29 days from today I turn 29 years old. Yes, that’s right… I will be transitioning from my 28th year of life to the last year of my twenties. After this next year, I will no longer be a “twenty-something” but a 30-year-old. Woah.
This 28th year has been a bittersweet year in many ways. Some things have happened that I never expected, giving opportunities to both celebrate and mourn. Because most recently it’s been more challenging and difficult than let’s say fun and exciting, I have decided that I want to end this 28th year on the highest note possible. I want to take every rough edge I’ve experienced and find the silver lining. I want to reflect on the beautiful moments and carry the feeling and glory of those into the coming year. I want to end this 28th year reaching out, hands wide open, giving some love, hope, encouragement and inspiration ranging from the people on my home team to random strangers in my community who could use an unexpected gift of grace in their day. Because this is what I’ve learned this year: I need more grace and more fruit in my life. As Shauna Niequist eloquently writes, “More moments of heaven, and less locking of the knees. More awareness of God’s presence and action and ability, and less stranglehold on my fear and anxiety. More floating, and less getting tumbled.” Yes. That says it all. That is what I crave and desire – for myself and others.
So, I have given myself a challenge. Over the next 29 days, I will ‘Be the G.I.F.T.’ Every day leading up to my birthday I will ‘Give It Forward Today.’ I have most of this little adventure planned out in terms of what I’ll be doing each day, because I’m a lover and believer in planning ahead and making lists, and also because putting it on paper is guaranteed to hold me accountable to following through on this. But I am praying that God will surprise me with who to bless and ways to bless. I am keeping my mind and heart open to where and to whom He leads me. I want to be His hands and feet and minister beyond myself. I want to end this 28th year seeing God at work and go into my 29th year knowing His love, power, and majesty more than ever before.
Today I set out on this 29 day journey and look forward to what lies ahead. I’m ready to be the gift, and end this year with a heart full of gratitude and joy.
* Follow me on Instagram: @hgottschalk12, #betheGIFT *