turning thirty

Originally I wanted to do a fun little post for today. "30 Thoughts on Turning 30." But I got to, like, number 22 and I was done. I don't really have a lot of thoughts on entering this new decade. Mostly I'm experiencing fear and panic. 

Okay, so it's not that bad, but there's definitely something about turning 30 that calls for introspection and reflection. 

I'm a little sad about leaving my 20s behind. I know it's not the end of the world. My rational side understands that I have a lot of life left to live. But then there's the irrational side (c'mon, we all have one). That side keeps making me feel like I'm leaving behind a big part of my youth. The 20s are such a defining time. I feel like the 20s represent so much promise and opportunity, whereas the 30s have more of a "settling in" vibe. I could be wrong, but that's the impression I have. 

I did a lot in my 20s. I graduated college and seminary, got married, moved around to a few different states, had two babies, started freelance writing. It's been an exciting decade. I worry that my 30s will be, well, boring. There's nothing really new and exciting on the horizon. I worry about being "just a mom." I worry that surrogacy will be my last big adventure. I worry that I won't find my true passions. I worry about living a life that doesn't mean anything. 

But along with these very depression thoughts ;-) I also have trust. Because even though my brain wants to tell me that I'm all washed up, my heart tells me something different. I don't know what's in store for me in my 30s - life is unpredictable - but I know it's going to be good. I know God's plan is greater than any I could ever ask or imagine

I have absolutely no clue what to expect for the coming years. I have no plans. I have barely any expectations. And as scary as that is for me, it's a little exciting too. I'm walking into my 30s with blind faith. God is going to rock my world, that's for sure. I can only hope that I will be open to any lessons, adventures, truths, obstacles, and opportunities I am presented with. 

So here's to turning 30. Let's do this, people.

when mother's day goes wrong

Yesterday was Mother's Day and it wasn't exactly everything I had dreamed it would be. I usually try not to have high expectations for Mother's Day. My kids are still young. Isabel wasn't even aware that it was a special day. So I try not to expect too much because that's how disappointments happen. 

But against my better judgement I started dreaming up this fairy tale fantasy about breakfast in bed served to me by my angelic children. And then they would give me beautiful handmade cards and gifts for me to unwrap. Then we would have a beautiful get together with my family where everyone would be well behaved and perfect. And we would come home to a clean home and I wouldn't have to lift a finger all day. 

You guys, what is wrong with me? You would think I would realize by now that this is not my life. The morning was chaos and we all took turns having tantrums (myself and Alex included). I wasn't able to snap out of it until mid-afternoon when I decided I just wanted to enjoy the day no matter what. Even if we didn't do anything special I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed my kids who have made me the mom I am today. 

This motherhood gig ain't easy and I mess up again and again. But I'm learning and growing and God is always there to lift me up again. And thank goodness my kids are forgiving and always see me as super mom no matter how many times I mess up. 

So I hope all you mamas had a fantastic day, and even if you didn't I hope you are able to dust yourself off, move on, and remember what a blessing it is to be a mom. Life may not be picture perfect, but there is beauty in the chaos. 

a marital retreat in Nashville

Soon Alex and I will be celebrating seven years of marriage. It's been a great seven years, but not without stress and hardship. It seems that, especially since we've had kids, it's been difficult to make our relationship a priority. Truthfully, we've never been very good at that. We never did regular date nights or had regular heart-to-hearts about our future. Communication just isn't a strong suit for us. And since we had kids, well, our marriage has really been on the back burner. 

It's just so easy to forget about each other. Our focus is on the everyday things that need to get done. Bath time. Cooking. Cleaning. Working. Paying bills. Sleeping! Romance just isn't high up on the list of priorities. We love each other. Heck, we're crazy about each other. But we're focused on other things right now. 

But we realized that our anniversary is creeping up on us and we don't have a history of celebrating in any big way. We wanted this year to be different. We wanted a few days where we could focus on us and remember what we love about each other. 

So we packed our bags, left the kids with the grandparents, and headed to Nashville, TN. You guys, it was awesome. The whole weekend was just...amazing. We ate delicious food and listened to great music. We talked about life. We hung out with friends. We slept in the same bed, next to each other, all night long, with no interruption. Can't even remember the last time that happened. 

We love our kids and we missed them terribly, but it was freeing to let go of the stress of caring for them day in and day out. It was fun to spend time together doing things that we love without a care in the world. And I remembered something. This man I married is pretty great. I can still talk to him about my dreams and my worries. I can still have fun with him at concerts and markets and restaurants. It took getting away from it all for a weekend to reconnect and recommit to each other. 

I'm glad we were able to have this special weekend together. And I'm hopeful that we won't forget it and we can continue to make our marriage a priority in the future...because I'm definitely counting on having a long and fruitful future with this guy. 

Pssst...to see photos from our trip check out the hashtag #AcesInNashville on Instagram. So much fun!

keeping my eyes on Jesus

Sometimes life gets so discouraging, doesn't it? I don't even mean my personal life, I mean life in general. The news is full of tragedy. A horrible earthquake in Nepal has resulted in death and devastation. The death of a young man, possibly at the hands of police, in Baltimore has left the city tearing itself apart. It all breaks my heart and makes me question what is going on. 

And then I look at the Christian world and I see people ripping each other to shreds because they don't agree on different theological issues. It's just so messed up. It makes the cynicism within me rise up. I want to walk away and not have anything to do with these people anymore. I mean, how can there be so much hate and snarkiness amongst people who claim to love Jesus and His grace-filled message? 

When I was at church this weekend I realized something. I can't look at other Christians or to the world and expect warm fuzzies all the time. When I start looking at other people I have the tendency to get down, y'know? I get mad at the words people say. I get disappointed by crappy things people do. And just so you know, I'm sure people get disappointed in me too. I'm flawed just like everybody else. Heck, I look at myself sometimes and am utterly disgusted with my own sin. 

I need to keep my eyes on Jesus. It's all about Him. He is the One who came to the world on a love-filled mission. He is the one who delves out grace like it's never going to run out, because it's not. He is the Perfect One. He is the Lamb. And He never disappoints me. When I keep my eyes on Jesus I feel the cynicism subside. The anger dissipates. I feel lighter, more content. 

I need to keep my eyes on Jesus because He is my rock. "He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken." -Psalm 62:6