20 years

My phone is buzzing accompanied by my iPod screen lighting up with notifications that someone has posted on my Facebook wall or tagged me in a photo. So I think to myself, well what in the world did I do to deserve all these reminders that I am loved by so many?

There is always time in life to take time to reflect & celebrate but the problem is that we don’t do it near enough. So today as I celebrate the gift of 20 years of life, I would like to reflect on the journey I have walked thus far.

This journey first began when I was born not breathing in the University of Michigan medical center where I was taken straight into surgery to remove a cyst in my lung. My dad calls me his “miracle baby”.

In my 20 years on this earth, I’ve lived in Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio and where I currently call home–Kansas.

Michigan–where I was born & owe my love of the Wolverines to.

Indiana–where childhood memories such as playing in the sandbox after it just rained with Kate & finding the candy man Dale at church every Sunday were made.

Virginia–where my love of the mountains & simple living evolved. Where I had the opportunity to go on mission trips to Harrisburg and Indianapolis as a middle schooler and was transformed by the gift of serving others. Where I learned what it means to be a steward of the Earth through the harvesting of fruits & veggies from our gardens as well as our butchering days while living on the farm.

Ohio–where I learned what it means to experience transition & the feelings that accompany. Where I began to learn just who Emily Jae Kauffman is and who she isn’t as I maneuvered¬†my way through high school. Where my love of the church & being involved in it’s mission became more fully recognized.

Finally, Kansas–where I have begun to embrace the confidence in my ability to succeed in school. Where I have cultivated a desire to learn and use my intelligence to change the world. Where my gifts have been sought out and used in multiple ways.

Along with memories & reflections, each location holds people and relationships. One of the gifts I have received from having the opportunity to live in several places are the many connections.

I wouldn’t be the passionate, adventurous and authentic extroverted introvert that I am today if it weren’t for those who have walked alongside me.

I give so much of my time & energy into letting people know that they are accepted & loved because I have received this same love and acceptance from so many during these 20 years.

So today I am grateful. I am grateful for the places I’ve been both physically, emotionally and spiritually because I know they have shaped who I am today as a 20 year old woman.

I am full of hope and anticipation for the next 20 years and where they will lead me. For the people I will meet and for the ways God will reveal Himself to me.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you place your trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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