Friday, December 2, 2011

Sounds like Life to me: 25 Questions - A reflection on 25 years of life, and life abundant

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Kim, happy birthday to me :) haha okay, well the birthday was yesterday 12/1 and I am the big 2-5 ! Yep, a quarter century of life well lived, and praise the Lord for that!  I can now legally rent and drive a rental car :)

Well, yesterday was... just another day.  I woke up, ate breakfast as usual, got ready as usual, got a hug and a kiss from the hubby and a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Enjoy driving your present to work!"  i.e. my "new" car a got a few weeks ago and also my birthday, anniversary, christmas present, for the next few years! hahaha we're so cheap... it's great!

Thank you all for the sweet facebook posts and texts! I even got a video message from my sweet friend Heather  in Chicago :)

A fairly steady tradition of mine is going to Red Robin for my birthday meal, they have an eclub where they mail you a FREE birthday burger coupon.  I use to work at a RR in college and well, the food is amazing and overall... I really love the place! My favorite is the Banzai Burger :)  Well, RR implemented a new system, a rewards card so I get my free burger and a free appetizer for being a part of the club.  Long story short... I didn't get my free birthday burger, I got a free appetizer, so we're going to go back and recelebrate my birthday another time.

Look at that FACE ! Man I love that guy :)

Enjoying our free Onion Ring Tower! Do I look 25?
Well, our waitress was great, but the manager was not. We got free fries, water and onion tower... tiped the great waitress, Gina 5 bones and left RR. BUT ... we were still hungry and didn't want to pay $10 a piece for a burger that I was suppose to get for free, I know I know, but it's the pricipal ... not the money the principal that I always get a free burger from RR on my special day.  Haha so since we were already 45 mins away from home we went to our next favorite burger place ... COOK OUT! 

Cook out tray with a burger-club style no mayo, 2 chicken ranch wraps, 2 ice waters and a strawberry shake.

Yeah, that's the same tray ... we shared it ... awww I know we're cute !
We dinned together over a delicious, yet cheap meal.  It truly is one of our favorite places...we use to go on dates in college to the local cook out too :) It has a special place in our hearts!

Then we headed home.  On the drive home, Charles said "Was your birthday special?", I then proceeded to say ... "not really... but it never really is... but that's okay! It's just another day :)" I don't know about any of ya'll, but my birthday is just another day.  It's not hing I did, my mom and dad... well... you know... and then there I was! God was so gracious to grant them the blessing of ... well... ME! hahaha Blessing or a curse, if you know me, you can decide for yourself.

He then proceeded to ask me a list of thought provoking questions... some of them in the list I am going to share with you below.  Basically, here's my shot a 25 questions to recap my 25 amazing years of life that the good Lord has allowed me to live so far.  So sit back, and enjoy :)

1. What is your first memory? Breaking my arm when I was 4 years old on our trampoline and going to urgent care, SCREAMING, and the Dr. asking "which arm is it?" We immediately left and headed to another Dr. office.

2. What is your best memory over the last 25 years? My wedding day... not that it was a flawless event.  haha it was actually poorly planned, on a low budget, 3 days after I graduated college, 5 days before Christmas ... HECTIC.  It wasn't perfect, but that is perfect in my book.  280 of our family and friends gathered before God to lay witness to our union.  Wow, what a blessing. Being married to Charles has been the best thing that's ever happend to me.

3. What is your worst? Well, this is not a certain date or memory, but it's all tied together. From 3rd grade to my sophomore year in high school my dad was continuously hired and fired from jobs.  Everything from a major computer company to a grocery store clerk.  Everytime we saw dad at home before we made it home from school was terrible.  Even at a young age, seeing my mom's heart drop killed me. This is a really long story, and a disease that is so sad.  I will try to write a post about it another time. It was finally the beginning of my junior year of high school we had the final diagnoses that he has temporal frontal lobe dementia, he stopped looking for work, they took away his drivers license and he has been at home ever since.  Gosh, he is such a sweet man.  I love him to pieces... but bless his poor little heart, or really his brain.  But praise the Lord for my mom's dedication to her vows, sticking by him in good times and bad.

4. What was your favorite place you lived? I would honestly say growing up in Cary, NC would be my favorite.  It was an amazing town that had so much to offer, it was clean, safe, and very special to me.  I wouldn't want to live there now... it's huge and over populated, I love New Bern now!  Our house was unique... one of a kind in my book :)  My dad and family actually built it.  It was blue and yellow, the front door was on the top level (along with the kitchen, dining room and master bedroom) and down stairs was the living room, bedroom and computer room.  It was in a precious, wooded neighborhood with a large lot, the kicker was... the street was over 30 ft above the house.  Yes, you could not see the house from the street, we had a really long and steep driveway (perfect for when it snowed).  That was it... I loved that place.  Mom and dad just moved to a new house (one story, no steps, small yard, in a little neighborhood in another town).  It's nice ... but it's not home.  Gahlee I love that Miranda Lambert song "House that built me", I seriously cry every other time I hear it.  The house wasn't perfect by any means, but it was and will always be home.

