Decade the Third

I turn 30 next month.  Three-zero.  I leave behind my identity as a twenty-something and take my first step into the next decade.

I was in high school when my oldest sister hit the 30 mark.  I ragged her about being old as mold and was pretty sure that she should be putting her birthday money away to start saving for a gravestone.  I took every opportunity to rub her age under her nose.  I was awful.

If I had an 18 year old sister doing that to me right now….o boy….I don’t know what I’d do.

Sorry, Lois. 

My mind has been pulled in the direction of this milestone alot lately, and I’ve had a few mini-epiphanies (emphasis on mini) about the subject.  So here’s a brief list on the things I’m learning about being on the brink of a new decade.

1.  I don’t feel old.  I’d like to say that to my 18-year old self.  30 is not old as mold.  I still feel like a kid when I jump into a pool of water, cheer like a crazy person at a ball game, catch the fast kid in king’s base (I love teaching), blow bubbles, chase a lightning bug (for a nephew, of course), drive barefooted, or stand at the top of a mountain or the foot of a waterfall.  I still naturally fall into the little sister category when I’m with my family, which results in a renewed feeling of youth each time.  My heart still feels young.

2.  Life really does get sweeter.  I’ve thought alot about this concept this past year.  Maybe it’s the events of my life during year 29, or maybe it’s a natural progression that happens around this age.  I experience joy mixed with pain.  I express laughter intertwined with tears.  I see triumph mingled with suffering.  Perhaps I am a late bloomer and my eyes are only now being opened to what that that abundant life is that Jesus promised to give, but whatever it is, life feels much more valuable to me than it did a few years ago, and even the bitter holds a hint of something sweet.

3.  Dreams sometimes find new faces.  Had I been asked on my 20th birthday to sketch out where I’d like to be at 30, I am sure it would be wildly different from what my life looks like today.  That picture probably would have included a husband, a couple kids, and a position in a high-action, people-filled, God-centered, ministry on the foreign field.  That’s not so much what my life looks like right now.  While I hope that someday my life might look more like that, right now I am living a shadow of that dream, a new face of it.  An incredible support group of friends both far and near, a classroom full of teenagers, and a life that brings me a boatload of opportunites each day to serve others.

4.  I am not Wonder Woman.  I used to be the strong one.  The one who could sleep on a pile of wood, a bed of rocks, or whatever position necessary.  Now, I can’t.  After dealing with reoccurring back issues that make me walk like I’m 80, doctors tell me I have some unnatural curvature of my spine.  I hear words like therapy, treatment, adjustment, and time, this will take time.  I have to be careful how I play sports, lift heavy objects, and even how I sleep, but I’m really grateful for doctors that have a hopeful outlook on treating this issue.  The 20s have also brought some bruising to my heart, and I have learned of my need for others and my desperate need for Jesus more with each passing year.

5.  Chocolate cake makes it all better.  Oh the gooey goodness of shortening, cocoa, and sugar.  Every problem can be fixed with cake. That is, except for the whole BMI issue.

16 more days till I take the leap…

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