I turned thirty this past weekend. My oldest teased me on Saturday morning - "Gosh, Mom, you look ooooold!" It's a good thing he's so cute because his charm has quite a ways to go. I spent the weekend with the people I love the best, doing the things I love the best - knitting out in the sunshine with bare legs while pushing my baby on the swing. Taking in my sister's ballet with my little girls sitting right on the edge of their seats. A night out with friends. Palm Sunday, whispering thinly veiled threats down the pew, praying through gritted teeth that the five year old have the good sense to keep from flogging the nice people in front of us with his palm. Family dinner (and an epic chocolate cake) with my siblings and parents.
While the babies napped on Sunday afternoon, I threw open my bedroom windows and took some time myself to think back on my last 30 years and ahead to the next. I know my life is more than just my life. It's a testimony to what I believe to be true and right. What I want for my children. It can be a cautionary tale or a practice of perseverance. So much of living a good life is what you make of what you have. I can forget that sometimes - and find myself in a swirl of discontentment, harping on the things that aren't exactly as I wish them to be. But when I look across the last thirty years, I see a life that is more beautiful than anything I could have dreamed of, wished for or possibly deserved.
This morning the baby woke early and spit up all over me in bed. The temperatures are falling swiftly, our golden weekend in the sun a mere memory and snow in the forecast. We have 8 people in our family and not a single mode of transportation. It's Holy Week and I have nothing for Easter baskets and have to figure out how to get back and forth to church 3 times. Each and every day has more than enough trouble to keep me mired down for weeks, but when I take that long view? I can see how each and every day I've lived, I've been held. Gently and completely.
That's what makes a life beautiful. Not how good (or bad) I am at keeping my home, not how perfect my marriage is or well behaved my kids are. Life is beautiful when it's lived under the arch of God's everlasting mercy. Day after day after day.
30 grace and joy filled years. I'm happy to have lived them all.
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