27 June, 2006

Turning 21

If I were gifted in the area of songwriting, I might be plunking on a piano tonight, considering the 21st anniversary of the day of my birth. Since I've never let people hear my songs, I chose to write a blog post instead of a song. The day before I turned 21, I worked for a solid 12 hours at two different jobs, I bought a Youth Eurail pass for my trip to Europe, and scheduled my driver's license test. I reread 1 Timothy 4:14-16 to my sister and talked about Youth Camp and acquaintances in a way that I never would have dreamed of talking with her a few years ago. I'm listening to some a capella hymns in a Southern Gospel style (sing it, bruthas!) as I type on my sweet little Jakey. Airplanes fly overhead, crickets chirp, and Hezz finishes her shower.


If there were no God, I would not be here. If I had not received God's grace and guidance, I'd be in a deplorable state of mind and body. My soul would be in the depths of sin so deep I dare not think about it fully. However, I now sob for the grace of my Father, sighing at his amazing work. How? Why? Just asking the questions is thrilling enough, and when I live forever with him I will finally start to learn the answers. Oh! Oh! What can I say? Nothing. My chattering mind is silenced before his glory. "Reigning now, the King Eternal! Yes we know the victory!!"

"Aint'a that good news? Good news! I'm so excited, my face can't hide it! My soul's delighted! Hey, hey hey hey! Have you heard the news of Jesus? Ohh, oh yeah!" Exclamation points don't do justice to this emotion. Dancing would probably get me the closest to expressing this. Alas for my weakening, tired body that simply cannot jump or pose.


At Youth Camp this past weekend, I experienced God's grace in amazing ways. The biggest thing I learned was that my friendships need to be purposeful and selfless. Too often I've been aimless and selfish in how and with whom I seek friendship. I learned this especially with my campers. They may not be the "coolest" ones to hang out with, but boy did they teach me some stuff. I am so grateful God put me in their lives and enabled me to see some of the magnificent change that was and is going on. I had to give up good things to follow God's lead and invest time into relationships, but God has already brought fruit from it and I hope he continues to do so. This helped me realize how stupid I've been with other friends. Even though some of my friendships are steeped in church and service, my side of the relationship has been focused purely on how I can get the greatest social or personal benefit from it. Please, if you see me sinning in this area, let me know. If I have ever offended you because of this, allow me to apologize! God may use it redemptively!

Another cool experience at Youth Camp was seeing the HUGE, huge gap between where I am now and where I might have been if God had not intervened. What a way to appreciate the cross! And then, to look forward to heaven, and to appreciate the resurrection! Worship was so much spicier after that :-)


As I turn 21, I'm gaining new experiences that are telling. Is there any rhyme or reason between these circumstances...? I coach fencing, and love it. Youth Camp is so much better as a team leader. I'm teaching 15 elementary-aged children how to fence as a summer job. Katie C just asked me on Sunday to teach her to play violin. ...I never saw myself as a teacher. My mom got a degree in Elementary Education, and *tsk* I didn't ever want to be like my mom, gosh! I could see myself in the role of a home schooling mother, but never teaching children that weren't my own. I always hated that a lot of girls who don't know what to do with their professional lives turn to teaching, so teaching was repulsive simply by association. I still can't imagine myself successfully controlling and educating a class full of 30 kids, but it's interesting to watch my life. As I turn 21, it makes me wonder. Does this mean I could enjoy the role of home schooling mother more? Does it mean that physical therapy will be more educational than encouraging with regards to patient psychology? Will I teach Latin to a cool group of high schoolers, as my beloved public school teacher does?

You know what else is cool about this process? I'm happy with letting God do what he wants with it. When I determined to pursue physical therapy, I drew out my own academic path to success, and failed miserably. Thanks to Lisa, I realized that God doesn't need school to carve a beautiful character, and I also realized my own pride in building a castle that never materialized. So now I am content to seize the opportunities he gives me and go no further.


On Thursday I am tasting my first beer, and I'm surmising that it will be a Killian's Irish Red. Though life right now is full of jobs (3 of them), planning for Europe, worrying about transportation, and attempting to maintain my killer figure (ha, isn't that funny--she thinks she looks good!), I must remember my Savior. Though I didn't attend New Attitude, the conversations afterward affected me greatly and have helped to shift my focus to the point of infinity, drawing everything into perspective and revealing truth. The Truth. May my 21st year of existence be marked by Truth and courage. May God teach me things that will be a foundations of wonderful things to come. If I don't survive this year, then may I be able to use every remaining moment to invest in God's kingdom and bear fruit. I want to see God's smiling face when I reach home.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Maybe my baby will get to share the day with you!?! I have the church birthday calendar posted on top of mine to keep track of any coinciding days. (:

By the way, don't feel bad if the beer tastes gross. It's not a requirement of those 21 and over to like alchoholic drinks. d: I discovered that I like the fruity ones, but really, you could leave out the schnapps (or whatever) and I'd like it just the same, and it's cheaper!

Change Is On My Day Today?

-Heather Daley

Jason said...

Happy Birthday! A very uplifting post. And I totally agree about how much better YC is as a team leader: loads of fun and so rewarding.

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Heather, I really like non-alcoholic pina coladas, so I'm guessing that the alcoholic ones don't taste so bad :-) How's the baby? I haven't heard anything yet...;-)

Jason, do you have a blog? Your profile doesn't have one listed. I'm glad you enjoyed my post, and responded to it! So far, every one I've talked to about being a team leader likes it better than being a camper :-) Would you want to do it again next year?

Little Elves Yawn With Indignation?

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Jason, we're making fun of the Word Verification feature. For example, right now I have to type "vdxteqfy" to successfully post a response, but I'll turn it into a phrase (or at least try).

Very Dead Xenophobes Yell Extremely Quietly For You

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

For the sake of posterity...I just realized how funny it was that I said I'd be having my first beer tonight but I'm also trying to take care of my body in neighboring sentences. How potentially ironic is that? :-P

Lovely Xanadus Form Similarly Impressive Worlds

Clear Ambassador said...

Beer isn't exactly bad for you. No more than pop or chips. Unless I'm mistaken, small amounts of ethanol aren't really bad for you. But, consume enough of ______, and it will be deleterious to your health. Genius! :-P

Queen Wilma Ripped Three Flailing People Violently Upwards