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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thirty Something Years Young

So, today's my birthday...3 (cough, cough) 7. Seriously, I'm 37 years old? I find this so hard to believe. I'm all grown up? When I was growing up, I considered 37 grown up. When I was in high school, I considered 37 grown up. When I was in college, 37 was definitely grown up. Does anyone think I'm grown up?

This post could be about all the crazy feelings those statements stir up inside of me. The questions about having arrived or accomplished it all or even the contentment I feel at 37. Because, I do feel very content. I love this crazy life I've been given.

This post could be about the best birthday present ever that I got on my thirteenth birthday and how cool and grown up I felt when I wore it. It was a gray polka-dotted miniskirt with purple legwarmers and purple nail polish to match. I was so totally awesome in this outfit while lip syncing to my Go-Go's cassette tape We Got the Beat. I definitely had the beat that year!

I think this post will be about progress and growing up. Back to growing up...Lately I have been thinking about life. I've been looking back and comparing my life to my dream for my life. This is where contentment is tempted to leak away at times.

Then as I look back, my eyes see that the person I was twenty years ago in no way resembles the person I am today. The person I was ten years ago has very little resemblance to the person I am now and the person I see just two years ago looks very different from who I now know as me. This is a good feeling. It means I am growing up.

Not grown up but still growing up.

"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it ..." (Philippians 1:6)

...Growing up....I am growing up in Christ.

It means my life is counting.

"Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)." (Philippians 3:8)

...Counting as loss...I am losing my life in order to gain it.

Compared to the 13-year-old girl in a gray polka-dotted mini skirt with purple legwarmers, I am grown up. But, praise God He says I'm not grown up yet but will be one day.

"...and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." (Philippians 3:6)

The hardest part about "growing up", looking back, evaluating or even celebrating birthdays is the adding of the number to your age.

What that 13-year-old girl looked most forward to was being a teenager, adding one year to age twelve. The outfit just made her feel like who she really was, a teenager.

What used to be anticipated is now dreaded because this past year it changed...It being my skin, my body, my hair, my figure. I no longer feel like who I am supposed to be, whatever that means.

This year I can honestly say that if 37 makes me look like this but gets me closer to having a heart like his, I'll take it.

Bring on the wrinkles! (Did I really just say that?) The answer is yes. I would so rather have the character of 37 than the body of 17.

Oh, that I could have it all!

Seriously, it's easy for me to overlook the stretchmarks on my hips when I put my swimsuit on each summer. After all, they're battle scars. I earned them having my precious babies. I wear them proudly! I have never spent time or a ton of money trying to erase them. They are a part of me just like my children.

Why then do I lament the lines in my face, around my lips on my forehead? Why do I care that I can no longer wear the same jeans or shoes I did when I was just a few years younger? The simple answer is pride. The longer answer is that I am only looking with my eyes. If I use my heart, I am so pleased with what each wrinkle and experience that put it there has given me. That is greater intimacy with God.

Anyway, I am certainly excited to be 37! I am looking forward to the rest of this ride called life!

Wish me happy birthday. I am proudly proclaiming 37! You can even tell me how I don't even look 37 or that you never would've guessed it.

Go ahead make my day!


Rose Ann Coffey said...

Happy Birthday, dear daughter.You don't look 37. You don't act 37. Because that makes me, well, ah,60!. I am proud of you and thank God for you everyday. Have a happy day.

JungWoo Hong said...

I miss you lots.
Even though I am far away from you my heart always is with you.
I am so glad I know you.
God made you special...
He made you unique...and he made you my friend. I'm very happy.
Have a very cool Birthday~~
I love you.

Wilhelmine Mitchell said...

I love you, whatever the age! Christians don't ever reach a plateau-I'm still growing at 82.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Womb of my womb!

Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

Happy Birthday my dear sweet friend.
37 is wonderful because it is one year closer to the Lord.
I so enjoy celebrating each year knowing you!!
I love you.

Renee Heaton said...

Happy Birthday to you! Sounds like it was just wonderful. Love you!