Posts in May 2013

30 for 30

220px-30_for_30_Volume_I_logoOver the last few months, Steven’s been watching multiple ESPN documentaries from the 30 for 30 series on Netflix. I figured it was as good of title as any for chronicling 30 stories – or in my case, observations and thoughts going forward – after my 30th birthday last week.

People have asked me if I feel any different, and besides the fact that I have been sick with a flu-like virus all week long, I really don’t. However, it got me to thinking about this milestone birthday year, where I am, where I’ve been and what the future looks like. I guess I better backtrack and say, yes, I might feel a little different, but it’s a feeling of anticipation and not of “age.”

I’ve never really thought of 30 as old, but I have been mindful of the history of Jesus. He was 30 when he started his three-year ministry, and I’ve looked up to this age as a landmark year to start a new decade off on the right foot. Good timing, too, because we just finished a sermon series on modeling Jesus and making every effort to live like him. To further prove a point, I received my annual birthday letter from Mr. Dan Stroup last week, and wouldn’t you know that’s exactly what he wrote about? Mr. Stroup was my middle school teacher. He is an amazing man for many reasons, but thankfully CBS Evening News picked up on one reason and aired this little segment a few weeks ago. I’m pleased to be among his 2,800 former students that receive a birthday letter every year.

So, where’s the list? The full list is written in my personal journal, but I’ll share three (which is a dividend of 30!). I don’t want people to get the impression that my life is all bells and whistles and everything is perfect. If you’ve read my blog much at all, you’ve seen my struggles with certain issues, and they affect many of my decisions and thoughts. Turning 30 is a pretty good reason to adjust some of those thoughts toward a straighter path.

Contentedness – I’ve touched a little on this before, but it’s something I’m daily striving for. This falls in basically every area of my life right now: family planning, our house, cars, vacation, jobs… I do love my life, but there’s always something more that would just “make it better,” you know? A house with a second floor would be great for those rough nights with Wes, but we’ve learned to avoid the squeaky wood planks in the floor. A nicer car would be great and would last us for years (I’d really like a Subaru Outback), but we’ve appreciated that we currently don’t have a car payment. And while I’m ready to talk Kid #2, Steven isn’t interested to venture into a family of four. I’m learning that our family unit is pretty great as it is. One of my aunts said once, “when you’re aching for a new baby, hold the ones you have tighter.” I think about these words often, and I’ll tell you, it helps.

Generosity – Sure, we tithe and give to those who ask, but I can do more. One example: I’ve kept all of Wes’ baby things with the thought that we might use them again. I guess it’s still possible, but my attitude of clingyness has been pretty horrible. I failed to lend out my maternity clothes to a coworker, and I felt terrible about it her whole pregnancy. I mean, I borrowed tons of maternity clothes and have accepted hand-me-down toys and clothes for Wes from others, so why not do the same? I’m slowly giving away Wesley’s outgrown things, and I’m doing a much better job of not attaching memories to everything. What’s the point in giving if you don’t do it lovingly?

Hospitality – Before we became parents, we had people over all the time. YouTube parties were a hit, and we’d have nearly 50 people in our little house. I was much better at keeping house at that time, and I’ve gotten busy and lazy. I am embarrassed to have people over, as I have little confidence in the cleanliness of all surfaces and of my cooking and baking skills. I think Pinterest has derailed me. There’s no way I can keep up, but you know what? People probably don’t care all that much. I feel like we’ve lost connections with some of our friends over the years, and I want to repair what I can, develop deeper relationships and form new ones. My parents have a solid group of friends that have been close for over 30 years. I want that. And I want that for Wes, too.

Lots to think about in the next ten years, but I’m ready.

Posted: May 18th, 2013
Categories: Leah
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