Thoughts As I Turn 26 | Personal

 Thoughts as I Turn 26 | Personal

This past Tuesday was my birthday, and I turned 26 years old. This year I couldn't help but remember how un-gracefully I turned 25 last year. It was the first birthday I hadn't looked forward to my entire life. I think in hindsight I thought both since I had been married and for the past few months that I would be a mother by the time my birthday rolled around, and when I wasn't that hard fact made me dread turning one year older. I have always loved my birthday beyond reason and didn't want what happened last year to become a trend.

Thankfully, it didn't. I have been looking forward to 2017 for so many reasons, not the least of which is putting 2016 behind me. Of course I had wonderful things happen last year and I don't want to discount that, but it was also the hardest year I've lived. I'm not someone who generally picks a 'word of the year' but as I was praying leading up to New Years Eve, the word peace popped into my mind.

This year, the year I turned 26, I will seek peace. This might mean saying no to some opportunities so I can stay home and work on a project I've told a grand total of 5 people about. This might mean realizing when my heart needs adventure and following that through (in fact, I'm heading to New York right now and Texas in a couple weeks!). This definitely means more date nights and intentional time with Nathan.

I hope, though, that peace happens to me, too. I believe joy is our choice and peace is up to a certain extent, but being peaceful is difficult when the world is crumbling around you. Last year I learned how to choose joy when a baby died, when we lost incredible amounts of money on the house we sold, and when someone I knew well hurt me beyond belief.

As far as it is up to me, I will choose peace this year. And more than that, I will pray for peace in our heart and home. This year I'm clinging to the promise of God that "peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness" (James 3:18). I commit to being a peacemaker in my own life, in my home, and in the lives of my family and friends around me.

Happy birthday to me. May this be a year of peace unending and joy no matter what the road may bring!

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.