today: the big 32

blessed is this life and I’m gonna celebrate being alive
Brett Dennen

Last year, I wrote a list of lessons learned to celebrate my birthday, and that seems like a good annual post idea… I hit the big 3-2 today, and tonight my mom will tell me over dinner how she walked the golf course with my dad on Memorial Day in 1979, not realizing it would prompt the baby she carried to decide to come a few weeks early. I’m told I arrived feisty and unimpressed with life, but I think I found my gait. Today has reminded me I am so, so loved, and I believe it. Between my Facebook and text messages, my phone has not stopped buzzing all day long. Bridget and Heather shared beautiful blogs. My sisters ran with me; Randy took me to lunch. Collin and I will go on a double date with my parents tonight. Life is beautiful; I am content. Some learnings from this year…

1.32 isn’t old.
2. Error on the side of grace.
3. We love because he first loved us isn’t just a nice Bible verse; it’s potent and powerful, and it makes love possible.
4. Sometimes the hardest things and the right things are the same (um, yes, that was the Fray singing in my ear). That’s ok.
5. Plane tickets are tiny investments when the yield nurtures friendships. I learn and relearn this with every trip.

6. It’s a good idea to have little kids in your circle of friends; they bring love, joy, light and life. And they endlessly, endlessly, endlessly shine in my life. (And so do their parents.)

7. When he looks you in the face and says, “I don’t want to leave things undefined,” not leaving things undefined is a great idea.
8. Inviting your best friends and family into your relationship keeps things honest and grows things outward.
9. Time spent reading is never a loss.
10. I love teaching at weddings.
11. I love photographing births.
12. Being a business owner is hard work, but the payoff is beyond monetary when clients become friends. I am amazed at how this happens time and again.
13. Jesus is in the business of healing and redemption; he loves it when we participate with him in that.
14. Being outside everyday prevents depression.
15. New running shoes- every four months.
16. To paraphrase the words of Ann Voskamp, thanks always precedes the miracle. Practice thanksgiving.
17. (Confidential to Heather), things may never slow down, (especially in the year of a family wedding!) but oh the beauty in the fullness…

18. A gentle hand on a newborn baby chest almost always quiets a baby to sleep.
19. Looking does not always equate seeing.
20. Great concerts are worth the investment.
21. Waiting is worth it.
22. Letting someone love you is worth the vulnerability. On both sides.

23. I still don’t have it all figured out. God still wants me to join him in bringing light and life. And he wants you to too. And he wants us to do it in community because we see through a dim glass, but you next to me looks more like him. I love that.
24. The best stories need to be told and retold, (and that is why I’ll never be out of work).
25. Our bodies deserve the time and energy it takes to learn to eat well and exercise.
26. I really am a runner. And I can’t imagine life without running.
27. Hope. Relentlessly. Always.
28. When work starts to feel mundane, self-impose some challenges… it grows confidence and skill…
29. Having my little brothers over is never a bad way to fill a quiet Saturday night.
30. Neither is spending it alone with a good book.
31. Justice is worth the pursuit.
32. Humility is a lifelong lesson to be learned.

That said, the people in my life utterly humble me. Thank you for loving me and walking with me and celebrating with me and calling out the best in me. Drop a line as time allows. Much love.

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5 responses to “today: the big 32

  1. happy day, uncle erin. i am glad you were born, and blessed to call you friend. lots of love from the forstons.

  2. I love this list, Erin. Today I found a card you wrote me after our trip to Cali. It made me miss you lots. 🙂 So thankful for your wisdom and your heart.

  3. beautiful! you and your words.

  4. ~ that was just me by the way: misha : )

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