Monday, November 12, 2012

What's in a number?

Well, I'm 30~ 3 decades down.
First of all, how did this happen?  Second, it isn't so bad.  When I was 16, I thought 30 seemed so old.  I  never really remember imagining my life as a 30 year old as any specific way.  I don't remember thinking I would be married with kids, or working, or doing anything specific.  I suppose this is weird  but I never had a plan.  I remember thinking that it was the end.  Old.  I do, however, remember thinking that it would be the summation.  The "me" at 30 would be the "me" I would be for the rest of time, however long that would be....and that would be it.  

I was wrong.  So, what's in a number?  Specifically, the number 30?

1.  Mistakes - I've made lots of them.  Many, Many hours of untamed, unruly, stupid mistakes.  Some were life-altering, some were path changing, some were silly, some were crazy, some were not my fault.  Some people say mistakes make you who you are, and I suppose that is true.  When I look back at my mistakes, I do really want some kind of good to come out of them.  One thing is for sure, they have made me realize my need for a savior.  I look back at many of these mistakes and want to change a few.  I would, if I had the chance, but we can't, so as I age, I am more careful.  As I reminisce on this point, I know with all I am that having Jesus has changed my perspective on life and therefore allowed me to "Give myself a break".  

2.  Children - Childbirth is NOTHING like they portray on TV - This makes me laugh because it was a total shock to me.  The actual act of childbirth is a dignity stealing, sometimes embarrassing, and painful reminder that the really good things in life, require reeeeally hard work.  It IS true, however, that I would put myself through it 10 more times to experience the love a mother feels for her steamy, slimy, bloody, crying, matted, bundle of pure perfection, wrapped tightly in a blanky, needing you more desperately than anyone has.  Never in your life, except the moment you hold that child for the first time would you look at a picture so worldly grotesque and just see, beauty.  I am already positive that God is real, but if I wasn't the creation of my daughter and sons would have done it for me.    

3.   I LOVE my children.  I would die for them.  I would die a painful, horrible death to protect them.  I lay awake and think of them, everything reminds me of them, and I am always wondering, praying and hoping for them.  I can't really remember life without them.  The most amazing revelation about the love I feel for my children is that I love a savior who died that death because He loves them even more than me.  Amazing.  

4.  Beauty - I have seen many beautiful things.  I have experienced beauty that the Lord has orchestrated just for me.  I am beautiful, and it took me way too long to realize that.  Above all, I have learned though, that, "Beauty is fleeting, and charm is deceptive, but a woman who fears the Lord should be praised!" Proverbs 31

5.  Success -  Success is relative.  When I was younger, success was a degree, a great job to go to every day, lots of money to spend on things, people being happy with my choices, and recognition for all that I did that day and every day.  Success now -   Well, let's see:  Almost every morning, I wake up before the sun, prepare coffee, read my bible, pray, and then listen and wait for my children to wake up.  When the moment arrives, I feed my children, I change their clothing, I embark on some sort of cleaning activity, I do laundry, I wipe the same counter 6 times in one hour, I diaper plastic baby dolls, I build forts, I wipe tears, I clean up toys, I prepare meals for my family, and entertain imaginary friends and silly ideas.  I rarely go to bed feeling like I did a good job that day, and even if I did, no one seems to notice.  Being a mother has been my highest calling and I am trying to make "success" of the job.  I have come to the conclusion that the only way I can achieve this success is to take a day that God has given me, give it to Him and ask, humbly for direction, because He and I know how inept I am on my own.  The reality:  My children don't care how many degrees I have, how well I can sing, how much money I have in the bank, how much cleaning I accomplished, or who I pleased that day.  They just want me, all of me, even when I don't have anything left.  Success, now, is knowing I can't do anything by myself.         

7.  Mean Girls - They aren't just for High School.  They come with you, even uninvited, and they still work really hard to hurt you.  There are people that end up in your life who take and go.  God has helped me decipher who should stay and who should be kept at a boundary.  I still have people in my life who just take, but I am learning that the greatest lesson Jesus taught is to choose the high road and "turn and offer then the other cheek".  This is hard, but somehow worth it.  

8.  Bad relationships - Sometimes bad relationships are just that, bad relationships.  What did I learn from being in those bad relationships?  Don't get into another one.  

9.  Change. Is. Hard. It burns. It tears. It refines. It sucks! Gods ideas are better than mine.  I haven't learned this yet, but I am watching change all around me, and learning to see that the plans God has for me are not plans that will harm me, but plans that will give me hope and a future! (Jer. 29:11-12). I have begun to learn to hold on tight and see what happens, trusting that God is directing my steps.  

10.  All advice is not gospel.  The practices, schedules, child rearing, and methods that work and are important for my family and my children are not the practices that will work or are important in every one else's family.  One of the hardest things about becoming a mother was not adjusting to "the new normal" and parenting, but dealing with women who judge, discuss, condemn me, and adjudicate their ways and methods on my life.  I learned to get over this quickly, and you should too.  :)  

11.   Listen to women who are older than you and have gone before.  Contrary to giving time and energy to anyone in #10, gain wisdom from women who have "been there".  I have one friend, specifically, that I appreciate more than I can put into words.  She is wise because she knows what it is like to be "here".  Find that friend, and soak it all in.  God puts people in your life that will make the path a bit smoother.       

