There is a great country song sung by Tim McGraw (who is nearly as attractive as Yul Brenner, but I digress...) called "My Next Thirty Years". Tim sings about all of the crazy things he did in the past, and ponders what the next thirty years might hold. It is late, and I am tired enough to be vulnerable and admit that in a few short hours I will be 35. Wow. 35. (I swear the number looks bigger each time I type it.) So I thought I would take a moment and make a list of what I have learned in 35 years and what I hope I can learn in the years to come.
What I Have Learned in 35 Years...
* I have learned that I really didn't know it all although I was certain I did. I spent so much time and energy trying to always be right that I forgot it is OK to be wrong or to be uncertain. There is beauty and excitement in the unknown. Facing uncertainty isn't half as scary as running from it can be.
* I have learned that it is a good thing there are two sets of brakes in the modified driver's ed car.
* I have learned that it is OK to say no.
* I have learned that God's plans are always way better than mine. If I'll get out of the way, He'll hit it out of the park every time.
* I have learned that I am a redhead trapped in a brunette's body.
* I have learned that a dagger tattoo can end up looking remarkably like a spatula tattoo after two pregnancies.
* I have learned that a heart really can grow bigger in an instant just like the Grinch's did.
* I have learned that relationships take work. The more work you pour into them, the more valuable they become. There is nothing like an authentic relationship.
* I have learned that I don't have to be in relationship with everybody. I am called to love everybody, but I am not called to be in relationship with everybody. (Whew.)
* I have learned how to speak German (not well and with lots of spit flying), tap dance, shear a sheep by hand, sew, knit, crochet, landscape, paint trim, breastfeed, draft a decent fantasy football team, and reconcile being a woman who wears a nose piercing while driving a Kia minivan. (That last one took some work.)
* I have learned that God is the only One who has what it takes to fill that empty, scared spot I sometimes feel deep in my heart.
* I have learned that life is a process. Once I stop waiting for the "big finish", it is actually a pretty fun ride.
In my next 35 years...
* I hope to accept that God sends sun and rain on the good and bad alike. That can be a tough one for me.
* I hope to learn that it is OK to say no.
* I hope to learn that it is OK for people not to like me if I am being my real self.
* I hope to run a marathon.
* I hope to learn braille, play the piano, teach boys how to match their clothes (even the older "boy"), sing publicly again, write a book, and have a year round tan and fabulous, chip-free nails.
* I hope to be comfortable enough to bust out and dance like the shadow in the iPod commercials when I feel like.
* I hope to fall even more in love with my sweet husband, and see my darling and precious little men come to know the Lord.
* I hope to bring saddle shoes back in style. (I just think they are the cutest shoe!)
* I hope to forgive myself completely.
* I hope to handle with honesty and grace whatever life may throw at me.
* I hope to become bold about sharing what really knowing Jesus has done in my heart and life.
* I hope to remember that life is a process. Once I stop waiting for the "big finish", I can actually relax and have a pretty fun ride.
Tonight my prayer is that the next 35 years are generous in wisdom, but gentle in circumstance. Not to much to ask for a birthday, is it?