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I'm one of those people that would much rather celebrate your birthday instead of my own. Party planning is my second major; a craft I've developed over the years ranging from surprise parties to casual get-togethers with friends. I can't help but get swept up into the details: the colors, the theme, the cake, the party favors....I've been known to wake up in the middle of the night with an idea to make the party phenomenal.

But, when it comes to my own birthday, I tend to fly under the radar. Yesterday I turned twenty nine (let's not think about the big 3.0. quite yet!) and I spent a relaxing weekend at home with my family. No themes, no signature cocktails, just people. I don't like planning my own birthday, it feels too forced. I'm thankful to have a mom that always buys me a cake and a husband that gifts me with a surprise (Mumford and Sons concert tickets!). It was all I really needed.

That's not to say I don't love a big gathering of friends because I most certainly do. But, I think no matter how many people are gathered around the table to sing happy birthday, all that really matters is you feel like you matter on that special day.

On Saturday night, Raleigh asked me what I wanted this next year to look like. You know what my answer was?

Fun.

I want to have fun being 29. I want to sing in the car, take road trips, have girls nights, and enjoy quality time with my family. I want to laugh more, have inside jokes, and listen and learn more about what it means to live a full life. Quite honestly, I was happy to say goodbye to twenty eight (it felt rather similar to 24) and I welcome twenty nine. I might be a year older but maybe...just maybe I've grown a year wiser.

I don't want to put too much expectation on 29. It's my last year in my twenties...that has enough pressure of its own. If I've learned anything in my twenties it is this: relationships matter. I've moved four times since I turned twenty and have made countless friends in each city I've lived in. Keeping those relationships are just as important as making them. Relationships are about letting people in and risking that it might not work out but doing it anyway.

I might be entering into a new decade next year but in the meantime I want to enjoy the one I'm in. My twenties have been so much about growth and change. I've learned that as much as I plan the "perfect party" that God always throws in the unexpected. His timing is truly his own but he does sincerely care about the desires of my heart. He doesn't want me to live perfectly, because he knows that only leads to failure and then disappointment. I hate disappointment. He wants me to hope and dream realistically. He's asking me to open my eyes and thank him for his provision and gifts. He wants me to love without an agenda.

Yes, my wish for 29 is that it be a year of fun memories that teach me to cherish life. What about you? What lessons are you learning this year? If you could pick one word to describe what you wabt this year of your life to be, what is it? Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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