So, I’ve grown a bit nostalgic as I approach the end of my 20s. When I think about it, this decade has been the most challenging and also the most rewarding by far. In no particular order:
Met and married my wonderful husband
Took the California license plate off of my car
Lived in 4 different states, and moved 5 different times
Road-tripped across the country
Added a few more stamps to my passport
Celebrated at many weddings
Mourned at funerals
Experienced beautiful fall, crazy winters, and seasonal affective disorder for the first time
And related, bought my first long puffy jacket and snow boots ever
Also related, saw negative degrees on my car thermostat for the first time
Discovered the greatness of wing nights at local bars
Discovered the Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville, which is where my heart is at home
Participated in some very memorable, highly unsafe overnight 12-16 hour drives (not recommended)
Went on my first medical missions trip
Made friends with some very sweet, very old neighbors
Became a surgery resident
Became more goal-focused, anal-retentive, impatient, and detail-oriented than I ever thought possible
Got attacked by bees INSIDE my apartment, which just reinforced my fear of bees
Discovered such things as apple picking season and maple sugaring season
Found the most delicious donut place ever, Donut Dip in West Springfield
Learned to appreciate the quietness of life in the country
Left surgery residency
Met some amazing, hilarious, kind, dedicated people with the biggest hearts who will be lifelong friends
Had total of 3 surgeries on my eyes
Continued to appreciate and enjoy delicious food
Most importantly, I’ve gotten to know God more deeply as I’ve walked with Him, depending on Him completely as I reached the end of my own strength and abilities so many times. He has been my anchor every time circumstances, people, and locations changed.
My struggle with insecurity is ongoing, but God has still freed me from so much over these past 10 years. He has constantly reminded me and grown my understanding of who I am in Jesus Christ — precious in His sight, beautiful, a new creation, known completely and deeply loved, holy and set apart, secure and safe — regardless of my failures or accomplishments. He has also revealed a lot of dark and ugly things in me that needed to be brought out into the open and dealt with.
During my 20s, I’ve seen that He is powerful, faithful and SO good, even when I don’t understand why something is happening. I’ve learned to be grateful for the simple things in life and to be thankful for each day. I’ve experienced the power of prayer and the sweetness of praying with and for people. I’ve learned that He will always provide and therefore it’s OK to be generous with “my” time and finances.
So thankful for the joys, hardships, and experiences of my 20s, and for the constant support of my wonderful family. I can’t wait to see what the next decade holds!
And now, some pictures from an early birthday dinner with husband last night. 🙂
Clockwise from top: my appetizer – delicious pate/foie gras served with spiced shallot chutney, dijon mustard, and cornichons; David’s entree, a delicious Berkshire pork chop; beautiful fresh salad with warm goat cheese; David’s appetizer – duck leg confit (so tender it was falling off the bone); my entree – duck cassoulet with duck breast, duck sausage, and bacon inside – rich, tender, smokey deliciousness.
Clockwise from top left: David’s apple tart with caramel; my molten chocolate/hazelnut cake with raspberry sauce; the initial presentation with a gorgeous spun sugar cage
And in case you were wondering, we completely cleaned our plates except for the duck cassoulet which too rich to eat all at once. 🙂