12.  Eat slowly.  No one ever taught me how to cook before I got married.  My husband was raised by a PA Dutch cook, so we were in quite a predicament when I couldn't even make minute rice.  Furthermore, our daughter is allergic to half of the food chain and cooking, in my home, is challenging.  I actually HATE cooking, but have gotten pretty good at it.  It takes me about an hour + a day to cook dinner for my family, and I refuse for it to take 1/4 of that time to eat it.  We sit.  We enjoy each other.  We talk.  We listen.  We eat and appreciate that we have hot dinner every night.      

13. Realities - A woman's body NEVER goes back to the way it was before having babies, happiness is not found in a store, in a dress, in a relationship, in a job, in an idea, or a building.  

14.  I have learned that I should never stop dreaming, no matter how old I am.  More importantly, God wants me to dream big.  

15.  Purging my closet needs to happen yesterday.  The clothes are never going to fit again, and that is OK!

16.  As healthy as I become, I will do things that I grew up seeing and learning.  I must rely on God daily to keep me from falling into a pit of dysfunctional behavior.

17.  No matter how good my point is, if my presentation is crappy, no one will hear it.  Yelling solves NOTHING!  

18.  My kids will survive if they occasionally eat candy before noon and watch more than an hour of TV a day.  

19.  Some people are born without directional sense.  I am one of them, and I don't care.  I will sit happily in the passenger seat and be driven.  If you want me to drive, be prepared to give me directions, and please don't ask me if I realize we were just here last week.  I know we were, but I don't know how to get back.  I really don't know how to get anywhere.  :)

20.  I have learned to laugh at myself.  It is imperative   It really IS the best medicine.  

21.  My siblings will always have my back.  I have a twin sister and a younger brother.  We are very close.  We talk almost every day, all three of us.  We grew up in a challenging environment and could have left hating each other, wanting negativity for each other, or celebrating each other's failures, but we didn't.  We love each other.  Actually, we don't hang up the phone without telling each other so, even in turmoil.  They are some of my biggest supporters and I am one of theirs.  We make mistakes, we hurt each other, we argue, and yell at each other sometimes, but at the end of the day, I want the best for them.  I want all of their dreams to come true and pray the best for them.  I love the people they chose to spend their lives with, and consider them family I am blessed to know.  They aren't jealous of me or what I have, they are happy for me.  They believe, as do I for them, that I deserve every happiness.  I will always be grateful for them and love them until the end of time, no matter how mad they sometimes make me.  They have seen me at my worst and love me anyway.  No matter what is happening  if I need them, they will come.  I love them.  They rock.  I am blessed.        

22.  Picture albums are overrated.  A shoe box  stuffed with memories will eventually make its' way to a fancy little album.  Relax.     

23.  Reading the book is better than watching the movie.  Hands down.  

25.  The things you thought would matter forever are sometimes difficult to even recall.  

26.  The people you thought would be forever friends, are specs on your timeline.  It isn't that I don't remember them or love them, but I find it interesting that the people I thought I would never part from, are in other parts of the country or the world, living their lives without me and me without them.    

27.  Marriage is hard.  It is one of the most challenging endeavors God has ever blessed me with.  Every day I learn how hard to deal with I really am!  Marriage is something any child, teen, or adult is familiar with, but until you experience a marriage, you cannot truly grasp what it really entails.  My marriage to my Godly husband has challenged me more than anything ever has.  I have been challenged to communicate better, become more forgiving, more subservient, more kind, and less judgmental and condemning than my human flesh can stand.  It is a daily struggle against evil.  The biggest trick the world's perception of marriage plays is to try to convince that, in a marriage  a good marriage, a person's needs should always be met, and your spouse should always be working to make happiness, reality.  This, although picturesque and sweet, could not be further from the truth.  Needs go unmet, lovey-dovey romance is the exception and grossly unrealistic, and sometimes, one spouse needs more love and attention than the other.  My joy must come from the God I serve.  Only when I trust God fully can I meet the needs of my husband, and the same goes for him, which, by the way, he does better than me.            

28.  My husband is my ultimate best friend.  He thinks I am lovely, even when I don't deserve the title.  He has seen me at my worst, most disturbing moments and has kept me.  I am going to keep him too.  He is, by far, the most amazing man on the planet.  I love him more every day.  He takes care of me and our children, and although he doesn't always get it right, I have begun to learn to give him a break.  Especially because above all, I have learned I am far from perfect.          

29. Without God, I am nothing.  My purpose lies in my faith that He is in control of the details of my life.

30.  I haven't seen nothin' yet.....


  1. Loved reading this and AMEN! to all of it! {I turned 30 in July}.

    So looking forward to getting to know you in the GMG Advent Study :-)

    1. Hi Jess, I totally missed this comment! Sorry for no response. Thank you for reading. 30 is nothing like I thought it would be. It is so much better.

      Are you doing the Luke study?

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