Label = Thirty-Nine

31 Days in My [Insert Label Here] Skin:

[ T h i r t y – N i n e ]


I turn 39 today.

For the past few years I’ve adopted a particular way to celebrate my birthday: My best friend and I — and whoever else is able to join us— go on some kind of “epic” physical endeavor of sorts.  Sometimes it’s not so “epic”, but at least we move our bodies in the great outdoors.  One year I ran a half marathon on my birthday.  Last year, my bestie and I hiked ten miles.  This year we hiked about 5.5, then I drove from there to join up with a group of friends for a 3-ish mile walk.

I love it.  Being outside is my happy place.  I can breathe better and think more clearly when I’m outside.

While on our hike the other morning, my friend asked me these three questions:

  • What were your “highs” from the past year?
  • What were your “lows”?
  • What are you looking forward to for the next year?

Great questions!

When I think back over the past year, the first “high” that sticks out in my mind is having the honor of teaching at a couple of speaking engagements.  The whole process from start to finish is so rewarding for me.  I LOVE what I learn in the study preparation time.  I love what God teaches me, I love sifting through all my research and all my stories to find the “filet mignon” of what He wants me to share with others.  I love the organizational aspect of figuring how and when to say what I want to say in the talk.  It is definitely hard work and I always tend to get pretty stressed a few days before I speak (as I go into the final prep mode and finalize everything), but once it’s all done I feel such a sense of accomplishment and peace.  And then the day of: I just love being able to finally “birth” that message and then— perhaps the best part of all— getting to hear feedback from people regarding how God spoke to them through what I shared.  That is a “high” for sure!  The whole experience is just so humbling, so enjoyable, so fulfilling.  It is such an honor to be able to do that from time to time.

Another “high” for me has been being able to serve on a team with some other amazing ladies in the Moms ministry at our church over this past year.  I have loved having the opportunity to get to work alongside them while we all use (and grow in) our own unique gifts and talents to help minister to others.  The relationships I am building in this arena are so life-giving and growth-producing.

And one last “high” for this past year for me has been taking each of my daughters on separate Mother-Daughter Weekend trips.  My oldest and I spent a weekend in Carmel & Monterey last November and my second daughter and I high-tailed it to the Santa Cruz mountains a few months later.  Being able to bond with each daughter one-on-one like that was extremely special to me.

As for my “lows”… I’d have to say that two particularly emotionally-draining interpersonal conflicts were the hardest things for me to navigate this past year.  I am grateful for all I learned in those situations, and I’m grateful for the growth that has come about as a result of those conflicts… but I hope to not have to experience something like that again for a long time.

And now: What am I looking forward to for the next year?  I suppose I’m looking forward to continuing to get comfortable in my own skin over the next year.  Getting older has been fun in a lot of ways:  It is so freeing to see how much more confident I’ve gotten over the past handful of years.  It feels really great to not feel so stressed worrying what other people might be thinking about me (like I used to do).  It has been awesome to learn more about myself and the way God made me and to be able to grow in my strengths.  I look forward to more of that.  I hope to be even more encouraging to those around me this year.

And you know what else?  I hope to get at least a little bit more free of Mom Guilt this year!  It is annoying how debilitating this can be in my life.  I look forward to letting God speak more truth to me in that arena as He helps me grow more.

I know, I know.  Pretty simple goals.  But that’s me.

Well, I guess that’s it for today, folks!  I’m going to start helping my kids get ready for school now.  Enjoy your day!  And please feel free to share your own journey in the comment section below.  I can’t tell you how much I LOVE hearing from you all! 🙂

*To get to the main menu, where you can view and click on everything I end up posting for this 31 Day Challenge, click here.

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What about you?

What have been YOUR highs and lows from the past year?  What are you looking forward to over the next year?

Please share your journey in the comment section below.


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