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Tomorrow is my 25th birthday. This is one of those monumental birthdays for a couple of reasons: 1) rental car companies can’t rip me off for being 24 anymore, and 2) I (sadly) have to go from marking “18-24” on surveys to “25-32.” It’s devastating, really.
Hitting 25 feels like I’m transitioning out of the “give this guy a pass, he’s barely out of college” phase to the “ok, he really ought to be better at life than this” phase. You know?
Anyway, as long as I’ve been blogging with any regularity, I’ve tried to make a point to take some time to reflect every year on my birthday. Last year, I wrote about 24 notable events in the last 24 years.
This year, I decided to take 25 topics—chosen simply because they are significant or were on the top of my mind when I made the list—and reflect on them. Some of the reflections may be serious, some of them may be humorous, some of them may be neither. I really don’t know where this post is going to go, and you don’t either, so let’s have at it.
Twenty-five thoughts on 25 topics chosen for no particular reason:
I’ve always loved school—except for math classes—and have always done really well. But, I’m getting my master’s degree right now and I just can’t wait to have more time to read books about other topics I’m interested in.
I’m particularly interested in early United States and even Native American history, so if you have any recommendations in those fields, let me know. I read Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin biography a couple of years ago and loved it. I’d love more around that era and even earlier into Native American topics.
It’s the second half of the thinking process, for me at least. When I was a kid, in elementary school, we used to have to write books for “Young Authors” every year. I hated it, primarily because we had to illustrate them too, and I was always self-conscious of my atrocious drawing skills. See here:
Writing is a third lung by which I exhale the thought of the day into private paper or public pixels.
Someday, I hope to write fiction. But I still have a lot to learn. I would just love to create my own world and the events within it.
There’s something god-like about writing fiction, isn’t there?
Man I hate running.
That’s not fair. I don’t mind the actual act of running, it’s kind of nice after the end of a long day. I just hate how running makes me feel, I guess.
In high school, I couldn’t make myself run a mile without walking. As of late, I’ve been running two miles a day three or four times a week. I don’t run fast by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t walk!
It’s the best season of the year. For me, each season has its own music, its own food, its own scents, and more. Fall is full of football, Radiohead, soup, Apple Pumpkin Yankee Candles, Salted Caramel Mochas, and colorful trees (which I can only partially enjoy due to my colorblindness).
As L. M. Montgomery writes in Anne of Green Gables, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
There’s always next year.
I eat too much of the bad kind and not enough of the good kind. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Will always be here, no matter when my parents sell the house, how much I love Nashville, or how long I live elsewhere:
I mentioned earlier how much I used to loathe writing, oh my, reading was worse. Even today, I have a hard time reading something—fiction, particularly—that doesn’t grab my attention in the first few pages.
I remember complaining to my mother in the car as we arrived at youth group when I was a freshman in high school, “Mom, why should I read this book for school when I could play my video games and live the story instead?”
Fair point, teenage Chris, fair point.
Faith is the spring from which all other actions flow.
Or at least it should be. Many days, far more than I would like, this is profoundly not the case.
Faith ought to be the core around which all of life orbits. Too often, it is barely a piece of debris hoping not to be launched out of orbit by more pressing matters.
It’s hot. There are bugs. It’s the worst. The only good thing about summer was no school as a kid, and for non-teaching adults, that’s not a thing, so summer is basically useless.
Except for baseball.
It’s the most difficult relationship in your life because of who you are and the most rewarding relationship in your life because who your spouse is.
I’ve been married for nearly two-and-a-half years, which both seems like and eternity and the blink of an eye all at the same time, and I’m so thankful I got married at 22. Can’t wait to have children and see how awesome Susie is at being a mom.
One of the most tangible answers to prayers I’ve ever had in my life revolves around wisdom. I was a really dumb, punk high schooler, even though I claimed to know Jesus and act like it from time to time, and when I got to college, I hoped to change that.
I remember reading about Solomon sometime in the fall of my freshman year at college. I noticed how fervently he prayed for wisdom and how the Lord so blatantly answered his prayer. So, as a freshman in college, I desperately prayed for wisdom almost daily for months. I noticed a serious change, a maturity, come about later that year, and definitely believe the Lord answered my prayers there.
Man, I remember when I first started seeing Netflix commercials on TV thinking, “There’s no way this real. It has to be a scam.”
Growing up renting movies and video games from my local Blockbuster, the idea of renting movies without late fees seemed unreal to me. Tonight, Susie and I will finish a year-long project watching every episode of The West Wing.
I subscribed to Netflix as a sophomore in college in 2010, and have never even considered dropping it.
My first job ever was doing maintenance at a city park in Fort Wayne, IN, which wasn’t really my thing, but six dollars an hour made me feel like I was rich. I remember emptying the trash cans around the park one Monday morning, looking up at one of the two skyscrapers in the city, and thinking, “I want to work in one of those someday.”
