encouragement, faith stories

This Is 41

Last week Brian and I celebrated 20 years of marriage, and over the weekend I turned 41. The day before my birthday I hurt my back at yoga, which was a real hit on my self-esteem, but for the most part I still feel a bit like a little girl playing house.

Each year on my birthday I do a little reflecting. I’m an emotional-over-thinker, so I indulge this part of my personality once a year. {Ok, who am I kidding? I do this stuff a lot more than that.} I take a look at my relationship with God, with my people, my job, our business, etc. and ask Him to show me what I’m doing right and where I need a little (or a lot of) work.


I got to thinking about this time last year, and how I wanted the heck out of here. Bad. Didn’t care where we went or what we’d be doing, I just didn’t want anything to do with anything here.

I prayed. I pleaded. I dreamed about starting life over again somewhere else. Anywhere else.

But…. here we are. In Springfield.

As I was driving from work to my hair appointment a couple weeks ago, a song came on the radio that got my attention, and during that time, God again confirmed in my heart that we were going to be okay right where we are. That He has a purpose for us here. That maybe starting over somewhere else (or running away, to call it what it really was) wasn’t His best for us right now.

Then I sat in the chair at the salon, catching up with my dear friend and rockstar hair stylist (leaving out what had just happened in the car), who said to me, “Well, after this crazy year, one thing we do know is that God clearly wants you here.”

Whoa, right?

We’ve been here for almost 3 years, but it’s just now starting to feel like we’re putting down roots. Intentional roots. Dreaming about what’s ahead and thanking God for how He has so carefully guided us.

Where my focus was on all the doors He was allowing to close, I forgot to look at the ones He was opening. Did He throw those doors wide open? Not really. But here we are. And I know it’s not by default.

Maybe He’s made it a slow roll because He knew I’d need time to warm up to the idea.

Maybe He’s working on my need for patience, in spite of my purposeful determination to not bring that subject up.

Whatever the reason, it looks like we’re here to stay, and I’m thankful. I’ve fallen in love with this quirky town. I love the hills, the birds, the flowers, the sunsets (and the sunrises, although I don’t see quite as many of those). I love the people. The downtown area. I love seeing cows and barns on the way to Hunter’s school. And more than all of this, I love the community of people who have stuck by and loved us, even when we didn’t make it easy.

As I said goodbye to my 40th year, I sat and thought about what I hoped 41 would look like.

Because of my 40th year, I am stronger. I found my voice. My faith is deeper. I’m learning to slow down and enjoy this glorious life God has given me. Those are the good things. I hope to build on those.

I have a better understanding of how the difficult parts of our journey really do make us look a little more like Jesus. That’s a great thing.

On the flip side, I’m a little jaded. Forgiveness is tough for me. I’m not quite as sunshiney as I used to be. Admittedly, I like that I’m not quite so naive and soft, but I don’t ever want to completely lose that Pollyanna side of me. I’m hoping that this year I find her again.

So yeah… there’s a lot to work on there. Thankfully, God promises that when we ask for His help, He will give it.

You may wonder why I write posts like this… it’s not easy for me to put myself out there. To share where I struggle, what I don’t like about myself, what I wish was different.

I do it because of you. Those of you who have told me how much it encourages you and makes you feel less alone. It’s scary… I write, close my eyes, and hit send, filled with insecurity about what the response might be. But it’s important. That’s the why. I want us to be better. To be honest with each other. To take down the walls created by assumptions and comparisons, and to cheer each other on. It starts with speaking the truth.

Will you take time to do a little reflecting of your own? It doesn’t have to be on your birthday… mine falling at the first of the year makes it easy for me. Share with us where you are, and where you want to be so we can pray for each other.


1 thought on “This Is 41”

  1. You’re an inspiration sweet lady! What you don’t know is, we have walked very similar journeys. I, too, have had these same feelings about this last year. Just wanting to hide (or runaway as you put it). I appreciate your honesty, no, it isn’t easy to do it. It does, however, make a difference in others. Love your heart! 💕


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