Zesty birthdays.

I went on facebook today to read all my birthday wishes, and I came off feeling quite blessed. So, since I won’t be on facebook again for a while, thank you, Facebookers, for your kind words. :)
I’ve been realizing lately that I have a lot of enthusiasm for life. Last Thursday, upon realizing that it was the first day of March, I said “HAPPY MARCH!” to my friend next to me, apparently quite loudly and a little too excitedly. She was a little shaken up by that. I get excited by little things, like twinkly lights and babies. And I usually get the “okay, that’s great…” from the people around me.
I like having zest for life. I enjoy getting a kick out of dumb jokes (many of them my own) and taking joy in the small things.
I think it’s a gift.
Then again, I’m not too zesty in the morning before I have my coffee. I’m actually rather crabby and sullen. I don’t respond well to morning greetings and pats on the back as I eat my breakfast.
Then, once the caffeine kicks in, I’m good to go.
I know I wouldn’t be this way if I didn’t have Jesus. I don’t think I would get this excited about knee socks and chocolate cream cheese if I didn’t have the assurance that it’s not all there is. (though I do have to say that that chocolate cream cheese was incredible) Without knowing that I have hope that my life means more and my enthusiasm is ultimately rooted in Jesus, I think I’d retain my morning crabbiness all day.
how unpleasant that would be. How unpleasant I would be.
Not that all people who aren’t Christians are unpleasant. There are many whose company I greatly enjoy.
That’s not my point. I’m not really even sure what my. Point is, but I’ve just been enjoying life lately. Life is messy and ugly often, but there is also so much beauty to be found. When the big things in life aren’t pretty -like relationships and my sinful heart and when I’m busy and stressed- here are always flowers blooming somewhere or snowflakes drifting down. Or people smiling at you, even when they don’t know you. Or leftover pizza in the cooler. Or cake. (you know what I’m having for lunch on this road trip!) or a birthday wish from a good friend or a random acquaintance.
Life is not always good, but God is. And He continually brings little (and big) blessings into my day.
The divine daymaker. The supreme smile-bringer.
Yay Jesus.
In case any of you were wondering how I celebrated reaching adulthood, I did it in the traditional way: food (at least, that’s traditional for my family). I spent the day competing for a scholarship (I find out in about two weeks if I’m a recipient… Prayers are much appreciated!) and the night eating my way around Lincoln Park. We ate Italian food, including gnocchi, margarita pizza, and a lot of bread. Then we went to an adorable little bakery for birthday cake. I picked it a slice of the best red velvet cake I have ever put in my mouth. And the nice girl with a tattoo of a hot air balloon on her arm put a candle in it and wrote “happy 18th” in chocolate on top. Then she told me I looked like Taylor Swift and handed me the cake. It was lovely. :)
My grandma and aunt sent presents that we brought along with us, and my dear sister who had ridden the bus from Michigan to be with me brought some sweet fair trade gifts. :) then, after we should have been asleep, we talked and prayed together. It was a beautiful ending to a wonderful day.
Hooray, I’m an adult now!
And I decided against changing my name to Clementine, though it would make an awesome name for my friend’s goldfish.


Really, truly real.

I might be the only one, but I picture myself looking differently than I actually look.  Like, when I see pictures of myself, I almost wonder who it is.  I guess my brain thinks I have blonder hair, a smaller nose, a more round face, and a less-gummy smile.  Not that I’m dissatisfied with the way God made me, but there’s strange discrepancy between what I see in the mirror and what I picture in my head.

If you have this same issue, please tell me. I’d like to know if I’m not alone.  Whenever I read that passage in James that talks about how people who read the Bible and go away without obeying are like a person who looks in the mirror and goes away, forgetting what he looks like, I think uhhh……  Yep, that’s me.

That got me thinking, do I come across to people the way I think I do?  I don’t think there’s really a way of figuring that out.  But I do wonder.  Can people tell that I’m different because Jesus is my best friend (and not in the cliché way, for real)?  does it show when I smile and when I worship and when I speak and when I blog and when I sit in class and when I got to Cub Foods and…?

I want to be real.  The kind of person that you can poke and prod and when you do, you see that it doesn’t bring down a façade or a mask.  Not blunt or wearing my heart on my sleeve (even though I’m told that I don’t mask my emotions well at all.  Of course, I wouldn’t know, since I don’t even know what my face looks like.), but never trying to gloss over what I feel or saying what  sounds good because I don’t want to put in the effort to figure out how I’m really doing or explain something more in depth.

Depth.  I want to have depth.  That when the probing happens it doesn’t just poke and bounce back.

And now, I’m going to pack.  I finally got my room clean after India, and now I  have to go through the packing thing again.  I’m off to my College of Choice this weekend, to compete for a scholarship.  What’s in store?  Listening to lecture, writing about lecture, discussing lecture…. winning scholarship?  We will see.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m going to be 18 in two days?  An adult.  A “grown-up” (I hate that term, since it makes me sound like a 5-year-old when I say it, but it applies.)  Things I will be able to do by 6:45 pm on Saturday: 1) vote – already registered! 2) marry legally – uh, I don’t think so.  not for quite a while. 3) legally sign contracts and other legal documents 4) work full-time 5) start a 401k – wow, that seems like planning ahead! 6) own a car 7) lease an apartment or house 8) sue or be sued – not so excited about that one. 9) buy tobacco products – hah. yeah, right.  Like I’m going to give myself cancer. 10) get a tattoo – how’s that going to look when I’m 80? 11) buy a rifle – I’ll get on that next week. 12)change my name – how does “Clementine” sound to you? 13) buy lottery tickets and gamble – I have enough trouble keeping my money without that, thank you very much! 14) get a not provisional driver’s license – there goes $20.

Well, wasn’t that exciting?  I guess there are more things than I thought.  Here we go; on to adulthood.

one by one, my friends and I are turning our backs on our childhoods and facing our futures.