- I should be better at this by now.
- I should look like this as I approach ___ (insert upcoming age category).
- I should have completely nailed down that routine that includes lengthy quiet times and prayer sessions, care taking of those around me, healthy meals three times a day, challenging workouts, and a budding career.
- I should have spent more time with ____ (insert the 30 people I'm sure I've let down on any given day).
- I should be super secure, financially, instead of obsessing week over week.
There is a common thread in that list...the ever weakening "should." That word is powerful, only in its ability to make us feel powerless. It keeps me from celebrating progress, reflecting on achievement, and standing in gratitude for provision. The shoulds of my life could very well outweigh the gems that shine in the dust around my feet. However, as this birthday approaches, I'm dousing my feet with the renewing water of gratitude that is bursting from my heart so that I may walk boldly - and in balance - towards a new decade.
Today, my thoughts are centered on the most tremendous decade I could imagine.
- I met Vegas for the first time, thanks to my sister's creative plan to christen my 21st birthday with the most unforgettable act of generosity (and full out fun).
- I graduated from the most incredible University that introduced me to my best friends and injected me with some Texas pride.
- We went to France and danced.
- I stood by those Baylor beauties on their wedding days...the most phenomenal honor.
- I left Texas (much to my dismay) and moved to North Carolina (much to God's provision).
- I met a boy.
- I found my big girl panties and started working.
- I quit working and went back to school.
- That cute guy from the football game took me back to where we first met, and asked if I was up for a lifetime together.
- We bought a precious little townhouse in my favorite city on planet earth.
- We adopted a fur child.
- I went to a cookout with my sister and met this boy she really liked...and I totally approved.
- We moved to Canada.
- I joined a really rad team of people that would take me on a near three year journey of adventure and learning.
- The boy from the cookout went to D.C. and asked my sister to change her last name.
- We moved to Charleston.
- I hopped on a bike and fell in love with the ride...then decided I wanted to teach that ride.
- My work bestie and I launched a goal coaching biz.
- I sang my sister down the aisle.
- I left that team of people to start building up businesses, the first one being our family business.
- We bought our first single family home.
A modge podge of memories.....
And that's the short list. Sure, there were some unexpected parts of the journey - some of which were too painful to recount. And yet, those valleys made the journey so much sweeter and His grace so much clearer. My twenties were, in a word, spectacular. As I look ahead to a new decade, I am clearing away the temptation for "a clean slate," because I would never trade a single moment - challenging or not - from this last year or ten years. Each moment was on purpose, and from them I take the lessons embedded from which I will grow and flourish.
As Friday draws near, it's time to dive head first into my vision and goals for the next ten years. Pop back in Thursday, my friend. I'll need your accountability to make the next decade even more spectacular!