I am going to turn thirty next month. IMG_2862

As my b-day d-day quickly approaches, I can't help but think back over this past year, and all the change that has happened in my life and our family. Getting pregnant, new job, renovating a home, traveling, pulling off a women's conference, having Ridley early, finally moving into our new home, the twins growing up....the list is so long it makes my head swirl. While this certainly has been a year of fun, it's also been a year of growing up. I always thought that I would feel like a grown up when we were living in Montgomery on our own and having the twins but really, it hasn't been until this year, that I've truly felt like I'm not a kid anymore, or at least not a 25 year old who still wears the clothes of a freshman in college.

I'm not planning a big birthday celebration even though this is a milestone birthday.

But you know what I really want?

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I want to sit around in my living room with some of my friends that I haven't seen in a while, and talk about life, love, children, and God. I want to laugh a huge belly laugh and smile till my cheeks hurt and wrap a loved one up in a huge bear of a hug. I want to reminisce about the past and dream about the future. I want to be with you all, together in one space.

Soon after my thirtieth birthday, the blog turns five in August. It's crazy for me to think that I've been writing in this space for five years. It is the longest I've spent in a "job." Some days I have wanted to quit, wondering if the time invested is worth it. I plateau and run out of things to say or the opposite happens and I have too much to say and not enough time to sit my hiney at the computer and write it. It's a back and forth, this art of writing and sharing and encouraging. And I honestly, deeply desire to have a back and forth conversation with you, the reader.

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Some of you have been reading since the blog began in 2009. Lord, bless you for putting up with my fumbling words. Others popped over once the twins were born and some more stopped by as the blog shifted more into a ministry of encouragement.

However long you've been reading, I say thank you from the most sincerest part of my heart.

I've been thinking a lot about blogging and ministry and family and friends lately. How it is all connected, how it is all part of the way God designed me over thirty years ago. You and I were meant to know one another, to be part of each other's lives. Even if we've never met face to face, God designed us to be in community together. It's really mind blowing, when you consider his sovereignty.

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So, this might sound crazy (no, I'm not about to bust into "Love is an Open Door" from Frozen) but I'd like to invite you to come over to my house. Like, my real house in a small town right outside a small city in Alabama. I want to open my door, hug your neck, and give you a real tour of our newly renovated home.

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And then, we can eat cake in the kitchen and chat in the living room. You can bring your kids if you have some and your husband - we can arrange a playdate or some babysitters or something so we can have some girl time together for a few hours.

I'm not sure when this will happen, but I need to hear from you if it sounds like something you'd like to come to. It's scary, I know, to come to someone's house that you don't know in person and sit in a room with other people you might not know. But y'all? I think it could be really, really fun. And, if I do know you in person and I haven't seen you in a while because we are all so crazy busy with our own stuff, I'd love to just hang out like old times for a few hours.

Jennie Allen is my current must-have author.  I read a quote recently where she said, "We are souls undone and rebuilt by the Spirit of God. As God surveys this earth, He sees light and darkness. And He sees his light, His Spirit in us, wandering through neighborhoods."

Friends, truth-seekers, light-bearers: God is working in your life. We are all being done and undone and we were all created for something more. He is moving in you, your neighborhood, your family and he is moving in mine. Might we gather to share what is going on and to see how we are all connected to bring glory and honor and praise to him?

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Our house is not perfectly decorated.

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In fact, when you come, you will probably sit in a chair that has stains on the arm from my dog and children (but it will be sanitary, promise!). I probably will still have picture frames resting against walls waiting to be hung. I will do my best to put away the girls' toys but you just might find a Barbie doll nestled in the couch cushion.  But the goal for this party is not perfection, it is connection.

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Will you join me?

If so, get in touch with me. Please. Leave a comment in the space below, or message me on Facebook or Twitter. If you have my personal e-mail, you can contact me that way too.  I know we don't have a date or anything really worked out but if you even got the tinsiest tiniest bit excited about the thought of coming over for a celebration, will you respond?

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I feel a little exposed, asking that much of you, kind of like a girl asking a guy to a dance. What if they say no? What if I'm ignored? What if this is a really stupid idea?  But, I'm pushing away these lies and instead I'm thinking, "This could be so much fun."

Happy Friday, friends. I hope to hear back from you soon!

Blessings, christen

the architect button

For more details on our home renovation, check out these posts:

What’s the next best thing for your life?  {remodeling a family home in the country}

How to work with what you’ve got {living room}

What hospitality really means {dining room and office}

Love built on friendship {master bed and bath}

What to do when the forecast claims snow {kitchen}

How to be strong instead of stressed {progress report/moving}

Get rid of your stuff {moving into a new house}

The Heart of the home {renovated kitchen}

 

 

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