06 May 2016

on turning forty

It's true, I am turning 40.  And I am surprisingly OK with that.  Although its taken some time to get here.

When I was younger, I thought 40 was so old.  {Didn't we all think that when we were younger?}  I thought by the time you turn 40 you have your whole life figured out.  And as I got closer and closer, year by year, I thought "Dang! I do not have my life figured out, I cannot be approaching 40."

But over the last few years there has been a subtle relenting of that idea of a "figured-out life."  I am more at peace now with what I don't know.

My understanding of God and the sovereignty of His ways has dwindled.  I have accepted that He is so far beyond me that it is lunacy to ever believe I could have him figured out.  And this acceptance has brought floods of peace in the midst of dark days + swirling questions.  I don't have to figure Him out, I don't have to explain away His motives, I only need to walk with Him.  I only need His presence, not His reasons. I've come to Him angry and broken and disillusioned and every time He has met me in that place and His presence has been enough.  When He hasn't given answers, or changed circumstances; He has proven faithful anyway and it is enough.  More often than not, I lay down my questions and sit quietly with Him.  It is a tender place to be, and my younger self wasn't quite humble enough to be comfortable there.

Mothering has been a place of challenge and joy and laughter and tears.  I gained three more boys in this last decade of life.  I think for sure, I thought 40-year-old mothers had the gig all nailed down.  Turns out, I am still learning.  And I recognize that I will continue learning how to mother my whole life long.  I use to think that mothering should look a certain way, but now I know every mother emerges differently.  We are a spicy family and I have let go of the dream of "precious" ever being a descriptor for the way I mother.  I love who my boys are growing into.  I appreciate the gift it is to see them grow.  I try to savor the moments, I really do. If I am being honest, certain moments are harder to savor than others.  For example, some nights I sit and watch "Dr Who" with The Biggest simply because I know someday he won't want to sit and watch anything with me. {Full disclosure, some nights I sew instead because I can't even with all the alien things on that show.}

In many ways I feel a contentment with 40 that I didn't anticipate.  Sure, I am still a little mad that my metabolism has finally made it obvious that I cannot eat junk all day and get away with it.  And yes, there are gray hairs here and there that refuse to be hidden. [I don't mind really though, because my much younger husband still has a few more grays than I do.]  {Thank you, Jesus, for your tender gifts.} I love this life that God has granted me.  I like the way He has made me, and the intentional way in which He calls me to Himself.  I am confident that He will continue to lead me in the way that He has designed for me and I no longer feel responsible to map things out for Him.  Its much more relaxed this way.  He has blessed me with a husband that loves well and listens long.  He has given me these four amazing boys that are such a crucial part of His redemptive work in my life.  I have friends that pour Truth into me. And sisters that have accepted that I am the worst when it comes to phone calls. I am so loved, by God, by my family; and I know it -- which is a treasure in itself.   It would be madness to not be content here.  So bring it 40, I'm mostly ready.