Smile – you’re older!

Today I’m thirty-two.  No, I don’t consider that old.  But I know people who do.  I’ve known people who have struggled with turning 25, or 30, or 39, or 40…  Here’s my take on that.  You can’t stop it.  You have no choice.  Yes, you’re allowed to struggle with it and take some time to adjust, but ultimately you don’t get to choose whether or not your age  changes.  You can choose if you take care of yourself and enjoy the ride.

So on my birthday, I thought I’d take a look at myself at 32.  Aren’t you lucky? 🙂

I‘ve had the great joy to be married to Chad for 12 1/2 years.  He makes me laugh every day.  He makes me want to love him well, and support him in any way he needs while he leads and provides for our family.  I will go anywhere he goes because there is no one else I want by my side.

I have three incredible children, who are all healthy, who love Jesus, and who I believe are on their way to becoming adults of great character.  I see them growing in their understanding of what it means to be a good friend, how to be respectful of Chad and I, how to respond with love to their siblings, and how to choose right from wrong.  And…. when our youngest graduates from high school I will be 44.  That’s not a bad deal.

I have incredible parents.  From my dad I learned a lot about my heavenly Father, and have never doubted either’s unconditional love and forgiveness.  Of all the things he has taught me, this is by far the most valuable.  My dad and I fought a lot when I was growing up, but it’s because he had boundaries for me that he wasn’t willing to compromise!  It’s because he wasn’t afraid to be my dad then that he is my friend now.  From my mom I learned how to work hard to meet the needs of my family.  Even though I have a family of my own, when we go to their house she still offers to do our laundry, she cooks, does the dishes, picks up after my kids – she’s still my mom.  That doesn’t ever stop.  She’s a great example of a mother who sees what needs to be done and does it.  She meets others’ needs before her own.  I’m still not as good at that as she is, hopefully I will never stop trying to reach that goal.

From my sister I’ve learned to be more sensitive to others’ emotions and how to listen better.  This is something everyone could use a few more lessons in, and I’m glad I’ve had her to teach me.  She’s also been my greatest help with Grace – helping me understand my sweet girl’s heart and the value of listening to her thoughts.

I think God has been teaching me to be “bold and respectful” this past year – both things together.  Those two words have been whispered to me several times, always together.  I’m not always good at being confrontational, at sticking up for myself.  I also unfortunately bottle things up until that fateful day when the lid pops off.  So I’m working on being “bold and respectful” at the first offense so that pressure doesn’t build up.

I also believe God has given me a passion for coming alongside young moms and wives to encourage them.  I’m still not sure what this will turn into, if anything, but for now I just love talking with them, listening, sharing my experiences, and letting them know they aren’t alone in their struggles.

So that’s me in… 603 words.  Sorry it’s so long, thanks for sticking it out. 🙂  All in all, I’m pretty happy with 32.  I’m healthy, I’m happy, God has blessed me more than I could have imagined when I was younger.  It’s good.

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