Sunday was my birthday. I'm 36.
i think that still qualifies as "mid-thirties" instead of "late-thirties", although my 34 year-old husband informs me that he can still round down, but not me....
so, my first week of 36 has been productive. i started doing jillian michael's 30-day shred, and have done it 3 times so far this week - despite the fact that i'm literally thinking through every bend, lift and stair (do i REALLY need the ingredient from the bottom shelf?). i brought my son to his first day of pre-kindergarten. i made a wicked awesome gluten free angel food cake for scott's birthday (which is three days after mine). and I've had some wonderful time with friends and family. my parents were here for my birthday - i haven't had a birthday with my mom and dad since i turned 17. that's more than half my life celebrating without them! we went for a walk through a downtown neighbourhood - the kind of street with old trees and beautiful homes. my kids were on their bikes and my parents were holding hands and i was struck with how rare and wonderful my life is. and then i ate coconut crusted shrimp at los palapos. nuff said.
currently i am lying on the hammock in my backyard and my kids are puttering around me. my daughter actually just uttered the words "do you want to play clean-up?" to my son. i've arrived!
we are experiencing our first fall in a large programatic church. scott's been reeling from planning and meeting and organizing, and i find myself staring at the calander on a dailing basis with a sneaking sense that the little boxes are getting smaller and smaller. I'm excited about the things i'm involved in - leading classes, mentoring, prayer group, small group, book club and an arts group...that looks ridiculous when it's written out like that, but most things are only once a month. when i worked at Trinity Western University, i was taught that it's important in life to be receiving and giving - to be mentored and to mentor, and to have mutually beneficial relationships. the piece i need to work on establishing is being mentored myself, but i do feel like i'm being poured into through my friendships and our church. in truth, this feels like a really healthy place - i'm exercising, i'm really enjoying my times with God (scott gave me a modern book of common prayer for my b-day and it's awesome), my friendships are deepening and i'm using my artistic gifts.
do i make my life sound too good? the other day a friend said she wanted to call me and say "tell me something hard about your life" because when she pictured me she saw me sipping martinis in my hammock.
well, i am in my hammock. but my kids are fighting and my son just pooed his pants. does that help? and i missed my BC friends on my birthday - it was strange feeling like no one knew. i was standing in the church foyer, surrounded by friends, thinking 'should i tell them?'. thankfully my husband came to my rescue and told eveyone and i was sung to. loudly. :)
next year i'll just have to throw myself a party. want to come?
all in all i am thankful for the year 35, and the many lessons learned therein, and the great faithfulness of God through one of the biggest trials and journeys of my life. it will be a year fondly remembered, a marker stone of God's goodness. an ebenezer. which is fitting (that's the name of our new church).
i wonder what this new year holds, what challenges will be faced, what tears will be shed, and what surprises experienced.