I laughed when I realized how many years it took to discover who I am.... by first zealously exploring who I am not

Thursday, October 1, 2015

40 Candles

Today is my 40th birthday. A milestone birthday for sure. I haven't dreaded it like I thought I would. Honestly, after the trauma of turning 26, and leaving what I felt was "young adulthood" I may be immune to the getting older dread. (except for when I turned 30 and my little Andrew kept telling me I was "dirty" because he couldn't make his "th" sound) As I look at this day and all it holds I have several thoughts in my mind that I wanted to share.

40 is the new 20
They say 40 is the new 20. Well, I say hurrah and they can keep their actual 20's because I wouldn't go back to being 20 for all the money in the world. While I would love to have back the firm skin, no wrinkles and thick hair, I am happy with what I know at 40 that I didn't even know about when I was 20. Life is a great teacher and if you listen and learn you get to live your life very differently as you get older. You learn to appreciate things that you take for granted- like the fleeting moments of a little baby, the value of friendship and not peeing on yourself when you cough.

No Rules
The older I get, the less rules I feel I have to live by. Quickly fleeing are the days of worrying about what so and so thinks or if I do this will I offend them. I love who I am, I have fought for the healing in my heart and I have finally reached the place where I'm ok if others don't see it. I've learned that the same grace I have demanded people give me for my mistakes must be freely given by me to them as well. When you walk in a place where you realize love shouldn't be based on whether I agree with you politically, or how you parent or what you believe in faith wise, suddenly the world opens up so much bigger with so many more opportunities for relationship. It allows connections to be made that otherwise wouldn't have happened, allowing for a much richer life with more to see and comprehend. It grows you. It makes you a better person. It also makes you less annoying to the people around you because really no one cares about your opinion. They care how much you love them and if you love them well, they will value your opinion.

I've learned that some dreams never come true and that when you can finally realize that, God opens your heart to dreams you never even imagined. People always say dream big but really the biggest that we as people can dream can't even touch the hugeness of a God that has a plan for us. I've watched dreams die. I've had heartache and tears as I said goodbye to things that I thought I would have forever. I've walked with fear and uncertainty down dark hallways looking for light, or even just an ember to spark so I could believe again. I'm learning that you have to walk out believing He is a good good Father with a great great plan and eventually the door will crack, a light will shine and suddenly once again you stand in the light with bigger dreams unfolding before you.

Life and Kids
My husband and I are both turning 40 this month and we are truly in this middle season of life. In the next 5 years both of our kids will be done with school and we will be moving into a totally different season.  I have heard friends share of their struggle as their kids get older and get ready to leave the nest. While I mourn the loss of childhood with my babies, I rejoice in the new season. A season where I'm not their boss. I get to love them and watch them live out all those things I pray they have planted in their hearts. I get to see them LIVE their lives- live their dreams and be who we have been raising them to be. I also get to be Jeremy's wife. We are very young with hopefully lots of years left. We will spend them together, laughing and making music and doing the things we have always done. I'm excited about this time with him. We get to have grandkids and spoil them and send them home. We get to eat out for less than $50. Can I get an amen! Life is just getting sweet and I can't wait to see what is around the corner.

Here's to turning 40 and all that the future holds! Happy Birthday to me.