Yesterday I turned 39. And though I thought that it would be a tough day for me, it was completely normal. I barely even thought about my age as I hurried through the day cleaning house, wiping butts, and playing dance party. I was prepared to go into a deep dark state of depression, anticipating the year ahead. Knowing that in 364 short days I would be 40. Ugh 40. It sounds horrible today, right now. It sounds middle aged. Only a number, yes, but a milestone as well. One that I have dreaded for years. But today, and yesterday and maybe even tomorrow, the dread is gone.
I don't know if it is the fact that I actually survived my thirties despite the health problems, the stress, the loneliness, the heart ache, the grief. Or if it is the fact that I SURVIVED my thirties!! More of a celebration if you will. Either way, I survived and I am blessed and I don't give two shits about the fact that next year I will be forty. It no longer matters to me. Maybe it will on February 2, 2015. But I doubt it.
You see my thirties have been the best, longest, toughest, most agonizing years of my life. We as a family have survived some of the most difficult things that families go through. Distance, business, death, loss, sickness, you name it and Doc and I have done it over the last eight years. The miracles that we have witnessed would blow your mind, probably the greatest one being that our marriage survived. Second to the Tiny One of course. And so 39, though it sounds old to those that are 30 or 25 or maybe even 38, is only a testimony to the mercy and love of God in my family. I survived. My heart survived. My body did not fail though it came close a few times. My family did not give up on me, though my time and energy seemed always to be focused elsewhere. My friends, the ones that really loved me, they are still present though I have spent little time maintaining those relationships. My kids were not lost in the chaos though they may have felt like they were at times. My marriage did not end, though many would have walked away, to somewhere, anywhere but the house that seemed so full of loss and sadness and sickness and stress. Miracles. Mercy. Grace. Those are what I celebrate on a day that marks yet another year of my life gone by.
I have learned a lot in my thirties. Some things that I already knew and were reinforced. Some that were lessons that came with the chaos. Here are a few. I learned that you can survive death, even in the form of a child. I learned that you can will your body to do anything if you ask Jesus to help, even keep a baby alive for just a few more minutes. I learned that if you love someone with your whole heart they will be right there when you wake up from the worst nightmare you have ever had. I learned that forming relationships early in life and maintaining those during your "busy" years will be a huge blessing during the hard years. I have learned that scary to you, is scary to your mom and dad no matter how old you are. I have learned that some friendships are worth letting go so that you have the energy to hold onto the ones that count. I have learned that people who have never met you can love you. I have learned that faith is the foundation of ALL relationships and without it you will eventually fail. I have learned that Jesus is the One and Only Healer and that the power of prayer will save a life. I have learned that marrying the right person will be the single most important decision of your life other than the one to follow Jesus.
In two days I leave for a trip to California where I will meet one of my very favorites for four days. Many have said that I have earned such a break. I disagree. I believe that though I will enjoy every second of my time, my place and my heart are here with my girls and my husband who could use the same four days he has gifted me. And though my body will relish in the rest, I have not earned it by being a faithful wife or a mother that loves her kids more than herself. That is what is expected of me by my Maker, by the One that loved me enough to give my these babies and that man that provides for us. All that to say that I cannot freaking WAIT to see Meg and enjoy myself.
39 will be another year of my life spend doing exactly that is expected of me with all that He gives me. I will enjoy it. I will rest when He allows it and work when He expects it. My wishes? To rest more than I work. To see my family more. To make some memories with these girls and to look forward to the rest of my life.
Happy Birthday to me!!