Yesterday (Friday) was my eighteenth birthday, and it couldn't have been any better.
The night before my birthday my family, my best friend, Taylor, and I went to the Melting Pot which is a birthday tradition. My father was sent to purchase balloons last minute, and below is a picture of one of them. "Happy Birthday, Dad." I found this quite hilarious, as did the rest of the table.
I was at a horse show in Lexington, VA, on the actual day of my birthday, and the surroundings were absolutely beautiful. On the four hour drive there, though, I bought my first lottery ticket, and, in honor of my birthday, the man at the gas station gave me another ticket free! I didn't win, but I got something better. I got to see God's good working in this man, and it astounded me. Also, while looking out the window during the drive, I saw a sign that said, "Life is short. Don't take too long to enjoy it." I love random signs of encouragement. If you simply keep an eye out, the beauty in everyday situations will shock you.
When I arrived in Lexington I was greeted with Happy Birthdays and hugs all-around. We had a cook-out consisting of shish-kabobs, bubble wands, a Minnie Mouse pinata, and a Mickey and Minnie Mouse cake chosen my my trainers beautiful four-year-old daughter Emma. Personally, I loved having a cartoon theme 18th birthday party. I am now an adult, and I enjoy the innocence of cartoons even more than as a child.
I took this picture of my sister and Emma eating dinner on a hill. Behind them is just a glimpse of the beauty that is the Virginia mountains. The sky was breath-taking last night, all the colors seemed to melt together into a pallet of soft pastel. When I saw this scene I instantly had the urge to photograph it.
Here is a picture of the pinata, instead of hitting it with a bat (not particularly suitable for the normal age groups throwing a Disney theme party) everyone pulled a string, and there was one string that would release the candy. My sister found it. Emma was a little disappointed, but her, my sister, and I had some fun with the bubble wands!
In addition to my fantastic party, I also got some exquisite gifts. My grandparents gave me a strand of pearls that I absolutely love. My friend, Kathryn, gave me a beautiful necklace (picture below). Both my parents gave me some truly touching cards, because my present is money for when I travel to Greece in a few weeks (can't wait!). My sister gave me a talking hoops and yoyo card that is hilarious. Those two hallmark characters are the epitome of the relationship between my sister and I. Taylor gave me a Justin Bieber poster, which is already hanging on my wall. And my friend Caroline gave me the Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Mademoiselle which I had been wanting for a long time.
One present stood out to me. It was a necklace given to my by my trainers mother. This necklace was her mother's. When I saw it, I was instantly mesmerized. The diamonds are real, and it still has its original chain. I find it truly beautiful, and exactly my style, and the fact that she gave it to me of all people means so much. Another person through whom God spoke to me this weekend.
Below are some pictures of the hotel in which we are staying. Its pretty run-down, but I also found it pretty rustic, in a cheap, creepy way.
The office for the hotel is in this pancake house. I ate there for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Why do the restaurants with a name in front always end up tasting so good? And who is Aunt Sarah?
The Pancake House also included a gift shop full of all sorts of knick-knacks, I saw this sign, and, at times, this describes me perfectly. Except for the marry part...
While reading my bible last night I came across a verse that I want to share.
"What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar." Romans 3:3-4
I love how this verse describes God's unconditional love. Even when people do not believe, He never gives up. Never.
While I was gazing at the mountains yesterday, I thought that they are a perfect representation of God's strength. While they are tremendous, they still have the simple beauty that makes everyone want to stop and take it in. And if mountains are God's strength, the trees represent God's attention to minute details. Every leaf is different, no tree has the same branches. Like people, tree's are not cookie-cutter shape. God works in them too. The ocean, however, seems never ending. From a beach chair in the sand, the water goes on forever, like God's love. Life is an analogy, and you can find God working in every single situation you encounter. That's what I have realized this weekend. Hopefully wisdom has come from this 18th birthday.