traditions, travelling, finding and marrying David, buying our first home, and starting a career that I love. I am excited about ‘27’ because I know that it will hold more opportunities for fun, growth, love, friendship and new experiences! (**Thank-you to everyone who has invested into my life this year and who has helped to make it one of my favourite years yet!)
But ‘27’ is also terrifying. Terrifying because ‘27’ is a little too close to ‘30’ for comfort. While I have definitely enjoyed my 20’s so far, they haven’t been perfect; I haven’t been perfect! I’ve chosen anger over patience, reading blogs over reading scripture, and watching Little People Big World over calling up/visiting my grandmas. I’ve been selfish with my time, energy and resources, acting as though they were mine to divvy out in the first place. I’ve said I’d pray for things and haven’t followed through. I’ve neglected to create or seize opportunities to build relationships with my neighbors. I’ve forgotten whose I am and have turned to things and words of affirmation for value. This is not the person I want to be at ‘30’.
I was listening to a sermon about preparing for the future- Pack Your Bags by Andy Stanley- on my way to work a few weeks ago and so many of the ideas in his message hit home for me! In it, Andy says, “Regardless of what else you’re packing for the next phase of life, you’re packing YOU. Wherever you go, there you are. In our minds we trick ourselves into thinking that ‘once I’m married’, ‘once I get into school’, ‘once I’m richer’…, ‘once I have kids’... we’ll be better people. We think a new view, and a new ‘do’ will mean a new ‘you’. But we are still the same!”
If I want to be a different person by ‘30’, then it’s going to require some preparation and hard work! I can’t just know the type of person that I want to be, I can’t just want to be that person, I have to work hard to make changes to become that person!
The scripture Andy references in his sermon is James 1:22-24: “Do not merely listen to (or read) the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, immediately forgets what he looks like”.
When we look into the mirror every morning after waking up, we stare at it and make adjustments to ourselves until we look presentable! We don’t just look into the mirror, say “ew”, get dressed and then head out the door! That would be crazy! A mirror requires a response. But for some reason, we often look into the spiritual mirror, see areas that need work and choose to do nothing about what we see even though we know that fixing our hair/make-up/outfit has far less to do with the direction and quality of our life than getting our behavior right!
Andy’s sermon ends with a challenge to spend as much time evaluating our spiritual lives- by gazing intently into God’s perfect law (Matthew 22:37-39: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind …and love your neighbor as yourself”)- as we do our physical appearance!
So my challenge for ‘27’? To spend more time meditating on God’s perfect law. To start each day thinking about how I can love the lord my God with all my heart and all of my soul and all of my mind, and love my neighbor as myself and to daily look for, acknowledge and commit to improving the areas of my life where I am not loving God or people well! I want to enter ‘28’ (and eventually ‘30’) as someone who, when I gaze into the mirror, more closely resembles Jesus Christ!
Here are some highlights from '26':
Today, and every day I'm SO thankful for the guy that I get to call "dad'!
My dad is definitely not perfect, but as my mom says "he's pretty darn close...most of the time"! :)
My dad works around the clock, but somehow finds time to play cards, go tubing, attend any/all of our events and have great chats with our family!
My dad is super patient. As a teenager I crashed the family car a few times and got too many speeding tickets to count. I don't think my dad ever raised his voice about any of them. When I douse him with water every summer before we start long bike rides (even after he repeatedly tells me not to) he still ends up smiling...at least after a few km's into the ride! I'm convinced he secretly loves it.... haha
My dad is very wise. When I go to him with my latest "disaster" he always listens well and offers great advice!
My dad makes me feel special. I can tell that he loves the time we have together. I think that's why I've managed to squeeze 20+ years of March Break trips out of him ;). Thanks Dad! ha
My dad is an excellent role model. Over the years he's done a fantastic job of balancing family life, marriage, church commitments, and a stressful job! On top of all of that he's modelled for me what being a Christian means. I always see my dad putting Matthew 20: 26-28 into practice- "whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the song of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." I often notice him putting other people's needs/wants before his own, sacrificing his time/resources/energy to enhance other people's lives. What a fantastic challenge for me!
Dad, I love you so much! I'm so proud to be your daughter!
When I was younger I was obsessed with comfort. I’d cut out all the tags on my t-shirts because I hated the way they itched my neck. I refused to wear anything wool because I couldn’t stand to feel itchy. When I wore tights to church the FIRST thing I did when I got home was change into my “comfy cozy outfit”. But the item of clothing I hated most was jeans! Jeans represented for me the epitome of discomfort- form fitting, rigid and always too tight! I remember my mom saying “one day you’ll like jeans” and I remember thinking “no friggen way”! Fast forward to now…I own 11 pairs of jeans and I wear them by choice at least 5 days a week. While my attitude towards jeans has definitely changed over the years, my attitude towards comfort has not. These four pairs of jeans are the ones I continue to reach for day after day because they fit my body well, they are super durable but most importantly… they are comfortable!
PAIR 1: Toothpick Jean
From: J Crew
Colour: Stewartby Wash
Perfect For: Day time, casual outings
PAIR 2: Super Skinny Jean (more like a jegging)
From: Jack Wills
Colour: Dark Indigo
Perfect For: Wearing with baggy tops, long plane/car rides
PAIR 3: Cropped Step-Hem Jean
Colour: Destroy Rinse Wash
Perfect For: Casual summer nights
Price: **Currently on sale for $45!!!
PAIR 4: Slim Boot Cut
From: White House Black Market
Colour: Dark Wash
Perfect For: Fancier nights out, work etc.
Price: **Currently on sale for $59.99!!
Hi! I'm Mrs. Julia Dawe,