It's February 18th - exactly one month from my birthday! I’ll be turning 27 this year and a lot of things run through my mind when I think about this. Like, it’s three years until I’m 30. This absolutely does not make sense to me. It’s not that 30 is old; it’s actually not! But, I always imagined my life at this point would be different. I assume that most of us feel this way at different points in our life. We imagine our own life years down the road and when we get to that point it seems like we failed to live what our younger selves believed we would be. But, you know what? I don't think that is the case at all and as my birthday is approaching, I want to remind us all that we are still on purpose even if it seems like we aren’t on time. 

Personally, I love birthdays, I love yours and I love mine. It’s so special and no matter what age you are turning or how you feel your life has been, your birthday is always reason to celebrate and here’s why.

You are a beautiful, precious soul. (Have I said that enough on here yet?) Really, you are so uniquely you. No matter how much you may think you have in common with the next guy or girl, did you know that quite actually, there is no one else like you?!

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.
— Dr. Seuss

You have been handpicked and designed in a one-of-kind way. There truly is no other beautiful you. Whether you know it or not, believe you are living it or not, you have been designed for a purpose. This purpose can only be fulfilled by none other than y-o-u. So what if your life unfolded a little or a lot differently than you imagined. Maybe this is exactly where you were supposed to end up at this point. You still have a purpose which means you still hold incredible value. So, divine, unique, beautiful soul, because you are so highly valuable you deserve to celebrate the day you were born. 

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
— Psalm 139:13-14

Now, celebrations don’t always have to mean big fancy dinner parties followed by triple layered red velvet cake and rainbow confetti (but, by all means if this is how you like to do it, I’m right there with you!) Celebrating can mean a simple recognition. And as much as I love extravagance sometimes, I also love to enjoy life in the simplest way possible. Before your birthday this year, I encourage you to spend a little time recognizing more of who you are; how special, unique and valuable you are.

Here’s one way I like to do this and highly recommend. One month prior to your birthday (or any day prior), spend part of the day doing something for yourself. To be most effective, I suggest doing this by yourself (and for some of you this may be a good challenge). Below are a list of ideas to help you create your own day of self-celebration. Of course, there are many other ideas and creative ways to celebrate so just find what inspires you and fits who you are.

Go for a beach hike. (Leave your phone behind and just be present with God and His marvelous creation of the earth. This time can be so refreshing and eye-opening.)

Drink coffee in a busy cafe you've never been to before

Journal what you’ve learned in the past year

Write what you appreciate about who you are and who you have

List all the things you feel like God is calling you to fulfill in this new year of life. Then hang it up somewhere you will see often.

Set a certain amount of days leading up to your birthday during which you will give more of yourself to serve others. You can be really creative with this one so don’t hold back here. This is also a really great way to expand your love tank - give more and you’ll receive more (and who doesn’t love to have extra love on their birthday?)

Get a massage

Do that one thing you love but don’t get to do often (like dancing!)

Go for a drive to somewhere new

Just rest, relax, reflect and pray

Also, this one is really important friends, DO NOT spend any time in the negative. Just don't allow yourself to go there. No negative thoughts of comparison, regrets or lack. In this time, pray for God to protect your mind and keep you focused on all the goodness He has provided in you, through you and for you. Then, be diligent not to over-engage on social media, converse with any negative Nancy's, or let anything distract you from focusing on celebrating YOU. And it doesn’t have to be the whole day or even for that long. It’s even okay just to spend 30 minutes locking yourself in your room just to celebrate in prayer, recognition and thanksgiving. You can even record a video or voice memo if you’re not that into writing. But, some documentation around your birthday is another way to keep track of your life that you can look back on or pass on to someone else who could learn from your years.

I have made an effort to celebrate in recognition for the last few years. What I find when I do this is an increase in the joy I have in knowing who I am and who I am becoming. Having more joy in who you are increases your capacity to love more of yourself. The more you love yourself, the more you are able to love others. The more you are able to love others, the more you serve a higher purpose. The more you serve a higher purpose, the greater fulfillment you have. (#winning)!

Last year, before I celebrated my 26th birthday by spending 26 days doing at least one random act of kindness. And indeed, on February 18th, I locked myself in my room to reflect, pray and journal. I also spent time with all my close friends and family. There was lots of cake, a little confetti and tons of shopping and photography. All of my favs.

This year, I am going to celebrate a little differently. As usual, I did spend a day celebrating in recognition. But, for my full celebration, I going to politely and gladly decline the gifts and dinner reservations. This year, I am giving up a traditional celebration and I’ll actually need YOUR help to do so. Although it's not a party, you are all invited so please stay tuned for the invitation!

In the mean time, what are some your favorite and simple ways to celebrate your birthday? Do you have any traditions you do to honor your special day? Comment below!

Love always,