...and a new decade begins...

Without much fuss or fanfare, the sun set tonight on my 30s.

In many ways I can't believe that tomorrow (officially at 2:09 pm) I'll be 40.  I so can remember being a child and thinking that 40 was ANCIENT.

That said, I can truly say that I'm not that bothered by entering a new decade in life.  Part of the reason is that in my mind I'm still in my younger 30s.  Not because of denial, just because I don't think about age that it pertains to me ~ though the age of my kids is an entirely different story.

But I digress...the other reason that 40 isn't really bugging me is because I still vividly remember when I was 11 and my mom turned 40.  She helped lead the children's choir at the Lutheran church we attended at the time and some of the other volunteers were ribbing her about being 40.  Mom, who was so cool and young and beautiful to me at the time, just laughed a little and said something to the effect of, "Age doesn't define who you are, it just gives a number and I'm celebrating being 40 years young."  And that was that.  No lamenting her age, no trying to turn back the clock.  Now that she is is a few decades beyond that, she totally defies her age.  Not by lying about it, but by keeping active to stay young.  Case in point, since July of 2011 she has gone to China once (with us) and Honduras twice (on mission trips) and is preparing to go to both countries again before this year is over.  Not bad for someone whose oldest child (me) was born when she was 29...  So looking at my mom and her example of how to refuse to bow to age, I'm not bothered at all.

What I am is reflective.

Many, many moons ago when the wait from trick-or-treating to Thanksgiving to Christmas seemed an eternity, I remember my mom telling me that as you get older, the years go by faster and faster.  Suddenly I see the truth in those words as I look back and realize my adult life has flashed before me at lightning speed.

Was it really over 20 years ago that I graduated high school?  Am I now approaching my 20th anniversary of graduating college? twenties.  Most of my 20s centered around *a boy* I met when I was 23...
I look at pictures of us when we got married.  I was 26, he was 25.

We thought we were so grown up, but looking back, were were just babes...  We had no idea where life was going to take us, just that we'd follow God where ever He chose to lead us.

And then my 30s.  Still grateful to walk the road of life with my best friend.  But this decade is perhaps best summarized with the following picture.

The decade where a tremendous desire of my heart was granted and I became a mom.  Not just once, but five times over.  (I realize that only four of my kids may be home, but in my heart I already have just doesn't live under my roof yet).  This decade has taught me so much more about the Father's love for us as I see life through the lens of a parent who loves in all situations, at all costs.

And now my 40s are here, just waiting for the canvas to be colored.  To say I'm not sure what the painting of this decade looks like is rather true.  Will there be more experience as a mother beyond Natalie?  Will I find a new career path that puts my passion for the cause of the fatherless to work?  Will I find a new calling to homeschool my children?  Will a spot as an advocate for children worldwide seeking families come available?  Will mission trips to minister to orphans and their caregivers become a yearly part of life?

Right now I just don't know.  But I have a sense of excitement to watch these next ten years unfold.  With the father at the helm and my best friend by my side, I KNOW that I'm on course for a grand adventure...not without risk...but an adventure for sure.

[Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.] Proverbs 3: 5-6


Di said...

Happy Happy Birthday Kristi! May 40 be wonderful!

I meant to say I smiled so much at the picture of you with the green egg on your head (but why no ham?) without the children noticing. Lovedit!

Laurie said...

Happy 40th, Kristi! I enjoyed "reflecting" with you! The bundle you are holding in that picture is what defines you, not your age. Welcome to the best decade yet! :) I can say that, I've been in it a long time! :)

Emily said...

Happy Birthday, Kristi! I love your reflective post. And I have to say, I'm thinking (since you mentioned it) that you'll find yourself following the calling to be a homeschool mom and mothering more than your 5! AND still still following your passion for the fatherless. It's going to be an exciting time for you!


Jordan Carl said...

Kristi, I love your reflections of your life. I think the thing that struck me the most is that the thing that fulfilled each decade of your life the most has always been people, whether your momma, Ian, or your kiddos. I love the "summary" of your 30's! You seem very happy and I know that it is genuine. God has blessed you and I have no doubt that is because you continue to honor him in all that you do. Thanks for being a beacon of light at all times! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and many more to come! Love you!

Laine said...

Happy Birthday Kristi!!!!!!
Can I add one more question about this decade of the 40s?

"Will I move to Birmingham?" hahahahahahaha couldn't resist!

or how about:
"Will I take yearly trips down to B'ham so we can connect with the Ferrills?"

or how about: "Will I need to purchase a 15 passenger van?"

I'm having too much fun with these....

I love you friend!!!!!!!

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Happy Birthday! Welcome to your 40's. Wishing you a great year!

Kathy said...

May your next 40 be as extraordinary as the first. Love you.

Grandma Shultz said...

Oh, my precious child...the Lord has certainly given you a blessed life...Your Godly husband, your amazing children, and a heart that grows more in love with your Lord and Savior every year. It has been a blessing to watch you blossom as a woman of God. I'm excited about the next 10 years; just where God will be leading you and Ian. I know it will be glorious! God be with you.

Nancy B W said...

Happy 40th!!! Welcome to the club! I am excited to see what this decade brings us too.

ps - Proverbs 3:5-6 has been on a sticky note on my bathroom mirror since before we started our adoption journey in 2007! Its all faded and crumpled but still legible (and one of my faves).