I’ve started the tradition of writing, sharing and reflecting every birthday.

Thirty-one. I am officially a thirty something. For some reason I’ve learned a lot over the course of my thirtieth year of life? Maybe every decade you actually learn something… who knew?  Here goes the highlights of the lessons I’m learning.

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Time really flies. This isn’t a cute saying, it’s just the honest to God truth. These years are starting to fly. Honestly, my every inclination is to try to make it stop or at least slow down.

Confession: Apart of my anxiety has been an futile effort to pass time more slowly. I’d watch my kids do something new or see the end of another day come, it’d trigger a set of panic ridden thoughts. You know you never get this day back. Will the next stage be as sweet as this one? Did you really capture it all? Did I make the most of now?

Mostly, I just want so much to hold onto the day just a little longer.

Thirty has been me doing my best to practice gratitude in place of desperate grabbing for control over things in my life. Control over things I was never made to have. This is a practice, I’ve yet to perfect. I hope in thirty-one I get even better. I hate anxiety.

Beauty fades over time, so be kinder to your young self. This past year I’ve offered myself more grace in the way I’ve thought of my body than in all my years prior! Lord knows this childbearing body is not what it was 10 years ago. I’m no time traveler but science tells me what I got going on at 31 is probably a heck of a lot better than what it’ll be when I’m 41 or 51. I better stop hating and appreciate now for what it is.

Motherhood is more than a “season.” For the first several years of this momlife gig I very often consoled myself by stating the trials of the moment were just a season. While that often is true (teething does not actually last forever (thank you Jesus!!)). Being a Mom is something that is apart of who I am till I die. I treasure it as one of the most precious gifts I’ve been given. There are seasons of this momlife gig that require pretty much all my attention and energy. I’ve started to see that don’t want the statement, “this is a tough season with the kids” to become an excuse.

I am more than a Mom. This shift in thinking has been helpful for me to both appreciate my role at home more as well as think beyond that role more freely. I think it’s helping me find a more healthy balance (fingers crossed at least).

Marriage matters. I need Brent. We definitely aren’t perfect. Nonetheless, I value our imperfect union.  I see more than ever how much I rely on, need and love this man I’ve been given to go through all the crazy with.  We got married young, which was lovely.  We were carefree- basically best buddies that lived together.  I loved being with him but we both filled our time with other people and things.  Then we had kids. They have taken all the energy and time.  As we settle into life at a family of five, I’m seeing this man I married, in a new way.  My rock.  My best friend. My helper.  The person I want to be with when the seasons change again.  I pray we both are given long lives we are able to drink all the moments in together.  I can’t imagine one I’d rather share it all with.

Be you. It’s taken 31 years to see that God made me in a special way, with special talents, that matter.  Me being me, is the blessing.  I’m still wrapping my head around this.  I pray everyday, especially for my girl that she learns this faster.  I look at her beautiful spunky smile and think –you are the blessing, She doesn’t have to do or be anything.  Her existing in all her wide eyed glory fills my heart to the top with joy!

Part two of this, is take care of you.  I’m a helper.  I love to give and have a hard time pinpointing my own feelings.  This leads to me coming to my end over and over again and vomiting hidden feelings all over in a highly dramatic fashion.  I do not like this about myself. I want, need, strive to, desire to, pray about… and so on the ability to take better care of myself so I can do it all without these periodic breakdowns.

Find your people. Life is too short to go it alone.  Modern life leaves us isolated.  ESPECIALLY if you are spending most if your time at home raising small people.  You have to work to get out and make a community.  BUT IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. You may not find your BFF the first go around.  Keep at it. Be vulnerable. Show up.  Even if you have a slew of little kids, make time for the ones that keep you young.  That help you laugh.  That shoulder the hard days by your side.

For me this has been vital.  I started this school year unsure about my people.  I’ve had to lean in.  Prioritize the ones I love.  Find some new people.  It’s worth the work.  Without people, I’m an extra hot mess.  Thanks to the ones who put up with me. 🙂

Set goals. One drawback of choosing a lifestyle that requires I spend most of my tine leaning into everyday family life, is it can be hard to see past the to-do list.  This year I’ve seen the value of setting personal goals for myself, to help me think a little bigger.  Prior to becoming a SAHM I found too much value in feedback I received from achieving.  Now I have no feedback.  I need middle ground.  It’s important to see that you have completed intentional, measurable tasks.  It helps with that self-care piece.

My 30th year I completed a sprint-tri (very very very slowly).  I nursed my girl past one (woot)! I’ve dedicated time to writing, in hopes that something I say encourages someone and maybe I can make some side $$.  I lost the baby weight (even though I’d still love to loose a little more, btw).  I’ve read at least one book a month.  I dove into the land of homeschool.  These are just a few goals met this past year.

I’m working on what the list should be for 31.  What does your list look like?


Here’s to another year! A gift. While I can’t slow time, I can change how I view it.  Time is not a thief, stealing away the things I love.  It’s a gift.  Each day a new chance to live, give, love and embrace the season of now, failures and all.  I pray this can be my view for 31.  Thankful for the days, not mourning the loss of time passed.

Thanks for sharing in the now with me and reading my crazy thoughts.

Love,

Amanda

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