Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Big 3-Ohhhhhhhhh

I woke up this morning and started my day just as a I start most Sundays...went for a run with my favorite running partners, went and got a cup of hot coffee, and headed home.  As soon as I pulled in the driveway and got out of the car, I could smell the bacon that was cooking behind the closed front door.  It was clear this was not the usual turkey bacon, either. Nope. This was the REAL deal.  I tried to unlock the front door but alas the lock on the handle had been locked, making it impossible for me to get in because our key doesn't work for that lock. {and yes, I know we should get that taken care of...} I rang the doorbell and I heard Sophia squeal, "Mommy's home! She's here! Hurry!"  Then, with a click of the lock, the door flew open and my girls yelled, "Happy Birthday, Momma!!"  I was ushered into the kitchen where there was a stack of cards, a dozen red roses, a balloon, and my husband, slaving away over the stove.  And then it hit me.  I am thirty years old.  THIRTY.  Adios, twenties...Momma's got a brand-new bag.  Or rather, a not-so-brand-new bag.  Last weekend my husband and friends threw me a surprise birthday party, and it was fantastic.  But truth-be-told, the reality of entering a new decade didn't really hit me then, because, well, I was still 29.  It doesn't seem all that long ago that I WANTED to be older; to look older; to act older.  I couldn't WAIT to turn 13...16...21...but today was a bit different.  I remember years ago sneaking down to the basement of my parent's house to watch The Real World on MTV, and thinking, "Geez, these people are OLD!"  19 seemed old.  24 seemed ancient.  And 30?! Yikes.  So today, as I got ready for church, I took a few extra minutes examining myself in the mirror.  Where did those lines above my brow come from?  And how come they don't go away when I relax my face?  They USED to not even be there unless I furrowed my brow.  Over the past few days several people have asked me what I did differently with my hair.  I wish I had actually done something different to tell them about, but the only thing I did was get my gray roots covered up with some dye.  Gray. Roots.  WHAT?!  When did this happen??!??!  I had a "moment" earlier, standing there staring at my face in the mirror...a moment when it hit me like ton of bricks...this crazy thing called "Life" stops for no one.  Not even on your birthday.  ESPECIALLY not on your birthday. I took a second and prayed for God to reveal me today that He wanted me to learn.  I thanked Him for the past 30 years, and asked that He make whatever time I have left here on this Earth be used to glorify Him.  And then, something pretty awesome happened.  I felt excited about turning 30.  It dawned on me that God has used the past 30 years to teach me, mold me, move me, and draw me nearer to Him.  For thirty years He has been there, patiently waiting as I've messed up time and time again {and oh good LORD have I taken advantage of that!}  For 3 decades, He has been preparing me for the mission He has called me to.  Talk about some serious on-the-job training.  As we walked into church this morning, I felt kinda' excited.  As soon as I got off the shuttle and walked towards the front door, the "Happy Birthday"'s began...and I soaked it up!  I walked to my usual seat, and there was a GORGEOUS cake waiting for me, thanks to a dear friend.  During the opening worship session, I was overwhelmed as I thought about the unbelievable friends God has gifted to me.  Friends old and new, alike.  The sermon this morning was fantastic, as usual.  God spoke through our pastor, Brian, like He always does.  I got to have lunch with my little family, and then we went to a birthday party for a friend's daughter, who just happens to be my birthday twin.  The weather outside was brisk but sunny, and the afternoon was filled with well as some super cake and ice cream.  As I was sitting there watching the kiddos play and listening to them squeal and giggle, it dawned on me that 30 really isn't so bad.  In fact, it's pretty awesome.  Pretty, remarkable, really.  You see, turning 30 today means that God has bigger and better things planned for me that are yet to come.  It means that I have survived 30 years of huge mistakes that many many times could have cost me my life...but God had other things in mind.  Turning 30 means three decades of memories, some horrifying, some glorifying, but ALL of which made me who I am.  Those wrinkles in my forehead?  Just reminders of all the crying and laughing I've done over the past 30 years. Those gray hairs?  Just reminders of the trials that God had brought me through during this crazy journey I've been on.  So, bring it on, thirties.  Bring. It. On.  But you better bring your A-game, because I know my God has some big ol' plans...

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