Friday, 13 December 2013

30 and...

This past summer, I wrote a post as one of many "30-something" ladies reflecting on the third decade of life, featured on the amazing blog, shoestoshiraz. This is an adaptation of that post. For me, thirty is the time to pause and start writing again. I'll be sharing my thoughts, observations and updates on our little family through grumblinggrace. Here's a look back at my big three-O:

"30 and..." 

Google it. The search suggestions run the gamut of hopes delayed: 30 and unemployed/not married/broke/living at home/never had a relationship. Don't get me wrong, none of these are inherently negative and people have different life paths, but what is it about THIRTY that feels like all the cookie cutter pieces of life should be neatly in place? It's as if I've suddenly joined the ranks of grownups and need to tally the score. I've reached the age that teenage pacts use as a benchmark. You know, "If we aren't married/rich/parents/ business owners/lion tamers when we are THIRTY, then___."  This is the age when things are supposed to magically come together after the carefree college twenties: the spouse, the house, the job, the kids, the self-driving pod (Where are they? Seriously?) the fill-in-the-blank expectations of adult success. Thirty, the year of compounded New Year's resolutions. No pressure. Regardless of your presumptions, it's a transition to some next nebulous sphere of adulthood, minus the Green Day and grad dresses. So here I am, taking stock.


My twenties were a happy disaster. I learned, I explored, I dove right in. In my life, over and over I've found that God has the best choices laid out for every desire He provides, but in my twenties, I decided to choose for myself. I made enough terrible relational choices, dealt with enough personal insecurities, and wasted enough money and time as I blundered around post-secondary education to make me anxious to not waste any more time EVER! There are so many different choices we can make as adults and so many different hats we can wear, but the best hope and the best future are found through the one who created all of the facets of who we are. The freedom I found in Christ allowed me to pursue my passions, like travelling and languages and to develop new passions like teaching and investing in solid relationships. Still, I regret the time I wasted, the people I hurt, and the bad habits I'm still trying to break. Not only that, those twenties went by FAST.

--> I joined the ranks of 30-somethings this past January. As a definite newbie, I see the clean slate of the next decade as an opportunity. I see the beauty God has made of my mess so far; I’ve arrived at thirty with an incredible man as a husband, a beautiful brand new daughter, and a teaching career that I am excited to grow into. I consciously choose to be surrounded by amazing friends and family that lift me up, while other less healthy relationships have faded to the periphery. Instead of dwelling on the disasters, I want to celebrate where I am headed. I want to be consistent in my walk with God, with my man, and with my friends. I want to take it one day at a time because i know how quickly these days add up.

To me, my thirties are the perfect balance between being young enough to have the time and energy to spend with the people I love, while having the awareness of how important and valuable relationships are. There are new challenges (balancing parenthood and work? Whaaa?) but I look forward to the time to enjoy and continue to grow in the foundations that were established in my disastrous twenties, through trial and error, hard work, and God’s grace. My hats now include friend, daughter, sister, wife, mom, and teacher. I have people to know, passions to explore, and confidence to enjoy both.  

What an amazing place to begin.
"In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps."
Proverbs 16:9

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