“After all, I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
– L.M. Montgomery
“It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things.”
– Donald Miller
“Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?”
– L.M. Montgomery
January 5th – January 25th
I learned a lot this month about life not always being full of sunshine and cupcakes. I started my second semester of college. People disappointed me, and I was depressed. Thankfully I wasn’t allowed to wallow in it and was instead encouraged not to find my happiness in humanity but instead to rely on my great God. I started to really believe the words I had been singing –
“I may be weak
But your Spirit’s strong in me
My flesh may fail
My God you never will”
Then on the 25th of January I turned twenty. The birthday I had been dreading with a quiet fear. Yet, it wasn’t as bad as I’d dramatically imagined. On this day I realized that although people make mistakes, there is forgiveness and grace. I was surprise serenaded (to my utter humiliation) three times… and somehow even the embarrassment made my heart glad. I laughed with my ladies, was wished the “happiest of birthdays” by my best friends, and had a delicious evening out with the family I hold dear to my heart. Most of all I learned that life is meant for living.
“Dear God,” she prayed, “let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm… Let me be ragged or well dressed… Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.”
– Betty Smith
“I walked over to the hill where we used to go and sled. There were a lot of little kids there. I watched them flying. Doing jumps and having races. And I thought that all those little kids are going to grow up someday. And all of those little kids are going to do the things that we do. And they will all kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn’t.”
– Stephen Chbosky
I wish growing up were easy. It isn’t. I wish sledding were always enough. Yet, life moves ever onward and stops for no man. It hasn’t slowed down for us. Unlike when we were young and you wanted nothing more than to ignore change, you seem to be embracing life in the fast-lane quite well these days! Oh how our roles have reversed! I envy you the ease with which you’ve embraced adulthood. It hasn’t been so easy for me. Honestly, without you by my side, I don’t think I would have made it through with an ounce of sanity left. Yet, here we are. Our teenage years are behind us and the twenties have arrived. Don’t tell me you aren’t at least a bit scared? You know I am. I’ll let you in on a secret though… I’m just a little bit excited too.
Enough with my growing up rant. I want to take just moment to say, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” I love you, best friend and “womb mate.” I’m so blessed to be able to share such a special day with you! Growing up you have always been my encourager and confidant through the joys and trials of life. Thank you. Without you beside me, beanie babies and books and banyan trees wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. We have laughed together, and you have dried my tears and helped me “suck it up” when life seemed particularly unfair. Twenty years ago God used us to pull off the sneakiest surprise, when He turned one into two! On that day He gave me the opportunity to be your sister, “birthday buddy,” and friend – a gift I am thankful for everyday, and especially on this anniversary.
You have grown up and experienced so much in the past few months. I am so proud of you, and happy to see what the future holds for your life!
Watch out, world! The McLemore twins are coming.
“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?”
– Donald Miller