TWENTY SEVEN.

Today is September 11th, 2015. A reminder of the most horrific attack on America in 2001. aaaaaaand also my birthday. 

A picture of triumph, even through destruction of buildings and people's lives, we WILL overcome!

A picture of triumph, even through destruction of buildings and people's lives, we WILL overcome!

A picture from 9/10/2015, a reminder of God's promises and faithfulness. May He heal our land. Picture by Ben Sturner

A picture from 9/10/2015, a reminder of God's promises and faithfulness. May He heal our land. Picture by Ben Sturner

A little bittersweet I might say. A remembrance of the lives taken from the terrorist attacks, the lives given in service trying to save others, and then of course from my perspective, a celebration of my own life. Which compared to all of that miiiiiight not seem so glorious and worthy of celebration. But my parents and family assure me it is :) I'm very thankful to my friends and family for loving me through my hard times, and encouraging me out of pits. You are the true definition of support and I couldn't have asked God for better people.

Another year over, what have I accomplished? I had this BIG life PLAN to be married at 23, spend a few years married without kids and then have at LEAST 1 kid by the time I was 25, two by the time I was 27, and the 3rd by the time I turn 30, with a possible 4th scheduled rriiiiight on time of 32 (which is the oldest I wanted to be when I had kids). 

And now I just laugh at that plan. All BIG and MIGHTY in my controlling step-by-step plan, in which God obviously balled up that piece of paper and chucked into the trashcan as fast as Michael Jordan can dunk. But I am trying not to think of things I have NOT accomplished, but focus on what I HAVE accomplished by 27.

THE TRAIN IS COMING!!!!

THE TRAIN IS COMING!!!!

Ummmmm...... does traveling the world count?

I changed my life around from partying and drugs when I was young. I've gotten my degree in cosmetology and spent 7 years beautifying others while speaking life to them, building friendships with them. Left everything I had, sold what I could, and trusted God to provide the rest so I could go. Traveled to 17 countries and prayed for people on their death beds. Loved on orphans left on the road side deformed from Agent Orange effects generations down.

Taught in villages that have never seen white people or used a telephone. Sang Swahili songs rafting down the Nile River, right before my baptism in the Nile. Learned a bit more Russian in Romania and Ukraine, felt the needs of the gypsy kids. Survived India LOL jk, I was sick a lot though. Survived Malaria! Lived in the Himalayan mountains and hiked in them. Ate croc and kangaroo in the land down under, of course after fishing on the wharf.

Harvested rice in Cambodia and taught the children english and part of the east coast swing (thanks mama). Sock-wrestled in Uganda on Easter because why not.

Sang "aint no mountain high enough....ain't no valley low enough...." in an Indian wedding. Attended an African wedding. Carried a baby on my back in Rwanda (I see why mommies wear wraps now). I let go of all my fears, abandoned my beliefs of what my life was supposed to look like. That cookie cutter trickery. and embraced all God had for me. Stepped up into leadership (most humbling thing ever, trust.me.) and grew tremendously.

Climbed the ruins of Ankgor Watt Cambodia. Fed the street kids high on glue in Kenya. 

Came home.

Plummeted into the depths of re-entry and failed over and over again. but God calls those my sparks. ya know, the sparks two rocks make when rubbed together, a bit might chip off, a bit might scrape, but ultimately they get sharpened. I picked up and stabilized again, getting a job and a home (weird to call somewhere home), and even my dog Leonidas. I would say thats a little something to be proud of. So, instead of looking around seeing all my friends who have kids, are married, have degrees, nice jobs, etc. and think they've got it all......Im reminded Im right where I'm supposed to be. 

Thank you God for my life. Here's a cheers to 27. May I CONQUER my fears, DEVOUR my obstacles, and still laugh at the days to come. There's no stopping' this girl! (I so want to beat my chest and scream HEAR ME ROAR!!! HAHA!)

XOXO- CELESTE

ps- thanks ma for telling me my birth story every year :)