Since I am turning 31 tomorrow, I decided to make a list of 31 things that it took me just about this long to learn (or admit) about myself. As I consider all I have been given, my heart bursts with gratitude and the desire to be a blessing to others. May the next 31 years be just as full and fun and crazy and ridiculous, and may it all amount to something beautiful for the Lord.
So here are 31 observations I would like to share, some Clearly more significant than others:
1. All is grace. My whole life is grace. Every gift, every good experience, every person I love. It is all given freely by a gracious God who loves me.
2. I like to sleep. A lot. This was the single hardest adjustment to motherhood.
3. I love a lot of people. They say you usually have either a few deep friends, or you have lot of shallow ones. I have a lot of deep friends because that’s just how I roll.
4. I have always loved music because it runs in my blood. Now, I also adore theater.
5. I didn’t learn to love reading until I was 30. Now I feel like I have to make up for lost time, and I’m on book 17 since October of 2015.
6. As a general rule, I don’t carry a lot of shame, but this year I found a few areas where my soul was in need of shame resilience. Brene Brown’s book has been very helpful for this journey!
7. This year I gave up dieting. Boy, has this been a game changer. Probably more blogs to come, but a book entitled Intuitive Eating has opened my eyes to an entirely different, healthier-for-me way of viewing food. I’m still at the beginning of my journey, but I’m not going back to my old self.
8. I hate the smell of wet Cheerios. Barf.
9. My favorite type of book to read is a memoir.
10. I adore flowers, but I have a hard time keeping things alive in my yard. My poor neighbors.
11. I can’t watch scary movies, just no, and I get seriously emotionally invested in anything I watch. Tearful endings are the norm for any genre of movie, but the truth is I typically only like a movie that has a happy ending. Even then I cry.
12. Going to the dentist makes me very uncomfortable and anxious.
13. I do not like most breakfast foods for breakfast. Give me pancakes for dinner or BACON any time of day (and on anything), but first thing in the morning I would rather have a Luna bar or dinner leftovers. Also, egg whites usually make me sick.
14. Sometimes I question my mothering skills. Other times I look at my one of them and think, “oh my word, I actually know what to do right now.” Those moments are rare and fleeting, but I’m taking the victory.
15. The older I get, the more I crave hot weather. I understand more and more why retirees move south.
16. I like change.
17. When I was in high school, I figured that I would go into some kind of professional church ministry. I just didn’t realize then that my job and my ministry would be motherhood. I am so happy with my chosen “profession” and am grateful to have even had the choice.
18. I still shake or get very nervous almost every time I sing in front of anyone. Singing for another human can be extremely vulnerable.
19. I crave adventure and travel.
20. My life is a relatively open book. Clearly.
21. I do not think I actually have a favorite color. If pressed I think it might be royal blue.
22. It took until I was thirty, but now I am more comfortable with silence and alone time. Perhaps it’s just that I’m in a season where it’s rare, but this avowed extrovert enjoys some solo recharging time these days.
23. I am not that great at keeping up with relationships long-distance. I try to check in with friends often, but sometimes it leaves me feeling depleted and spread thin. I wish I had a better system for this because there are so many beloved friends spread far and wide.
24. Mosquitos like to bite me. I tell myself it’s because I’m sweet.
25. I like work out classes like Zumba, but sometimes I can’t handle the interaction and pressure, so I choose solo activities. I guess this goes back to me liking change.
26. I love to plan and make schedules, only to change plans and throw out schedules. This drives my loved ones crazy. I like to think of it as part of my winsome charm.
27. There are things I am fairly certain I would never do… like sky dive, bungee jump, hike mount Everest.
28. There are things I might like to attempt: get good at yoga, backpack with my family, find a tattoo I could commit to, and find real recipes my whole family will eat (this is a fantasy I know).
29. I’m secretly glad that I am not a perfect mother. I know I should be sorrier for my mistakes, but the truth is I think it’s more of a gospel lesson for my kids to see me repeatedly need forgiveness. Because that’s life.
30. The smell of my lilac bush in my yard makes me giddy.
31. Getting older doesn’t make me sad. Birthdays are just another reason to have parties with people I love!
Thanks for reading, momma… I am assuming I wrote this mostly for you. But as you’re the one who gave me life just about 31 years ago, this seems appropriate. I love you!
And for anyone else who read it, I love you too! I have lots of love to go around. Thanks for sharing my journey.