Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's Complicated (Being 30)

If turning thirty was just about getting older it wouldn't be so bad. The thought of being middle-aged (is that the 30's?) is surreal and leaves me feeling like I skipped a few spaces and am wearing shoes far too big for me.

See, when you're in your twenties people are forgiving, after all you're just beginning to figure out life whether that includes motherhood, marriage, career, and relationships. They smile when you show up at the church potluck with a flop of a meal, when your children arrive looking wild with hair askew, or when you pull up in a flurry of chaos. It's quickly forgiven with quiet sentiments of ahhh, she's young yet, she'll learn.  But by thirty one should have a few things figured out. Surely! Right? I should know things by now.

And that's just one very little reason why being thirty makes me want to turn around and head for the hills of the twenties. The other one's bigger.

Turning thirty makes me want to live the twenties over (well...if I could skip the four pregnancies and just have the kids). Really I'd do it over if time could work that way. I'm tempted to look over my shoulder and see Regret, Sin, and Missed Opportunity lining up and taking a number. It makes me want to make up excuses for myself and try to change the past.

Time doesn't work that way and thankfully neither does God. He takes our failures, shows us our weakness and then gives us a view of His full sufficiency. He keeps us crossing over the fence, escaping the mire of our own failures into the pastures of possibility in Christ Jesus. It's in Him we can live, move and be.

Suddenly being thirty isn't nearly as daunting. It's exciting. I feel a sense of urgency to live, live strongly, live intentionally. I desire to deepen relationships with my husband, family, sisters!, friends, church family. I want to live focused and diligent in whatever my calling for the day is. I want to step out of my comfort zone and be useful in whatever capacity He designs. And yes, I also want to be a better cook and have things a little more together. I want to try to get my kids in pajamas every night instead of wearing their clothes. I digress.

God can transform our messes into places for His work. He can take our pain and suffering and turn them into platforms of opportunity. It's what He does. I'm like a dirty old coin on which you can barely make out the image on it. I hope the thirties bring about a vigorous dusting in my life and heart so that His likeness becomes clearer to Him as He looks at me. 


Rebecca said...

Thanks Kara, I needed that...I'll be 30 next year. Thanks so much also for your writings...I really am so inspired by give praise to God, to cling to Christ more tightly, to see God working in my daily life, and I'm so happy I'm not the only one that puts their kids to bed in their clothes, too tired to care about pj's:o) Have a lovely day!

Stacie said...

Amen! I recently turned 30 and completely relate to the mixed emotions..your last 2 paragraphs really hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned! Birthday Blessings and prayers your way! :)

KarenKTeachCamb said...

Enjoy your 30s and then consider that your 40s will bring a whole heap of new challenges. As one on a downhill road to 50 (I've got a couple more years yet), I'm enjoying my 40s in a way that I never did my 20s or 30s. No matter how old we are, we always have lessons to learn. Kara your wisdom and depth of thought are an encouragement to many. It doesn't matter how old you are. After all, what's a birthday really? You are just one day older than you were yesterday. Happy, happy 30th Kara! May God continue to bless you and be your strength in all you do. Love you!

Kate said...

I nearly snorted when I read that the thirties is middle-aged. :) That means I'm half way done with my middle ages, and I better get crackin'!!

I love birthdays, new years, etc. for the kind of soul-searching and retrospection (is that a word?) you're describing. It isn't always pretty, but that's where grace comes into play. Praise God for all the grace he sends our way each day, eh?

Mel said...

I hope to turn 30 this year too. These thoughts sum up all of my emotions about 'getting older' too! Thank you for putting words to it!!!

Mel said...

oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! :O)