29 Again

Monday, September 17, 2012

Today is my birthday!

Weirdness.  Does anyone after the age of 6 ever actually feel like the day of their birthday is the day of their birthday?  Nevertheless, the day has arrived, and I've been teaching my toddler for weeks now how to say "Mommy is 29 again!"

sad birthday kitty meme
I should be really good at 29 by now, after all, it's my fourth time.  What can I say?  As much as I would really love to embrace the whole "you get better with age" thing - I've sort of come to the conclusion that I just don't like getting older.  There you have it.

It's not that I don't like where I am.  It's not that I'm unhappy or think I should be doing anything other that what I'm doing.  No, no, it's just that time keeps passing more quickly than I am prepared for it to pass...and there is not one thing I can do about it (despite what those Loreal commercials tell me).

I suppose I didn't really mind turning 30.  It was strange to leave my twenties, but motherhood was a new and exciting adventure, and so I took it all in stride as the decade turned.  But, now that I am really starting to dig into this new decade, well, I'm very nearly on the verge of denying it all together.

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I was reading a magazine article about which "eye cream" was best at wrinkle prevention that I realized they were talking to me about how to reverse the signs of aging.  WHAT?  But, there it was spelled out for all to see, how "women in their thirties" should start blah blah blah blah.  Oh man, that was ME!  When did that happen?  When did I jump into the category of consumers that needed to start making sure retinol and vitamin C were in their moisturizing routine???


One last rant... My husband is still a twenty-something.  Yup.  I robbed the cradle when I married him, and now I'm paying the price.  Call me silly.  Call me a cougar (ha).  But, now I'm doing my darndest to not throw my birthday cake in his face.  When I turned thirty it didn't seem like a big deal, it seemed like he was right behind me.  But, turns out this whole "time" thing continues on a linear path and there will never be a day that he catches up and surpasses me, and here I am turning 32 while he is leisurely hanging back at a cool 29.  Bah, humbug.

Okay, okay.  Enough of that.  Enough complaining and scoffing and pity-partying.  I know, I know, it is NOT very mature, nor becoming of me.  Sigh.

Today is my birthday.  Another year of survival, triumph, tears, love, laughter, hardship, prayers, patience, pain and joy.  It's remarkable how the days seem to drag on and then all of a sudden a year has spun out of control again.

Today is my birthday.  I feel older than I have in a while, I feel more accomplished that I thought I would have felt as a stay-at-home-mom, I feel wiser and dumbfounded all the same.  I don't think I've ever been more in control of what is out-of-my-control in my whole life.  That is, as a gal in my thirties, I just now start to have a sense of balancing the peace amidst the chaos, letting the knowledge and experience that I have seep deeper into my heart that the feelings or emotions that I have.  I'm not just full of a series of reactions anymore, like I was in my twenties.  I'm not just a walking ball of drama that never quits (regardless of popular opinion).  I stop and think before I speak a lot more often than I used to.  I not only know I'm not the center of the world, but I'm starting to act like it too.

Today is my birthday, and here's what I have to say about it:  I like myself.

It might seem arrogant or taboo or downright haughty to say such a thing, and it all honesty, it only makes me a little bit sad if you think that way.  Because, as I'm raising two daughters who are silly and awesome, it really makes me realize how important it is that they value who they are.  I'm not saying it's good to focus on yourself or be full of yourself or even put yourself first...but, it makes me sad to think about my girls possibly not liking themselves someday, and that lesson really starts right here, with me, right now.

Insecurities flood us from every direction these days.  Each day, each month, each year we wake up to new fears and new circumstances that await us with new problems.  None of us could ever possibly be skinny enough, lucky enough, rich enough, happy enough with everything that the world throws our way.  It's futile.

I've got a long way to go in this life.  I mean, I pray this is still only one of many, many birthdays to come.  I can't imagine what the future holds, nor do I want to!  That's part of the adventure!

I don't like the passage of time - I'm still working on just how to grasp the beauty of the moment (easier said than done when a toddler is throwing Cheetos at your face) and I still have to get used to my new night cream (I can still pass for 21, right?) but, I'm not ashamed of getting to know who I am anymore.  I'm not avoiding the subject.  I'm not intimidated by what I may or may not become.

Jesus was only 33 when He was crucified for mankind.  T-H-I-R-T-Y-T-H-R-E-E.  Whoa.  My whole life I've thought of Jesus as this wise old owl who was so much older than me that I at least could use that as an excuse for misbehaving.  And, here I am.  What if this was my final year?  What if?

Thanks for still pursuing me, God.  Thank you for creating me and being just as interested in me as you were that very first day I came into the world.

Birthdays are weird.  They celebrate us for something we had nothing to do with.  I had no choice that my parents made me, kept me, raised me; and yet, I get a day all to myself to be recognized for just being.  

Jesus looks at us as if every day is our birthday.  (Go with me on this.)  He died for us, pursues us, loves us, took on all our sin (past, present, future) whether we wanted Him to or not...and there's nothing we can do about it.  Nothing.  It's done.

We can't earn it, we can't work for it, we can't change it, and we certainly don't deserve it.  But, every day - Jesus looks upon us as if we are clean and beautiful and worthy of having saved.  Jesus never wishes He hadn't gone through all that pain for us.  Jesus never regrets the sacrifice He made for us.  He lavishes us with love and mercy as if the day was made just for us.  All we have to do is believe it, accept it, and rejoice in the privilege of sharing it with others.

Now, that's a thought worth celebrating!

Alright, alright, I feel better already.  Maybe it's the cake or the presents or maybe that new moisturizer had magical healing powers (naaah)...but, I'm getting the sense that this year is going to hold so much more than just 365 days.  Maybe next year I'll even turn 30 (again)!

Cheers.  Jesus loves you.  You should love you too.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely said, Em.. and happy birthday! This is the decade I came in to my own, too. Personal freedom is a beautiful thing. :) You are wonderful! xoxo


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