After working at the park, I worked at B. Antonio’s Pizza off and on for six years in high school and college. I could not have asked for a better high school job. Some of my very favorite moments there. I loved waiting tables and making pizzas, it taught me a lot.
Now, I could not be happier to be working at LifeWay Christian Resources here in Nashville. It’s surreal, really. Never knew what LifeWay was until late college. Never been to Nashville until I came to interview. Unreal. Love it. Want to stay for a while.
I’ve never been good at making a lot of them, but I have tried to be good to the ones I have. I can be a pretty crappy friend at times, just ask my college friends: I wasn’t good to them a lot of times.
I miss a lot of my friends in Fort Wayne, and I’m trying to make more here in Nashville, but it’s hard sometimes.
My second favorite season behind fall. If I have one bone to pick with Nashville beyond its awful drivers, is that it doesn’t really snow here in the winter. Without snow, winter is pretty lame. But with snow, winter is awesome.
Winter is Michael Bublé season and more cold-weather foods like chili and the like. Obviously, Christmas is the highlight of winter.
Home to some of the best food I’ve ever eaten and some of the worst drivers I’ve ever seen.
As I said above, Susie and I never thought we’d be in Nashville, but the Lord has us here, we are thankful, and we are making it home. It’s just hard to believe, no matter how long we’re here, that this place is home to our first years of marriage.
Can’t wait to see what else the Lord has for us here, however long he has us here.
It’s defined in any number of ways, but when I think, “I need to love someone better,” I think, “I need to be better about putting someone else’s needs before my own, even if it hurts.”
The sacrificial love with which we love others must be fueled by how Christ first loved us.
When I was in middle school, I joined the band because I was less afraid to play an instrument than I was to sing. I decided to play the trumpet, and I really enjoyed it. I even played in the jazz band for a couple of years. I didn’t play in high school because you had to join the marching band, and I didn’t want to do that.
But beyond playing music, I have always had a profound love for music. My tastes have changed over the years, but I’ve always enjoyed techno and jazz—odd combination, I know.
A few all-time favorites: Coldplay, Owl City, Michael Bublé, and Above & Beyond.
A few more recent loves: Andrew Peterson, Drew Holcomb, Hardwell, and Bob Dylan.
Better than summer, but not as good as winter or fall. Baseball season starts. This is Owl City season, musically-speaking.
I feel pretty meh about spring, really. It’s nice, but it’s just fall without the fun scents and football.
I started blogging in the eighth grade, continued through high school, all the way through to today. When I started, I thought that maybe I could encourage some friends with whatever reflections I had from my devos that day or from the most recent sermon at youth group.
Then in high school, I joined a blog with other writers called Fall Write in Love, which was awesome. For the first time, as a junior in high school, I was being introduced to people who knew me just because of the blog, and I was really starting to enjoy writing.
Eventually, my blog earned me a college scholarship, an internship, and a marketing job, which all eventually added up to help me get my job at LifeWay. And, last month, Susie and I took a free trip to Niagara Falls and upstate New York because of this blog.
Writing is a third lung by which I exhale the thought of the day into private paper or public pixels.
Blogging is awesome. You need to do it. You have something to say, even if you don’t know you do. You won’t know what it is until you start writing. Start how I did: grab a cup of coffee at 9pm, get some mood lighting on, some good music, and just start typing.
It’s one of the most slippery words, isn’t it? What is success to you? What is your “goal” in anything? Ask yourself this question regularly, because you may be unaware of how much it’s driving your action.
When I was in the eighth grade, I wanted to go to West Point, become a lawyer, become a senator, and then become president of the United States. I’m not joking. I had a plan all laid out—this was not a childish dream, it was a legitimate plan.
But when I got into high school, I got pretty disgusted with politics and continue to be to this day. Just last night at the gym, I was watching the Benghazi hearing and thinking, “If Hillary Clinton happened to be a Republican, the Republicans would be defending her and the Democrats would be chastising her. These people are not actually interested in fixing a problem so much as chalking up a win for their party.”
Yep. I’m pretty sick of politics.
Money has never been an issue for me personally or for my family growing up, and I really do take it for granted all the time. I have never really had to worry about money, which is a big deal, because it has freed me up to do other things (like blogging) that allow me to enjoy life without having to make big bucks whenever I do it.
The love of money truly is the root of all evil, but the possession of money isn’t. I’ve never been good at being generous, but Susie is incredibly generous and is growing me in this way.
Like money, it’s one of those things nobody thinks they have enough of, everybody wants more of, and nobody knows how to grow on trees.
Also, please do not miss the irony of patience being last on the list. I moved it here from #1 for that reason. Thank you.