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sixteen.

7.20.2012


(written yesterday)

I really can't express to you how I feel right now. It's somewhere between happy, overwhelmed, and tremendously thankful. You see, today I turn 16. The big one-six. A birthday the media has created to be materialistic. And big. And, honestly, up until today, that's exactly what I expected it to be. Gifts, facebook messages, birthday letters, more gifts, and more facebook messages - me, me, me! And I guess with a surprise party, and pile of gifts from friends that know me all too well, and all the camera gear I had asked for, I got exactly that. But I realize now that it's not about any of that.



A couple weeks ago, my cousin celebrated her birthday. She was seven going on eight and I thought, 'what better person to give my American Girl Doll to?'. So as I packaged up the doll and every single one of its accessories (read: as my mom packaged up every single one of her accessories), I thought to myself, 'I'll be the star of the show!'. And I was right. As she tore open the wrapping paper to discover what was inside, she screamed with delight and ran off to dress the doll.

Then, a few hours later, her mom (my aunt) came to me and said, "She really loves it, but she wants to give it back. I think she's really overwhelmed." I smiled and assured her it was hers to keep. But I didn't get it. Why would anyone ever want to return so great of a gift - let alone an eight-year-old girl?



Then today, when I opened the envelope to find that the camera was actually on it's way, to me, I finally understood. My cousin didn't want to return the doll because she didn't like it, rather because she felt she didn't deserve it. And that's exactly what I felt, opening that envelope. Why do I, with a roof over my head and food on my plate, deserve a $900 camera? Why do I, with two parents who love me and several amazing friends, deserve a surprise party? Here's the thing:

I don't.



My birthday shouldn't celebrate me. After all, it's not Alexa-day. It should celebrate the life I was given, my birth into this world, and everyone that brought me here. Life is amazing. Without it we'd be lost, and without God. I am so lucky to have the life I have, the family I have, the friends I have, and that is the best gift God could give me. And I can't help but cry out my gratitude to the Lord, every day.

p.s. more on the birthday celebration soon :)

p.s.s. you can expect a birthday giveaway sometime next week!

18 comments:

  1. This is so touching. :) Great post, Alexa!

    Btw, what kind of camera are you getting anyway?

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    1. Thank you, Nela! I am getting the Canon 60D - eek! :)

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  2. Happy birthday! And yes - this is all so true.
    AND CONGRATS ON THE CAMERA! The 60D, yes? :)

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  3. touching and beautiful. happy {belated} birthday Alexa. i know God has great plans for you.

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  4. this is so beautiful, alexa. Happy Birthday!! and congrats on the camera!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. how humbling- I love this :)

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  6. Happy Birthday Alexa! Such a beautiful post and so true. Praise God for showing this to you at a young age. You have a sweet heart.

    Blessings!

    -Madi

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  7. great post!! so true. :) hope you had a great day!!

    -Carli

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  8. Happy Birthday, Alexa! You really have a way with words... and your photos. They're gorgeous. Congrats on the new camera! You're very blessed in a lot of ways-- especially to see this.

    xx
    Lou

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    Replies
    1. p.s. What do you use to edit your photos?

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  9. Happy birthday Alexa! I hope you had an amazing day. Your words are really powerful as well. What you said is so true! And congrats on the camera! :)

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  10. happy birthday, alexa! such a sweet, sweet post. enjoy being sixteen, driving, and taking loads of new pictures with that camera of yours! :)

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  11. Happy happy happy birthday, Alexa! Many hugs and love to you. Loved this post. :]

    xx.
    Alexxus Kristyn

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  12. Beautiful :)
    You have am amazing talent with words and pictures and I look forward to watching your blog
    Janis (Hayleys mom)

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  13. happyhappyhappy birthday!

    your words really touched me; i really like how you 'humbled' yourself. nowadays, most bloggers do the opposite -- it's really unfortunate. but you? oh, you stand out like a rainbow through the rain. i greatly appreciated what you had to say in this post.

    i'm really looking forward to whatever more 'birthday bling' you have to show us!! :)

    xx Acacia

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  14. This is simply beautiful. And so are you.

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  15. Happyhappyhappyhappybirthday!! I hope it's the best life celebrating day ever!! Your wonderful Alexaaaaa. Love always.
    xx.

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