The driveway from at the house below.

View of the back of the house.
5. What was your saddest recollection? the recent miscarriage... If you're here, feel free to look back at my last few blogs.  It will tell you everything you need to know.  But in all things, I give thanks and surrender my will to Gods, I will abandon all outcomes.

6. What is the biggest thing God has shown you over the last 25 years? His saving grace.  Wow y'all.  That's it right there. I'm 25 but I have eternal life through Jesus Christ my Lord. The son of God who was perfect and blameless and pure, who died on a cross for my sin.  That's it.  He's shown me love, forgiveness, mercy, he has given me life.

7. What do you think he's going to teach you the next 25? Patience... gosh, I still don't have it! In the little things like traffic to the big things like having a child.  I need to completely trust him and his plan and not rely on my clock and my plan for anything. 

8. What do you hope 25 has in store? A sweet, perfect and precious baby Barrett

9. What do you pray God spares you from this next year? Another miscarriage

10. What is your favorite college memory? Being Ms. Wuf :) and considered a varsity cheerleader. Being on the field and behind the scenes of my favorite sports team ever :) I am a proud alum and will be a Wolfpack fan for life!

11.What was your favorite vacation? Driving from Cary, NC to Los Angeles, CA with my dear friend Annie.  We were two, niaeve 19 year old girls in a 2 door red honda civic on a mission.  What a great trip, moving Annie out to USC.  haha we still laugh about it to this day that our parents allowed us to do that alone :)

12. What is your favorite place to relax and clear your mind? The point at Emerald Isle Beach, NC. mMm it's perfect... where Charles proposed, where we went after we found out about the miscarriage... it's perfect.  I spot to sit and look at how big our God is.

13. Who was the person who had the greatest influence over your last 25 years? My mom.  She is amazing. I beautiful woman of God who has raised two beautiful girls in the way of the Lord.  Through blood, sweat and tears she has been the leader of our family and has maintained a cheerful outlook on life desite the many hard times she has been through.  She is my example of what marriage looks like... yes, sticking by your husband through the good times and bad regardless of what you want or what you deserve. She selflessly gives of herself everyday. And for that, I am greatly influenced to see how strong she is and I praise the Lord daily for her.

14. What does 25 feel like? The same as 24 :) which was the same as 23 ...

15. What is your greatest regret over the last 25 years? Not being better disciplined spiritually and physically. Being to busy and making excuses not to take care of me.

16.  What is one personal goal for the next 25 years? To be better disciplined spiritually and physically.  To do regular devotions and spend more time with God and to set up exercise and healthy eating habits I can maintain for a lifetime.

17. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment over the last 25 years? Being the first member of my immediate family to graduate from a 4 year university.  NCSU- 3.5 years while working my tail off to help pay for it. 

18. If you could give one piece of advice for people younger than you, what would it be? Quit being a stupid, rude, hormonal teenager and respect God and your parents.  Act like you have some respect for yourself and for adults and truly be grateful for all you have.

19. Same but for people over 25? Trust in the Lord, not yourself for everything.  Do not try to manage your life and make it perfect.  Surrender your control and give God the reigns.

20. Why do you feel God has allowed you to live to 25? In all honesty, I love people and there are still so many people I haven't met and loved and shared God's love with.  Not saying I'm a super evangelist or anything, but I love talking to anyone, anytime any place.  I have never met a stranger :)  And, I honestly believe one of my greatest callings in life is to be a mom and to pour life and knowledge into a little one of our very own.

21. At what age will you feel old? Ohh that's tough... I'll probably change this when I get there, but 30 seems pretty old to me right now.

22. What is your favorite birthday memory? Well it's kind of reoccuring every year, so it's something I look forward to and it's not my birthday until this happens... My mom calls and wishes me a happy birthday after 11:21 am, because ... well, I wasn't born until 11:21 on December 1st, 1986 so it's not my birthday until 11:21 :) Sweet lady! haha aaaaaand my sister calling me and singing "happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a monkey, and you look like one too".  I hope to create fun memories for my family one day.

23. What is something you want to do in year 25 you've never done before? haha once again, you knew this would be recurring ... have a happy, healthy baby :)

24. How do you think people percieve you now that you're 25? haha they don't think that I'm 25! Depending on how I dress, some people think i'm still in middle school :)

25. What are you most thankful for over the last 25 years? Life and life abundant.  I can't wait to see what God has planned for my next 25 + years!

We then got a free rental code from redbox for my birthday, watched Water for Elephants (good movie, we enjoyed it) and went to sleep :)  What a day ... a day like any other day, but a day I am so blessed to have. 

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