Birthday Countdown

Today is officially two until weeks until August 20, my 20th birthday.
(Go Golden Birthday! It's your birthday! Yeah.YEah.)
I'm not gonna lie, it's crazy to me that I'm about to be 20.

20. What on eeearth?
One day, back years ago, when I was eight, I was sitting in my messy room, leaning on the window sill watching life unfold in my neighborhood.
Mother's loading up their vans to run errands, mailmen delivering dreaded bills, lawns filling with weeds, squirrels wreaking havoc in the automobile world, men pulling home from a long day at work. I was intrigued.

Then, coming down the sidewalk was Haley Brighten's older sister.

She was sooOooo cool.

She had her blonde hair and brown roots in a high messy bun. She was wearing tight jeans and a short pink shirt. And she was walking all by herself on the sidewalk near the road.
Ohhh sigh. "I can't wait until I'm 13. I want to be 13 so so so so bad!"

I had this earth-shattering desire to be a teenager. And couldn't wait. I tried to imagine how cool and beautiful I would look when I turned 13. (The glorious picture of my imagination is definitely not what happened in reality)
"Mom, I can't WAIT to be 13!"

The wise sage that is my mother told me "Kristen, trust me, someday you are going to wish you could be eight again. Growing up happens too fast, and you are only a kid once. Before you know it you'll be 20. Enjoy this now."

I kind of "hmmphgrred" my little child-self back to the window and watched Haley Brighten's sister fade into the distance. "But I wanna be big now."

I distinctly remember sitting there and thinking about that. Will I really be 20 in the blink of an eye? Will I really wish I could go back to being eight? Will growing up happen fast? What will happen in my life before I turn 20? And most importantly, will I be cool as a teenager?

World, I have answers.

Yes, it happened in the blink of an eye.
Yes, sometimes I do wish I could be eight again.
Yes, this growing up thing is happening much too quickly.

Since I was eight, I have moved three times, had the joy of becoming big sister to three more kids (making that seven Snyder children!), I have graduated highschool, played and coached 25+ seasons of sports, started my business, traveled ALL over the country and enjoyed the company of my darling friends :D

I've seen my mom lose her mother to breast cancer. I've also feared losing my mom to breast cancer (she's almost in remission!)
My soccer coach and best friend's mom is now enjoying the glories of Heaven, as are the two babies that we never got to hold (And Grandpa George, Darcy, Micah, Chase, Alivia, to name just a few who are missed).

I've been with friends in hospitals, memorial services, and graveyards.
I've cried on the phone, cried in the bathroom at church, cried in the car - regarding anything from lost phones to heartbroken woes.

Do I share these sob stories to make life seem horribly gloomy? Not at all. I say it because when I think back on the last 20 years, I hardly think of these difficult things.

"For you will not much remember the days of your life,
because God has kept you occupied with joy in your heart."

Ecclesiastes 5:20

It's so very true. God has kept me occupied with the joy - how can I be upset, when I see all He has done?! He's been quick to show even a little good in what seems like a dreadful situation. And oh, goodness, my life has been so wonderful! Such a blessing! He has been so kind to me and I don't deserve one bit of the goodness I have been given.

One thing I have learned is that life just doesn't go like you have planned, and I'm sure the ideas and notions I have about the next 20 years are going to be blown out of the water. It will probably be harder than I am picturing, and also much better and more wonderful. I'm excited :D

Oh, and no. I was not cool as a teenager. However, I can walk on the sidewalk by the road alone now, so, yeah. Don't be jealous.