At The Cottage Background

Thursday, September 16, 2010

thirty eight

I turn thirty eight tomorrow.
I know I know... to some, probably most, that is no big deal.
And it isn't so much that it is a big deal per say.... but in a way, it is. For me.
Every year around this time, my birthday, I get seriously emotional.
I do not like my birthday.
I never have. Not really. Even as a child.
I haven't figured this one out, or come to any conclusions... but I have noticed that as I have grown up, that I become very introspective around my birthday.

I think about where I have been... and where I hope to go.
I'm not sure why I got emotional when I was younger, although I can suppose why, but the recent thoughts are of a much deeper meaning.

It is easy to look back and see where I have been over the last  thirty eight years.
I have been to places that no one wants to go and places that stretch and defy the imaginations.
I have been to many places.
And I have so so many places that I still yet want to go.

I want to go where only my imaginations have yet to take me.
I want to meet people that I have only seen in my dreams.
I want to touch and feel the textures, and smell the smells of distant far off lands.
The wanderlust that I had as a child has intensified to  far greater degrees.
I have had dreams... I have seen visions....
I have felt great frustration not knowing if they are real, or if I will ever get to see what I have seen so clearly in my minds eyes.
I don't want to go merely to just "see" these things... although it holds a wonder all it's own... but I want to feel them.... the different cultures, the sense that I am doing something that I feel called to, even if I don't fully understand it yet.
I want to look into the eyes of a people that I don't  know. I want to get to know them.
I want to learn about who they are, where they come from, and where it is that they have their greatest needs.
I want to hold those that are hurting. I want to  hold out  hope to them and tell them that they are not forgotten.
I want my feet to touch the places that I have only read about. I want to see them for myself.

I don't want what I wanted as a youth.
I want more.
I used to dream about living in the big city, I used to imagine myself walking along the streets of New York, on my way to "somewhere", with purpose in my steps.
I was going to be a free lance journalist. Maybe even take up photography as a minor.
I wasn't sure what that would look like, I didn't know how it would be. But I knew that the major component was that I wasn't going to stay in just one place for long.
I knew that for sure.
I was banking on that. And I didn't want to be tied down to anything or anyone.
Isn't life funny?
Because I could have never imagined that twenty years ago that I would be sitting here, writing on a blog. Pouring out my heart, and revealing things that I normally would never choose to share. With anyone, much less a world that I can't see or even know who is seeing me.
I have always liked that I can be invisible if I want to. 
I know how to fade into a crowd. I know how to watch and see. I do not like being the focus of conversation... or the focus of anything.
This is not me.
It never has been. I don't think I will ever be comfortable with that thought at all.

But here I am.
On the eve of my birthday.... still dreaming big dreams. Still wanting impossible things.
And sharing it with the world.
I have this deep feeling that what God has called me to is so beyond me, that I can't even really conceive a picture of it.
It is more of a sense.
I had hoped that I would have been and "done" a little bit more by this time in my life.
Gone more places... seen more things.... and maybe even be in the thick of a ministry that I feel called to.

This is where my reflections have taken me this week.
This is where I have been living for the past few days.
My daughter humbled me the other day by her own blog post.
It made me think deeper and harder.... if that is even possible.
Her dad had done the same just a few days earlier.
I was going to write about that one alone... but I hadn't had the chance to get it down before life interfered.
They both reminded me, that although my life looks nothing like I imagined it to at this stage of my life, that I have been given infinitely so much more than  I could have ever dreamed....

I have a husband who loves me like no one ever has.
He looks at me in my ugliest moments and tells me I'm beautiful.
He surrenders to my heart and gets teary when I spill it all over his lap.
He wants desperately to give us what is seemingly impossible to give.
I love him so much for that.

I have three amazingly beautiful children.
And not just in reference to their appearences. Although, I think they are three of the most beautiful people I have ever met....
But they are beautiful on the insides.
They love people. They have hearts for the hurting, the broken, and the fallen.
They strive to live their lives out for the One that we have all surrendered our lives to.
They are unique in who they are. As people, and as individuals.
They stand out amongst their peers.
I could stand here and try to take credit for them.... but I can't.
They truly have been given to my husband and I straight from the hands of God.

None of them are perfect, but I love that about them too.
They are sarcastic, and loud.
They mess up my house, and keep me running in circles all the time.
They frustrate me to no end, and make me crazy at times.
They talk back and have required huge amounts of my self discipline.
They have and still do challenge me on so many levels.
And they have made me better than I could have ever hoped to be.
Better than I know I am all by myself.

I haven't yet given up on my dreams..... my hopes. Or my desire to serve God "outside" of my everyday life.
I still want more.....
Those places that I want to go. The things that I want to do, and feel called to.....
I still want all of it.
The difference now is this:
God has given me people who want it as badly as I do. My family.
The human beings who have come to define me in ways that are so outside of myself.
They now dream with me. Desire it for their own lives. 
They think bigger....  
Just like I do.


I don't think so.

I look forward to all the other things that God has for my family.
His promises endure.... even if life doesn't look like I thought it would.

So here is to another year.....
Of growth.
Of change.
Of unending circumstances that I am praying and waiting to see my God move in.
And here is to what is to come.
Here is to turning my focus from what I want.... to what He wants to do with it all.

With all of me.
Here is to more.

..... until another tomorrow.


p.s. God gave me this scripture through a word I was given when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.... I am still holding tight to it today.....

"Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;" Deuteronomy 7:9

My deepest prayer is that you know, or come to know, this God. The only God who can accomplish all of this... and so much more. He is the only God worth serving.

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