On the last day of my 31st year, I feel the need to write. Actually, I always feel the need to write, this is just a really good excuse. :) I feel more introspective than usual. Maybe it's because I just finished a really good book, "Wrapped in Rain" by Charles Martin. I'm always a little sad when I finish a book; which I suppose is why I reread my library continuously. One of my absolute favorites, "With New Eyes" by Margaret Becker, I reread at least once a year. It's funny, each time I devour it, God teaches me something new. You'd think after the 10th or 11th time through, there wouldn't be any surprises. But when I least expect it, this little tiny air bubble pops up on the surface and with amazement, He gives me fresh vision. I don't pretend to understand the methods God uses gets my attension; but they work.
My family went on countless roadtrips during my childhood. To and from Grandparents for summer and Christmas vacations. We have a tradition, everytime we cross a state line, we say goodbye to the previous state and hello to the new one. It doesn't matter what's going on in the car before the event, everyone stops what they are doing/saying/playing/reading and we all sing together, "Goodbye, Alabama! Hellooooo, Florida!" In that moment, nothing else matters. There's focus, clarity and excitement for the future. I feel like that's where I am today, "Goodbye, 31! Hellooooo, 32!"
This has been a really good year (July 08-July 09). I feel like I've come into my own more than any other time in my life. It's as though I'm finally figuring me out; what makes me tick and how to make myself happy. You'd think that would be a given, right? I mean, I'm the one who's with me all the time. But that doesn't mean I know myself. I know, it sounds crazy. But hear me out. For the first part of our lives, the people who influence us the most is probably our parents and teachers at school. In college, most start thinking for themselves more and figuring out who they really are. But in your 30's all that gets semi thrown out the windows. Sure, there are aspects of myself from over the years, but in a sense, I feel like a different person. I am a different person. I've found grace and confidence which I never knew existed.
I've been a self-proclaimed tom-boy all my life, but suddenly, there's a girly girl in me which is bursting at the seams! I care what I wear and look like. I buy clothes which fit me, instead of trying to cover me. I paint my finger/toe nails. I've even considered wearing make-up. (Seriously, that's huge!) I work hard at the gym for me and no one else. When I'm in my last minute, dripping in sweat, knowing relief is around the corner, instead of slowing down, I speed up and just laugh! God has given me the ability to use my muscles and limbs, so why not do it for His glory; even at the Y?
At the core, I'm still me. I'm still goofy and random, but how can I explain this so you'll understand. Imagine sliding your hand into a vat of melted wax. The wax covers every nook and cranny of every part of your hand, fingerprints and all. When you pull your hand out, it's still your hand... but completely different. Covered and changed, wrapped within a new 'skin'. A new confidence, if you will.
Like many of my single friends, life hasn't exactly gone as we thought it would. There's such a stigmatism in culture and media today that if you're not married within your 20's, then there must be something wrong with you. Far too quickly, I started believing the lies Satan was feeding me. On a whim, I joined eHarmony. I decided to take my destiny into my own hands. If the guys around here don't see what a gem I am, then maybe I can find someone myself who would. What I didn't realize then, that I know now, I'd taken my focus completely off God. I got so wrapped up in what could happen, instead of what is happening.. or what wasn't happening. While I think that site could work for others, it's not for me. Within days, I cancelled my membership. I'm still "live" for a few more weeks, but I'm through attempting to play God. That's not my place. Thank goodness.
It maybe considered old fashioned, but I want to be pursued and romanced. If that's to happen, I can't be in control. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations and have my standards too high, but frankly, I refuse to settle. So, hold on boys, if you're ready for a challege, step right up. I'm like a wild mustang; hard to wrangle, but worth the effort! (Did I really just compare myself to a mustang? I think I've watched "Flicka" a few times too many!)
I'm entering into my 32nd year with great expectation of "whatcha gonna do next, God?" I've found some balance, but now I need to rearrange priorities a bit and leap out of my comfort zone a bit more. I would love it if God gave me the opportunity to write another book, though I haven no idea what it would be about. I just need to do more creative things. I feel closest to my Creator when I'm using the gifts and talents He's given me.
OK, I need to stop and go get ready for a three-way birthday party tonight! (Two other friends and I all have birthday's within days of one another. Why not throw one huge party?!) Pictures to follow, I'm sure.
Goodbye, 31! Hellooooo, 32!