26, You've Been Good to Me

Last week I turned 27. A fine, albeit rather obscure age. I resolved a while ago to resist complaining about getting older (though confess it's hard sometimes not to compare my 27 to other's) but rather seeing birthdays as provocation to praise God. I'm so grateful that God burst into my teenage years with grace and coaxed me into faith. Each year I see my birthday as cause to genuinely thank God for another year of knowing Him, serving Him and being kept by Him. It's been a wild ride.

This year my good friend and housemate Savannah wrote me a birthday card listing the lessons she's learnt from me, and I thought I'd share that with you. Be warned though, I've been selective to include the ones that make me look particularly good, and omitted the in-jokes that make us both look weird. (Allow me to add a running commentary in brackets.)

  1. Get your runners (trainers) on and run.
  2. Appreciate music and make playlists.
  3. Make three-song playlists (I have the habit of over listening to a handful of songs).
  4. Manage time well. 
  5. Have phone boundaries (much to the dismay of some, I often put my phone on airplane mode so it doesn't distract me).
  6. Treat yourself.
  7. Ask a lot of 'Why?' questions.
  8. Remember stories of travels and take interest in other's stories.
  9. Genocide is a topic of conversation possible to fit into any conversation (I weirdly enjoy learning and talking about genocide and during several lighthearted gatherings I have managed to subconsciously bring it up in conversation with strangers).
  10. Save juicy details for the end (Savannah's theory of how I story-tell).
  11. Do things because it will serve others.
  12. Only commit to as much as you can do with excellence (this has become an ethic of mine, though it's important to point out that it can have both a good and a bad side).
  13. Always have ice cream in the freezer (I'm biased but I would change that to 'often').
  14. Redirect conversation when gossip arises.
  15. Fight for women's justice.
  16. Choose to see two sides to every story.
  17. Be compassionate (these ones are really stroking my ego).
  18. Wake up every morning to have quiet time (I like to spend time thinking about God first in each day and so make time for that).
  19. Always be witty.
  20. Talk to God about everything.
  21. Call people by number-nicknames (like my friend I call 'three text Shinae')
  22. Fuel your passion with knowledge (this is one of the most flattering ones for me).
  23. Budget, budget, budget (I am the budget Queen. This is also how I can be the treat Queen).
  24. Snoop in roommates' rooms (I would argue that it's not snooping when you want to borrow something, albeit without asking).
  25. Care for the environment because you care for people.
  26. Write really small in cards.

Here are some photos from my 27th birthday

By 'some' I mean I barely took my camera out. Oops.

Bethan Uitterdijk