Age is Just a Number

I’m going to turn 40. In a matter of days, I will be turning the page in my life’s story to a new year, a new decade, a new beginning all over again.

The hardest birthday for me, strange as it may seem, was when I turned 25. There was something about that number that did me in. I felt like the door was closing on youth, I had to grow up and do it quickly, and I would be entering a never-ending season of working my life away.

It ended up being the best birthday, because as my friends were sensitive to my state-of-mind in turning 25, they showed up at my door, wearing pajamas and tiaras, pizzas in hand, and we had a princesses-in-pajamas party with my favorite ice cream cake (that they drove 90 miles in a cooler to keep frozen) and favorite movies. I truly have the best people.

So I am not upset or depressed or concerned about turning 40. My hard birthday (which resulted in being my best birthday) is already behind me.

Age is just a number. (But this weight number thing is a different situation altogether…)

I’ll be turning 40 in a new state, in a new home, with a new set of goals and aspirations before me. But also, I’ll be turning 40 while having a mountain of experiences and accomplishments to reflect on.

Is this why they call it “over the hill”?

When I was barely 20, I had a list of lifetime goals I hoped to achieve. They included things like “own a Cadillac”, “buy a huge house in ritzy neighborhood”, “hire a maid”, you know… all the tick marks for leading a successful life.

Here, 20 years later, my definition of success has changed considerably. I have a life centered around my home, and I could not imagine anything sweeter.

We homeschool (just started our fourth year!), we homestead, we grow and raise as much of our own food as we’re able, we eat homemade meals around the table, we spend almost all of our time together teaching, learning, growing, having fun – – these are things I do not take for granted.

In 40 years of living, I’ve learned you have to make hard choices. You’ll have to walk away from places, situations, and people. You’ll have to solidify what you stand for and what you know to be true. You’ll have to unlearn things you thought were true. You’ll have to lean on faith, even when you aren’t certain or when you’re completely uncomfortable.

In 40 years of living, I’ve learned life is beautiful, and God created it to be so. I’ve learned the family is the center of the universe. I’ve learned how to take arrows in the back while protecting those I love. I’ve learned what’s always right is not always popular and what’s always popular is not always right.

I have been insulted, bullied, and reprimanded for my positions. I have been praised, complimented, and admired for the same. My value does not come as a result of anyone’s reaction or support.

I’ve learned I am not strong. At all. But the Lord is my strength, and we have survived impossible situations only because of Him.

I’ve learned laughter is a gift. Sunshine is a necessity. Chocolate is a reward.

I’ve learned regardless of what I experience in life, be it 40 years or 400, it would be worth nothing without Christ.

And I have learned John 16:33 is more than just the verse we chose to adorn our daughter’s headstone. It is the verse that speaks truth and life into our every day. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

One Reply to “Age is Just a Number”

  1. Happy Birthday Val!

    I am thankful for your blog and enjoy reading each week.

    The testimonies you share of how God has worked, is working and will continue to work in your life is such an encouragement and blessing.

    The light you shine is a gift to me.

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