I just happened to watched 13 going on 30 with my husband a few weeks ago and if you haven't seen this witty and goofy comedy, you should. It's about a 13-year-old girl wishes she was "Thirty, Flirty and Thriving" after seeing the phrase on a magazine cover. The movie brings her into the world of her 30's and she is certainly thriving but soon realizes how poor decisions in her life have led her onto a path of emptiness and loneliness. She gets another chance to practice kindness and gratefulness as a 13 year old again and it all has a super happy ending. It was fun to watch this movie in the same month that I myself, am turning 30.
But "Thirty, Flirty and Thriving" really doesn't describe how I feel moving into this next decade of my life. Mostly just the flirty part... unless you include flirting with my husband.
Neither does the phrase, "Dirty Thirty." Because I just don't even know what it means. What is dirty? Why does it have to be dirty?
So, where does this leave me?
I literally googled "Words that rhyme with thirty" to be able to come up with own unique phrase for this special time in my life but there are like 5 words that rhyme with thirty. And nerdy and birdy just didn't seem right.
I am entering the next decade of my life and I couldn't be more excited. So, maybe I don't have a cool and corny phrase to usher it in by, but I'm telling you right now. BIG THINGS are commin' for my 30's!
I spent my 20's makin' babies. Making and feeding 5 amazing babies. Literally an entire decade. (My husband and I got engaged when I was 20, got married 3 months after I turned 21, got pregnant on our honeymoon and I gave birth to our first child 4 days after I turned 22.)
If you know me AT ALL, my life motto is all about living for TODAY and finding the joy in the ordinary moments. And even though I am not a CONSTANT example of that, and I fail often, I really try to live to that life mantra.
You always hear people saying things like:
"Life flies by."
"Enjoy what you have now."
"The days are long but the years are short."
"Your life flashes before your eyes."
"You feel young now but you will blink and your kids will be grown."
We hear things like this and nod in agreement and promise to enjoy the RIGHT NOW. But do we? Do we really put that into practice?
For me, not to say that the past 10 years have gone by slow, by any means, but I think I actually really soaked them in. I think I stopped to smell the roses. I think I learned A LOT. About love. About life. About relationships. And I'm still learning and growing. I've made a lot of mistakes and have been shown grace to process through them.
But I feel like I really took to heart this whole "living for today" perspective because I'm not scared about entering my 30's. I'm not worried that the time is going by too fast. I have loved almost every single choice I have made in my 20's that has brought me to where I am today. I didn't blink and the kids were old. Although I can't believe my oldest is about to turn 8, I'm also like, "She's only 8! I have really loved these past 8 years with her."
I feel like I have been intentional in my attitude and in my decisions. I am doing exactly what I want to be doing and I am right where I want to be. I am focused on my marriage and my family and I strive to put God first in all I do. I practice gratefulness daily and keep my eyes focused on Jesus through the storms of life, knowing that He is faithful and will be bring me through even stronger than before. The storms do not stay. They always pass.
I have had some really hard challenges. I've gone through super crappy situations that drained me and depleted me. I have hurt other people and I've had heartache myself. I've experienced things I never thought I would and been in dark places I have never thought I could recover from. But God is SO FAITHFUL. He is so loving. He swept me off my feet time and time again and redeemed me. Sanctified me. Gave me new purpose and new life.
When I ponder on the girl I was in my early 20's, (she was a real bum, let me tell ya), and see where God has brought me in 10 years, I am in awe. It's quite a miracle, really. And He has brought me down paths I could have never imagined for myself or even been confident enough to pursue. God has really surprised me these past 10 years. I cannot even FATHOM what He will do in the next 10 years. I'm pretty excited to live each day fully to find out.
When you hear people saying how much time flies, how years zoom by, how life comes and goes in the blink of an eye... don't just nod and go about your day. Really soak that in and purpose to change your perspective. To live in your RIGHT NOW.
I can honestly say that I have really enjoyed these past 10 years. They didn't fly by. They were enjoyed. They were relished. I went from being a naïve and selfish girl into a women who is continually seeking for more of God and His wisdom and increasing in my faith. Who works hard and also remembers to pause and stop to smell the roses. The once timid and self-conscious girl has stepped into the roles and purpose that God has had for her all along, unafraid and unashamed.
And I want the same thing for this next decade. To completely be present in the moment I am given. Finding joy in my extraordinary ordinary life.
Go take a chance today. Do something out of your comfort zone. Live your life. Enjoy TODAY. And the next day, and the next day. Don't let the days, weeks, months and years slip through your fingers. Be present. Be purposeful. Be you.
Today, I am celebrating 30 years of life on this earth. It is a pretty great day.
And to think of how I almost died as a baby (another story for another day) and how God saved me. He has such purpose for each of us. We are here for a reason. Make the most of it!
All photos by Kaitlyn C Photography.