Just one more note on "26 and counting"... I am 26 years old and counting. Perhaps at 26 days, its a good place to stop counting. And at 26 years, maybe I need to learn to count in a new way. Throughout the last few years, I have struggled to reorient my life to an eternal perspective. My friend Emily is my most consistent reminder of this orientation. She lives from this POV more than she realizes and everytime I have a "what do I do with my life" phone conversation with her, she reminds me of my own commitment to focus my situation, my career, my family, my relationships, my frienships, and my accumulation of stuff on eternity.
Will staying mad at my brother help me in honoring God? Is keeping my formal dresses from 8-years-ago-high-school a way of saying "I don't believe I will be provided for in the future?" Would spending money we don't have on a Restoration Hardware couch glorify Christ? If I keep my collection of books (gathering dust on the shelf) rather than give them to a fellow reader, am I choosing stuff over generosity? Will pursuing my career over serving my husband cause others to see my Lord more clearly? Am I keeping ten Bibles because I want to appear holy or because I want to have them available for our housechurch?
I want to be careful in saying this.
I am not trying to say we shouldnt have stuff. I am not even trying to say we shouldnt have nice stuff. I am trying to get to the core of my attitude behind why I do things- These matters of the heart are hard and messy to decipher. And thankfully, the Lord allows us time and space and grace to come to self-realization.
In this year of being 26, I want to more actively assess the emotions, actions, values, and stuff in my life in order to be a more generous, more loving, more gracious person. None of this is new. The process of refinement is difficult. The realization of priorities and values can be shocking. But, for the greater purpose of being a better person, of being more like Christ, of being more available to Him who has saved me- I will assess.
26 should not mean "look how old I am and what I have done" but "look at what He has made me into and what I am yet to be."
To him, who gives me grace eternal. To him, who loves me without limit. To him, who calls me his own. To him, be the glory.