The wonder of today and the wisdom of the slightly older

"I hate to put it this way," I said, "but I feel like we're high on life."

Em and I sat in her kitchen, painting, writing, munching on apples and drinking good coffee after a late night that echoed with the memories and craziness of junior high. Walking and talking, knee-deep in deep contentment and joy. A contentment that is heavy as lead and light as a feather at the same time. The kind that leaves you wondering where on earth it came from until you realize that, of course, the answer is Jesus.

"These are the good old days," we agreed. The joy of drinking in the spring air over a long walk, sleeping in and waking up to late morning light and a cat in my face, and lingering over a real breakfast did me in. Conversation marked by the goodness of the Lord, the sweetness of this season, this indescribable contentment, make "can you imagine this with a beau" moments fewer and farther in-between because just here and now, with friends or alone, is what we've got and what is wonderful.

Time and time again I am knocked down and amazed by the beauty of life and the possibility ahead.  Perhaps, especially with the coming of spring and all the new life it brings, the beauty here and now keeps hitting me in the face.  Everything from electric green fields and the absolute joy of a classic novel to enormous, blue eyes on the plump face of a toddler and people so beautifully vulnerable that they share their struggles through sobs in community without a second thought. Not to mention the spring air, for which I don't even have words because I love it so much.

As I drove on country roads under the clearest sky, crisp air flooding through the windows and getting lost in the music, I began to believe what they all say-- these are some of the best years of your life! Even being alone, left to my thoughts and fellowship with the Lord, I realized the wonderful freedom I have to come and go, up and leave, give and serve, see the world. I see how prime this season is and how deeply I want to live it fully. The words of the half-generation ahead of me rang in my head as I remembered the coffee dates and county walks and post-babysitting conversations where I heard them. Those words, more than any of revolutionary peers or popular voices, push me to act and inspire me to heed the voices that speak of a season already lived.

"Read books. That's not something you'll always have time for."

"Exhaust yourself for the kingdom. You have time and availability that has been and will be unmatched. Carry the burdens of the body of Christ. Feel the pain of the hurting."

"Spend time with your girlfriends. I know when I met my husband it was much harder to find time for them because I just wanted to be with him all the time."

"Take extended time with the Lord; go on a retreat with Him, even if it means giving up your own plans."

"Celebrate people well."

"Make time to hang out with kids while you're in college. It's so good for the soul."

It's their words that make me excited to make impact, to enjoy life, to love well. To make mistakes, because they're inevitable and because I'll need some nugget of wisdom to pass on to the next half generation (aren't mistakes the surest way to learn something?). I'm excited for fifteen years down the road someday, but right now I'm even more excited for walking in freedom and joy today. May we live in the fullness of life that He came to give us!