Today is my birthday. I am 31 years old. No longer am I stepping at the threshold of a new decade, I am now officially in the door. And proud of it!
I used to hate getting older. I have always loved my birthday (my love language is gifts!), but after I turned 21 I had no use for keeping track of numbers anymore. Each year I would woe-is-me-I'm-getting-older and be consoled by the women in my life. Older women. I was one of the younger ones with the youngest children. And now the tides have turned. I am one of the older ones, with older children, consoling these chicks younger than me who are bemoaning their birthdays. How times have changed.
Last year I was totally depressed about my birthday. My mom was the only one who called. Joseph was on a terrible rotation and didn't even come home in time for dinner. And of course the kids had no idea it was even my birthday. Combine all that with the fact that it was my 30th birthday and you have the perfect combination for a depressing birthday. I was so sad.
And now this year, as my birthday has been quickly approaching, I was also feeling depressed at the thought of walking into a new decade of life and leaving the on that everyone says is the greatest - your youthful 20's. And then after that it seems like you are just old. I recently saw in a store some over-the-hill, black paper products for the 30th birthday! So here I have been for the past couple of years, as I approached 30, wishing I was 21 again.
Then I had a change of heart. I started thinking about my life when I was 21. I was a disaster. I was heavily into drugs, making lots of money and spending it all and on nothing. Completely self absorbed, reckless, careless, thoughtless, and had no direction in my life. I was young, living wild and free with no responsibilities or cares in the world. And I was miserable mess. Miserable and lost. And I didn't even know it. Yeah, 21 wasn't so great.
Okay, how about 25 then. Right in the middle. But then as I was thinking about that I remembered what I was doing at 25. I had only been married a year and we had a new baby. I was trying to figure out how to be a mom and a wife - and not just any mom or wife. The perfect mom and wife. I had such high expectations for everyone and everything around me and was always stressed out. Yeah, 25 wasn't the greatest.
Hmmm...so what then? Why do I want to be in my twenties again?...
I realized that I have bought into worldly lies that say youth and beauty are all that matter. Babylon's lies. If I get older and become more wrinkled then I am worth less. Babylon's lies. The older I get, the closer I become to death and then I have nothing to look forward to. Lie. Life is only good if you are young. Lies, lies, lies.
The more I thought about it I realized that each year has gotten better than the last. I got married, had a son, and another and then twin girls. Add a few moves and the amazing people that I have met and that all got me thinking. I am growing and maturing every year. God is using the people around me to teach me and stretch me. I understand Him more now than I did 10 years ago, even 5 years ago! Each year I learn more about being the wife and mother that God wants me to be. I grow more patient and content each year. Each year has been a building block to who I am today and while I wouldn't go back to any of those years they have been needed in shaping me and making me more appreciative of all that I have today.
I would have never in a million years imagined that this is where I would be, 10 years ago. The family, friends and blessings that I have in my life couldn't have even been in my most wild dreams. The love that I have for my amazing husband and children - I could have never imagined what that would have felt like. And that, my friends, is what makes me excited about getting older. So far, with age has come wisdom and blessings beyond belief. So bring on the birthdays! I'm ready to celebrate!
ps. if you want to get me a gift - there is this 2008 Suburban that I like or I have always wanted to go to Tahiti or I also saw this label maker that made me drool last night. Or if none of those work for you, then how about leaving me a comment! I always see all these random places on the map, checking out my blog and I am just curious who you are! And the rest of you...well, I just love hearing from you, friends!