Eighteen Blessings


"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."
Numbers 6:24-26

I've been physically alive for eighteen years on this day. Eighteen. Just to think, two digits makes such a big impact in society. For some people, it was a gradual process to become eighteen and mature into adulthood. And others it's a wake up call to throw away childish beliefs and become a stern, (wo)man. I'd like to call these last eighteen years a process, because it was for me. But, no matter what I will always be a child a heart, and so many other people will be too. It's a wonderful sensation to celebrate birthdays and all, yet a dreadful thought. We keep building upwards, never knowing when we will reach the end of our blueprints.

While I could go on to talk about the dreadful part of growing up and ticking clocks, I'd rather focus on the brighter side of being eighteen: the blessings. It was nice taking the time to reflect on the things I know I should be thankful for, and what I often take for granted.

1. Having a house supplied with the things I need
2. Getting the spiritual wake-up call I needed
3. Attending a church that values fellowship
4. The people I've met (good and bad)
5. My gifts: creativity and artistry
6. My family
7. Being mealong with every "imperfection"
8. A vivid imagination
9. Being able to afford my first year of college without loans
10. Clam chowder. No questions asked...
11. The small, hidden beauties in nature
12. Different cultures, races, and individuals in the world
13. Growing up in a Christian household
14. The advancements in the world doing more benefit than harm
15. The ability to be able to communicate with people
16. My stuffed animals
17. Becoming more of a leader and independent
18. To have a Father who watches over me everyday, and every second

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2. Charting a Route


There are many ways to begin, which makes it kind of hard to know where to start. A wise choice would be to start from the actual beginning, although starting elsewhere isn't wrong either. The most important part is making it to the end.

I highly recommend starting from the beginning of the Bible, whether it is your first time reading it through or it has been a while. The book of Genesis lays the foundation from the beginning.

Daily Devotionals
These are very helpful no matter what point you are at in your voyage. If you attend a church, try looking in their bookshop if there is one. If not, there are apps like She Reads Truth available with free daily devotionals. 

I want to later on expand on this point in another post, but baptism is an "affirmation of faith". I'm not a pastor so, the best person to ask about this could be your parents, a pastor, or a friend in Christ.

Friends in Faith
Having other people around you who share a common goal or idea is really beneficial to your journey. They should be people who will be there even when times aren't good and your troubles may be overwhelming. Also, it is helpful if a couple of your friends are around the same age group as you, because there are problems everyone will face sooner or later and need help overcoming. (This point is one I'll be expanding on later.)

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The Flatters & Buoyant


"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?" 
Luke 9:25

This verse really speaks to me not only because of what it is typically interpreted as, but in another light. The thing someone may be gaining may not only be known as material possessions. Constantly, materialism takes the blame for a lot of problems which is true, but what about in our daily interactions? Are we being genuine to our neighbors, with pure intentions?

I know this was a big struggle for me to overcome in my earlier teen years. I taught myself to avoid conflict very quickly, because it made the motions of life easier to deal. I was a people-pleaser even in my shy-stage. More likely, I would agree to something I didn't necessarily see eye-to-eye with my peer to avoid being apart from my worldly companions. This wasn't about popularity. It was about wanting to be on everyone's good side and feel like I had no enemies, by remaining as buoyant as possible.

But the truth is, that isn't the way anyone should live, nor is that the way God wants us to live our life. If the grand purpose of life was to please everyone single person of the world, we would all be in a pretty rough situation. There has got to be something more to this life, and there is...

As long as you're not living out your days as a hollowed out puppet for the world's pleasures.

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1. Gather Your Necessities & Lift Your Anchor


Here we go, ready to start the greatest voyage of our lives. But, before we can begin, we will need a couple of bare necessities to get this boat out of the dock: The necessities before lifting your anchor.

The Bible
This will be your guide to follow throughout your whole trip from the beginning to the very end. Contained are stories of wisdom, hardships, and lessons to learn about life. When in doubt, this book will give you answers when your vessel glides off course.

Without beginning with faith, how can you start? It is what initiates the start of the boat. It is the wind to the sails, which glides your boat through the difficult situations. Other winds from foreign bodies may try to push you backwards or push you off-course, because this is expected. This adventure will put to test your winds of faith, and requires a strong one.

The Desire for a Relationship
Just like faith, there needs to be a understanding that you want a relationship with God, so talk with him. He's there to listen to your problems and he wants you to rely on him. Whether times are hard or not, your ropes need to be strong, not worn out. So, be patient and listen for the signals being sent. These tethers won't lift themselves.

These are main three points you'll need to start, but as you find your way along more 'necessities' will make themselves known. All that's left to do is to say a prayer for safe journeys with minimal wavering, and lift your anchors away!

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