Today, I enter a new decade. My thirties.
Thirty sounded old a long time ago. Now, at 30, I feel like I’m just getting started with my life.
There are a lot of things I could reflect upon, deep thoughts I could write about as I leave my twenties. But at this point, there are just a few random, somehow related thoughts that are stringing together in my brain.
So, in honor of turning 30, here is a list of 30 things that are an honest reflection of who I am and what I’m thinking about in this moment.
- I’m proud of the woman I am just now starting to discover and become. I’m stronger than when I was 20. And I’m also more honest about who I am, my shortcomings, my weaknesses, and how they’re all a part of this work in progress.
- A kind person is the best kind of person. I may regret something I said or something I did. But, I will never regret being kind.
- Waiting. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with waiting. I spent most of my twenties waiting – waiting to start my life post-college, waiting to find “the one,” waiting to get married, waiting to get pregnant, waiting for the day my son will be healed, etc. And then, I finally realized that most of life is spent in the waiting. Waiting helps us become more like Christ. So, waiting is good. Even though waiting is still (and I suspect always will be) hard.
- The older I get, the more I become my mom. And I’m okay with that, because she’s basically the most amazing woman I know. I’ve organized my kitchen (unconsciously) exactly how she would’ve organized it. I find myself saying things to my son that I hated to hear from her when I was growing up. But she was right. MOM IS ALWAYS RIGHT. I’m pretty sure when you figure that out, you’ve basically figured out everything there is to know about life.
- Health is wealth. Okay, now I REALLY sound like my mom. It took me having a kid to realize that I can’t take my health for granted. My body was made to do hard things, but I have to take care of it. Also, bye-bye 18-year-old metabolism. So. Sad.
- A girl needs her girlfriends. History friends, new friends, mom friends. Doesn’t matter. You can’t do life without them.
- Okay, also…Costco. Don’t judge, y’all. Where do I go for retail therapy or when my toddler and I have cabin fever in the winter? Costco. Where do I go to eat samples and buy things I never knew I needed? Costco. Wait…why do I have no storage space in our house? Oh, that’s right. Costco.
- On the other hand, I don’t need all the things. No, actually, I don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on that bag or those shoes or that outfit (okay, mayyyybe I do need those shoes…LOL!). At the end of the day, it’s all just stuff.
- Social media is both a blessing and a curse. I love staying connected with our friends and family from around the world. But at the same time, we have all fallen into the comparison trap. It’s no way to live, friends. Because…
- Comparison is the thief of joy. This is the life God has given me. And for better or worse, I’m called (by His grace) to do my part in making something of it. And we never know what’s going on on the other side of the screen. Because…
- Everyone has a story. I have found myself judging people. And then I’ve heard their stories. And boyyyyy, was I wrong. Everyone carries their own shadows and skeletons. Everyone is in the process of walking through their own story of redemption.
- So, don’t talk smack about people. It’s rude. And it’s so easy to do. But what goes around, comes around.
- Sometimes, we don’t know why. And that’s okay. This was one of the hardest lessons I think I’ve had to learn in the last few years. Life really is not fair, sometimes. Bad things happen to good people. But if I look at the lives of the people I really, truly admire…they’ve all had to walk through some very unfair, bad, hard things. And it’s the ones who walk through those seasons and come out of it somehow more whole, wise, tender, and open that are the real deal. These are the kind of people I want to surround myself with.
- Be humble. If getting older means realizing that I don’t really know anything and that I have so much more to learn about life…well, then, I must say I’m getting older. Or maybe I’m getting wiser. 😉
- Fear. It can be crippling. And I can never overcome it on my own. No amount of inspirational articles, books, Instagram accounts or the like will help me in the face of real fear. It’s only Jesus. And His Word.
- Gratitude is beautiful. I’m certain that practicing daily gratitude before a Good, Good God is a recipe for a very fulfilling life on this side of heaven.
- My husband is the BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD. Most of the time. Because he’s not perfect. But I’m pretty sure he’s pretty close. And no, he didn’t tell me to write this. I really do believe I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
- There really is nothing quite like a mother-son bond. I love my boy. And he really is a miracle. And he’s growing up before my very eyes. Sometimes it makes me sad when he starts to pronounce words accurately instead of the cute, babble he was doing just a few days earlier. But I also know that I’m watching my prayers unfold before me. That the things I never could fathom while in the NICU are happening every day. And for that, I’m so, very thankful.
- Life is more fun when you look at it through the eyes of your two-year-old son. Seriously, kids say the most hilarious things. I’m so going to miss this stage when he’s starting to sprout facial hair, pick at his pimples, and think he’s too cool for me. I shudder. But for now, I’m going to treasure all the life-lessons my little kiddo is teaching me.
- Starbucks is overrated. Wait, I’m going to pay over $5 for a cup full of sugar, milk, and a tiny bit of over-roasted espresso? No, thank you. Man, I sure did give a lot of my hard-earned cash to Starbucks in my twenties…
- Oh, guys…yoga pants. And high-waist jeans. Okay, so maybe it’s called the mom uniform, but those moms know what they’re talking about!
- Quality over quantity. Now I understand the value of a good pair of jeans versus Forever 21 jeans. I feel like I’ve passed some unspoken test in life.
- Living in different parts of the country has been a very informative experience. From Phoenix, to Los Angeles, to Kansas City, each one has taught me that I can truly live anywhere. It’s less about where I live and more about the life I create in those places. Plus, fall. And spring. And watching the first snow fall. Four seasons are amazing.
- Love your family and hold them tight. Life is too short to hold grudges or spend too much time being too busy to be with family. Yes, our most recent extended vacation around the world to see family was a crazy move financially. But seeing literally almost all of our family, some for the first time in a long time, was 100% worth it.
- Spontaneity is not my strength, but I’m learning how to embrace it. Maybe it’s because I’m married to a guy who loves adventures and trying new things. Or maybe it’s because becoming a mom stretches you to embrace things you never thought you could. But I’m learning. And I’m trying. And sometimes, it’s even fun. 🙂
- Make a plan. And then learn how to let it go. Anyone who knows me AT ALL knows that I love to make a plan. This girl loves her planners and colored pens and sticky notes. Even better if it all matches. But my twenties have taught me that life never goes as planned. Planning is important, but life is a moving target.
- Worrying is also overrated. Worrying is not going to accomplish anything. It’s easier said than done, I know. But why stress about something you really don’t have control over anyway?
- Prayer is powerful. At some point in my twenties, I realized that if I prayed as much as I worried, I would have an amazing prayer life. I hope to do that better in my thirties.
- Love people well. Not just the people that I like. But rather, love and serve those whom God has placed in my life. Love without calculating the cost. Love without expecting anything in return.
- Recently, somebody asked me what I hope for Josiah to be when he grows up. And when I thought about the daily prayers I pray for him, my dreams for him really have nothing to do with what he’ll do with his life. Rather, I pray everyday that he will love the Lord for all of his days. That he will never wander from the path God has placed before him. And that’s what I realized matters the most in this life. That at the end of the day, I love the Lord with everything in me. And that’s how I want to spend this next decade. Even more in love with God than when I started. That love will be the legacy I start building today.
Thirty years. Thirty reflections/lessons/realizations.
As I stand here looking out into my thirties, it really does feel like a clean slate. I’ve learned a lot, but I’ve got a lot more to learn. And I’ve got a lot more life to live.
I’m excited and hopeful for what this next decade will teach me. The new people that God will bring into my life, the new places we will go. The good and the hard that we will face, and the more of His goodness and faithfulness that we will experience.
The best is yet to come. 🙂