Bookend Birthdays

So today is my last day at 38. Tomorrow I will be 39 and officially living my last year of this decade. It is the book end on a really great period in my life. I have loved, loved my 30’s. God has worked me through lots of emotional and spiritual junk, I began a career, I gave birth to my bookend baby, traveled to Brazil and India to make Jesus famous and it has generally been a time of great blessing by God, full of transitions. In these nine years I have changed houses, churches and work life. I went from a mom of “littles” to a mom of teens + one big girl. I went from working part-time to full-time. My friendships have shifted. Thankfully, my primary relationships are stronger and my love for God is deeper than they were when I began this decade. What a blessing!

As I sit here, sipping my coffee and thinking of this last year in the 30’s I feel somewhat excited and motivated to close this era with gusto. You know, to look back and say my 39th year really reflected all that my 30’s taught me and blessed me with. So, to that end I have a few small (or big, depending on your perspective) goals for life over the next 365 days:

to be in better shape physically than I was when I began this decade- since I’ve been very open about my struggles to exercise faithfully, you know this will be a challenge. But since I have come to the conviction that I want to be a good steward of the body and health that God has given me, it has been a little easier. My plan to reach this goal is to continue to work out four days a week, cut back even further on diet cokes and bring some strength training into my cardio.

to try something new- I am a self professed “hamster on a wheel” so trying new things is always in intentional choice. But I am keeping my eyes and ears open to an opportunity God might present to grow me through attempting something I’ve never done. I’ll keep you posted.

to faithfully spend time connecting to God- this is another pattern of inconsistency I deeply desire to change. This is my year to do it! My church is a beautiful encouragement to me in this area as we are memorizing God’s word together and studying through books of the bible in sermons. I am serious about becoming a woman who depends on God and not my own strength, personality or gifting. My plan is to simply spend time in prayer and reading God’s word on a very consistent basis. I won’t say every day, because for me that tends to become legalism- something to check off a list that proves I’m “good” but I do want my life to be characterized by a pattern. In fact, I guess the goal would be at the end of the year to feel my day was not quite normal if I hadn’t spent intentional time with God.

to rejoice in the gifts of the moment and spend less time wasted on worry- I read a quote recently, I think it was Donald Miller, which said “God created this wonderful world full of awe and beauty and placed you in it to learn from it, care for it and see His glory. And you can’t do that sitting on the couch watching TV all the time.” So true! To which I would add, you can’t do that worrying about what tomorrow might bring. This moment is a gift. Right now, sitting here with this laptop and my cozy blanket and my needy cat. My lungs work, my heart works, my kidneys work. My family is safe. My needs are met. These are gifts I don’t deserve. I have not earned the right to have them. I want to live in such a way that as I enter my 40’s I am constantly aware that every moment– the fun, the tiring, the good, the painful, the sweet, the sad, the ordinary and extraordinary- are all from God and all to be lived to His glory.

Me and the hubs going out for my 39th Birthday Date!

I am closing this blog with a prayer of thanks to my Lord:

Dear Father, thank you for giving me life- both physically 39 years ago and spiritually! What a blessing to live knowing who you are and what you have done for me. I thank you for all my gifts, but most importantly for your son’s death and resurrection that gives me hope, and life and joy. This has been such a good year. I have cried a bunch with you over hurts of letting go. Over tensions in relationships. And in those tears you have taught me so many good things about myself and my need to be loved that I try to fill in many ways outside of you. Thank you for teaching me to depend on you to fill my heart. I have also delighted in my children growing up and seeing their lives unfold. Thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing me to be their mom another year. Thank you for challenging me to hold them “open palmed” and preparing me for them to spread their wings soon. I have treasured times with both my moms this year. Thank you for giving them another year of life and health, that I may love them better and learn to honor them more for who they are in my life. I have learned so much this year about myself in my marriage. Thank you for giving Scott and I the grace to love one another through the good, bad and ugly. He is still my very best friend and I am deeply grateful for every day we are given together. Finally I am amazed that you have given us a church family where we are challenged and loved. City Church has been one of my very favorite presents from you this year- may I be as much a blessing to this family as they have been to me and my family. In Jesus’ Name- Amen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *