Saturday, November 23, 2013

on nineteen

I am not what I ought to be.
I am not what I want to be.
I am not what I hope to be.
But still,
I am not what I used to be.
And by the grace of God,
I am what I am.

-John Newton

    I've always had a bittersweet relationship with this November birthday of mine.  November is a lonely and grey kind of month, and it lends itself to end-of-the-year and life-landmark-in-general ponderings.  My show closed last weekend, the end of the semester is in sight, and I turned nineteen on a rainy Thursday with no plans that turned into a lovely night with a handful of friends in German Village eating fancy and perusing the most beautiful bookstore I've ever seen.  I had three cups of tea and dessert before dinner and found a massive book of e.e. cummings poetry that I probably could have lived in.
    I've been told that nineteen and twenty will be the most awkward and weird and in-between-ish years of my life (thanks for the encouragement), and even though nineteen itself seems like an inconspicuous and strange and unimportant age, I am glad to leave eighteen behind.  I've never been so unsure what a year will hold, and sometimes I feel like this, but my Jesus is faithful where I am not, and so I'm trusting that there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind (C.S. Lewis).
    Meanwhile, I've finally had people guessing I'm 20/21/22 versus 14/15/16, so that has to be a good sign of maturity, right?  And I have yet to be home long enough to celebrate with my family, but when that finally does happen--please oh please let there be cheesecake.


  1. Oh this post resonates so deeply with me Jenn. I will turn 19 soon, and it's a strange feeling. My ages come too fast for myself it seems. :) I love that quote because it's how I feel and it's also encouraging. I'm at a point where I don't know what I want to do with my far as college goes...I wonder if I'll go at all...but I trust that The Lord will guide me.

    You are a beautiful, talented, gifted girl. I know that The Lord has great plans for you.

    Much love!


  2. I love that quote...I think I'll copy it down. Reading your posts is always just an overabundance of "I'm not alone-ness." I just come here and always feel like there's someone else like me...not identical, but similar. and that's...reassuring. :)

  3. Wow, just wow... because I totally understand where you're coming from. It is an awkward in-between stage of life, and I totally relate to everything you said. (Also, that link... oh my goodness.) I love that quote though, it's so encouraging. Just remember that even in this slightly awkward, uncertain stage of life, God has written your story and He has amazing plans for you. On a side note, yay for November birthdays!

  4. #1. you're an attractive person. ;)
    #2. nineteen is full of adventures. I liked nineteen. breathe deep before you hit your twenties. ;)

  5. you. are adorable. so is your hair.
    happy birthday, jenn! and nineteen isn't so bad. embrace it!

  6. Nineteen and twenty as bad years? I think not! Don't listen to those people, Jenn, or at least not about that. I just recently left those two years behind and they were really amazing. Twenty was one of the biggest years of my life by far (so far of course). They will be awesome years for you. Oh yes. Happy Birthday.

  7. HEY YOU. did you see my birthday tweet to you? OH MY GOSH NO WONDER. I just checked it and I didn't link you in the tweet. stupidstupidstupid. :( now I'm sad.
    ANYWAY. belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND I LOVE YOU. and also, those photos, you adorable cupcake you.

  8. happy birthday you gorgeous girl!


  10. See, nineteen is awesome because now you can say you're an adult with a year of experience, not fresh out your teeny bopper years. ;) Also 19/20/21 are the funnest, I'm told (and so far I have to agree). Just enjoy the ride, buttercup. Focus on joy, and this year will be the best yet. (Happy 19, love you lots. ♡)

  11. 1. You're so adorable.
    2. I'M SO GLAD YOU ENJOYED THURSDAY! And for the record...I totally did too.
    3. ummm....why are we so dang similar? "but when that finally does happen--please oh please let there be cheesecake." I mean....I basically pray that every single day. ;)

    I miss you already and I hope your week started off fabulously. Happy nineteenth, Jenn! I can't wait to see what amazing things God has in store for you.

  12. Happy Birthday, Jenn! Love God. Live life. Drink coffee. Read books and poetry, m'kay?


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