I started a little tradition when I was first blogging, even though I didn’t realize it. I started writing birthday posts each year. Then one year, I blogged about something else entirely on July 30, and all 2 of my readers commented on the lack of birthday post. So, I’m back to my accidental tradition.

Today I turn 33 and am not yet old enough to care if people know my age. In some ways, my life has changed very little since last summer, and I still have wonderful warm fuzzy things to say about my family and friends, as they make my happiness quotient what it is. (Which is high.)

But the biggest change in my life has been our decision to adopt internationally, and it has truly changed me as a person–and we are still far from actually having a new kiddo in our home! Turning my focus outside of myself and focusing on the plight of orphans–not just MY orphan–has truly created a new passion in my heart. I find myself being more concerned about global issues and poverty. I find a few dollars here and there that I “didn’t have” previously to help another family’s adoption fundraiser or to buy more purposeful gifts that might help an individual in a developing country. Don’t get me wrong–I’m still a selfish person, like most of us are, and I’m still a work in progress. But I’m so grateful for this renewal in my heart and spirit. I’m grateful for a new realm of education and inspiration that I’ve been introduced to, as well as some amazing people that have come into my life as a result.

My prayer this next year is for focus and patience, that I will keep my eyes on big pictures, rather than get bogged down in the daily. That I will be prayerful for our forever family of five, and not be stressed by adoption delays. That I will appreciate my role as Director of Development for the 2 kiddos I have already in my home, and not be overwhelmed by the vastness of that job description. That I will have wisdom in finances, and not be tempted by the things of this world, but that I will choose to live simply and make good choices. That I will choose to invest time and energy into my marriage, even when that status quo is acceptable and comfortable. That I will unabashedly share my new passion with others, with grace and heart, not with lectures and condescension. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. And it is the core of my being and the foundation of any happiness or success I have in life.

Happy birthday to me!