Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thirty-Five. Wait, what?

Age is just a number, huh.  That's what I've been told most of my life; however, there are so many milestones tied to those "meaningless" digits.

When you reach...

 5 -  Hooray, you're a whole hand now!  You're such a big kid!
10 - My goodness, you have now reached double digits.  No going back now kiddo.
13 - Whaaat, a teenager?
16 - Dear law, you can drive...please bring me my Tylenol.
18 - Congratulations!  You've graduated high school and can vote!  What an accomplishment and
       what a privilege!
21 - Now you are really, seriously an adult.  Please remember what has been instilled in your heart,
       follow God's laws and you will be just fine.  Always remember we love you...(just please don't
       smoke, do drugs, drink, or have sex.  You'll regret it...I promise.  Oh, and we love you)
30 -Now 30 seems to be the age where so many people get tripped up.  They spend so much time   reflecting; so much time thinking about the past; the then and now, if you will.  For me, well 30 never really bothered me. I felt happy, content, and dare I say...still young.

35 -This year, however, has been a bit different.  It has struck a different cord.  I am now checking a different box.  Rather than 25-34 age group, I am now in with the 35-40 year old women.  Wait, what?  For whatever reason, I had to shake my head a little to bring myself back to the reality of it all.  I. am. 35.  Where in the world has my whole life gone?  What legacy am I leaving?  What about my accomplishments?  My dreams?  Have I conquered fears?  Have I walked by faith or lived in fear?  Have I been a person my family can be proud of?  If I died today would I have touched enough lives that anyone would come to my funeral?

Morbid, I know, but I panicked!  For some reason at that moment I felt like 35 was halfway to 70 and that was more than halfway to death.  I felt like my time was running out.  After voicing my thoughts to Mike and receiving a look that more than implied I had lost my marbles, I decided I needed some time to put things in perspective.  My 34th year was for sure a pivotal year for me; lots of lessons learned and many growing pains were felt. 

* I became the mother of two 5 year old little girls.  My youngest babies are now a "whole hand!"  They were even big enough to start kindergarten...sigh.  Writing stories, reading big books, and the biggie...no more naps ;)

* My youngest son, my very last Roy boy, entered into the double digits.  I remember what a big deal that was for me.  I seriously remember riding my bike around the neighborhood telling myself that there's no going back now, I was a big kid.  Seems funny now, although it was no laughing matter at the time.  I suppose I took things seriously even then.

* This is looking ahead just a bit, but my oldest son is about to enter into the teenage world.  Goodness, that in and of itself is something.  Now begin the times where decisions are going to matter more than ever before.  Peer pressure is going to become more intense and life priorities are going to be set.

* My oldest child started high school.  High.  School.  It's about to happen...newfound freedoms, obligations, relationships, decisions, and priorities that are all going to help shape the rest of her life.  Although her Dad and I felt like we were tossing her to the wolves, we prayed that we had adequately instilled the most importantly lesson for what's to come:  Always put God first and the rest will fall into place.

* My husband and I have celebrated 13 years of marriage.  We, in a sense, have/are "growing up" together.  We've had our share of struggles and our share of triumphs.  We've been stressed beyond measure, and even had times where we just felt like we were just doing life, rather than living and enjoying it.  Through it all, we have learned how to lean on God for support and cling to each other along the way. Although some grey hairs are making an appearance, Mike continues to compliment my beauty and love me through every emotional meltdown I have.  We're doing it...we're actually growing old together.  I love it.  How many people can actually say that?

*I have maintained a steady job for 13 years.  My benefits continue to go up; I make my own hours, most of the time), and the pay is pretty darn good.  It would be impossible to put an actual dollar amount on the amount of joy I experience while serving my family.  I've been there for all the "firsts," dried many tears, had my arms overflowing with countless hugs, and watched every milestone and goal be met.  As with any job, there are perks and, well, not perks.  To experience true joy you must participate in it all.  I'm so thankful that my husband works so hard, to put me in a position where I can "work at home" for my family.

* This seemed to be the year that I actually realized what true friendship was all about.  I know quite a few people, but there are only a precious few that I know I could come to at my lowest and be assured they would stop everything to help.  Deployments, death, health, and pregnancy have been 4 biggies in which I have had to lean on others.  It wasn't easy to be so vulnerable, but those friendships have helped get me through.  The times we have shared laughing, crying, venting, and solving all world problems are priceless.  THOSE kinds of friendships are hard to find.

* My God continues to amaze me.  Sometimes I have the courage to step out in faith, knowing it is what God wants me to do.  However, most of the time, I make sure it lines up with what I'm comfortable doing and what fits in.  Countless times this year God has encouraged, then gently nudged, and finally pushed me to do something new.  Sometimes I think, "ah-ha, I get it" right away.  Then other times, I won't see it all until days/weeks down the road.  Simply ah-mazing and always a blessing.

So, now that I am 35 + some days old I have embraced my accomplishments, experiences, and learned a lot along the way.  It's time to focus on some new goals and work harder to improve older ones.  Currently I am trying to increase my distance in my running, learning to really study the Bible, and trust God wholeheartedly win a few situations that my earthly mind cannot even wrap my mind around.

I am thankful; so very thankful to be able to check that new box and thankful to start a new year.

These two dolls are 5!!

This kiddo gets tougher by the year. 

He's quick. He's smart. He's strong.  He's my big (almost teenage) boy!!
This brilliant, beautiful, and talented young lady is my sweet high schooler!

 This handsome man loves me!  How lucky am I?!

Still going strong.
Cheers to 35!!

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