33 years and now?

yummy cake image from http://cullinancakes.blogspot.com

Well, I did it. I had another birthday. I keep asking them to stop coming and they never listen. When I was 32, I read that being 31 is the most empowering of a woman’s life. She is usually situated happily in a relationship; she has a great career; and she is a peace with who she has become. I somehow missed it. At 31, I was pregnant, having a second child, on maternity leave, and sleeping very little. Where was my amazing 31st year? I was so busy in fact that I didn’t even know I  missed my “powerful” 31st year until I was already 32 and the magical year had passed me by. Ah, but such is life and I do dearly love that Little Monkey who came into my life during that 31st year.

Personally, I preferred 27 or 28. They were great years. And not because I didn’t have kids, well maybe, but I wasn’t in the dreaded 30s (which now I acquiesce are just lovely) and I was just past the trying age of 25 when everyone still assumes you are a kid and need their sage advice. I was full of energy and excitement for what I did, a teacher, coach, actress, wife, and friend. My husband and I were blissfully in love and did everything together. It may be one of the longest “honeymoon” periods on record, since we were married when I was 23. It was amazing! I felt as if the whole world lay ahead of me and there were endless possibilities.

And here I sit behind a desk, typing at 33. This is all the life Jesus got to live in bodily form. That is enough to inspire any believer into some self evaluation. So what do I have and what have I done…

I have an amazing family. I am blessed with parents who have been married for over 40 years. They continue to support me and love me. I have taken the love and the life they gave me and poured it into my own family. I will celebrate my 10th Anniversary this August with my best friend. We have two beautiful little boys, who are us. And for this we laugh constantly. I have a wonderful big brother and a blessed younger sister.  And I love them dearly. I have a huge extended family that I love to spend time with (and some people I’m related to).

I have an amazing education and the desire of a life-long learner. I was blessed with mentors in my life to point me in the right direction. As a result, I have a BA in Religion from a small Methodist liberal arts school and an MTS in Scripture and Interpretation from Harvard. I constantly seek knowledge and value conversations with people of information. I read, I observe, I reflect, and I write. I have hopes of one day earning a doctorate.

I have amazing friends, the kind who throw you surprise Birthday parties and the kind who, even though you haven’t seen them in years, call out of the blue to chat and tell you you are loved.

I have an amazing job on the campus of a boarding school. I have never felt so loved and supported for who I am, even with all my faults, as I have here. It is an amazing school and an amazing experience. My co-workers and the students are my family too. And I love it and them!

I have freedom to be me–to be irreverent, to garden, to read, to exercise or to be lazy, to wear make-up and look pretty or to be make-up-less-wet-pony-tailed-honest me, to play with my kids, to watch movies and play MW3 with  my husband, and to write.

And, I have a faith that sustains me through the good and the bad. I have fellow journeyers who inspire me, challenge me, and support me. I have God on my side, even if I’m not on His all the time. And I have a God who comes after his little lost lamb when my actions require it!

I, my dear friends, loving family, and fellow bloggers, am blessed! I have had an amazing 32 years.

And now what of this Jesus year?

It seems to me that I should set some goals for my Jesus year. Given a bit of thought and recognizing that it probably should involve things spiritual in nature, here’s where I’ve arrived:

  1. Read the entire Bible. Not just the narrative parts. Not just the “big” stories. Not just the parts I like. But all of it. Even the boring genealogies (after all, as an OT professor told our class once, “It’s just evidence of a bunch of sex.”) Even the confusing prophets. Even the often-misinterpreted Revelation. All Of It! (I’m happy to report that I have started a plan on my iPhone and am over 5% of the way there…it’s going to be a long year…
  2. Finish one of the many Bible studies I have started. I’m thinking of the outreach study. It’s a Bible study that requires the participants to do mission work in their community. An action study if you will.
  3. Copyright something, maybe a Bible study. I’m not sure how to do it, but I want to and have a few descent short stories and one that I think it pretty darn good. And I’m always writing the next great American novel in my head and some of it finds its way to paper.
  4. Become an Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church. Classes are in September, so I’m gearing up. Once I complete this course, I will be able to preach in any UMC pulpit, including my uncle’s in MD…how sweet! (Here’s my first sermon as a local church lay speaker.)
  5. Fit comfortably into all my clothes again. Still hanging on to about 10 pounds of pregnancy ick.  Did I mention my “baby” will be 2 this August? Yeah, I know…but I love sweets so much!!!
  6. Decorate our house, so that it feels like our family. We live in a house on campus that is provided for us as part of my husband’s job. All the walls are an irksome yellowy-beige, except the boys. We painted theirs when I was pregnant with Little Monkey, in that powerful 31st year. (No worries, it was actually my husband and sister who did the painting. I did all the taping prior.) I have started the plans in my head. We will begin taking action soon. Pictures to follow…
  7. Ah yes, the divine number, I believe I will stop my Jesus year goals here…sleep in again…nope, that will have to wait for several more years. To be honest I can’t think of another worthy goal to make the list…so I’ll leave this one open for divine inspiration. That could be dangerous, but I’ll go with it!

Wish me luck!

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9 thoughts on “33 years and now?

  1. Inspirational goals my friend 🙂 I also have goal #3. I have written a Bible study for military wives as part of my DMin and am trying to get it published. Abingdon already said thanks but no thanks 😦 I got a few offers from independent publishers but they required me to pay some money and I’m not there right now…so still waiting for a better offer. Maybe we can help each other along the way with this process? Also want to encourage you with goal #1 – it is worth it and something I need to do again – best advice I can give is keep pushing when you get to Chronicles!

    • Great to hear from you! I would love to read your study if you’d let me. I’m sure someone will pick it up! I am a great one for getting all the ideas and not following through, so this Jesus year is a year for completing things. Reading yours may be another shot of adrenaline to push onward. Look forward to hearing from you.

  2. This is good W. Thanks for sharing it to remind me of all I have to be thankful for right now. How is the baby doing? A very Happy Birthday to YOU!!! God Bless, SR

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes. Updated you on Little Monkey on your blog. Hope all is well with you and that your mother continues to see improvement! Blessings ~w

  3. I had read that the 50th year is the best. We know who we are, we’re into our stride, kids are raised and stepping out on their own, parents may not need that much help yet. . . My 50th was great and it’s gone up from there. So the best may be ahead!

    One of my favorite passages is Matthew’s “begats.” Every single name represents a life touched by God’s amazing grace. I taught a series of classes on the five women in the line of Christ–what a privilege to be in that line! Four of the women were foreigners, two widows, two prostitutes (one professional, one to make a point to her father-in-law), an adulteress (maybe not by choice) and an umarried mother. Interesting to see who wasn’t in the line: Sarah, for instance, though she was honored for her faith in Hebrews 11, so it wasn’t because of a lack on her part.

    Trying to guess what the “W” is for: Wendy? Wanda? Wilhelmina?

    Blessings,
    Jessica
    hiddeninjesus.wordpress.com

  4. Pingback: The Way Things Work Out « Encourage One Another Daily

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