Another Year, Another Chance

Yesterday was my 36th birthday.

Thirty-six years ago, on a Sunday evening, I made my entrance into the world and have been trying to make my mark in it ever since.

Things aren’t exactly where I thought they’d be. I’d go so far as to say my life is nowhere near how I imagined it would – or could – be by this point in my life.

Is that a bad thing? Some would say so. When nothing goes your way, it’s usually a bad thing…

If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: When you walk with God instead of running away from Him, your life takes on a character you couldn’t orchestrate if you tried.

It’s time for a little birthday introspection.

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I thought by this time I’d be one of the best and brightest office managers in the corporate world.

That’s right, folks. My biggest occupational goal was to be a great office manager. That was after I gave up on my goal to be a teacher, because I discovered I wasn’t so hot on other people’s children. Don’t want to teach? No problem. Be an administrative assistant above other assistants. Boom. Dream life.

What on earth…

Thank the Lord in Heaven, He didn’t hold me to that “dream.” I’m my own boss today. My own boss! I have my own business! I work with a client who treats me like his little sister – which is both charming and sometimes obnoxious – and I love getting to do the work I do every single day. I work from home! I don’t have to wear shoes! I make my own lunch (and breakfast, and dinner) every single day. I get to be a mama to my kids 24/7. If I need to go to the doctor, I’m not required to take two hours of sick time. If I want to go on a road trip, I can work at every stop along the way without having to use up any vacation time. I don’t have a micromanager over me. I don’t have to punch a clock. I do what I love, when I want.

It’s not at all where I thought I’d be at this point in my life. It’s better.

I thought by this time I’d be a mother of four children.

Little did I know, my body isn’t made for having babies. I delivered three, I came home with two, and one is waiting for a heavenly reunion. Our parenting journey couldn’t have gone more haywire. When we were first married, we wanted kids right away. Shortly thereafter, we both decided maybe we didn’t want any at all. Seven years later, Little Miss entered the world via emergency delivery to save both our lives, and the tragedies kept occurring from there. I went from wanting two children to wanting none, to wanting four, to having two of my three babies survive. Barely.

It’s not at all where I thought I’d be at this point in my life. It was incredibly more traumatic. Yet I’m incredibly thankful for my children. All three of them.

I thought by this time in life, I’d own a two-story home in town, and be hosting social gatherings at every turn.

Let me tell you, we’ve learned so much about home ownership and renting. And both come with their struggles. We were fortunate to sell our home when and how we did. It couldn’t have worked out better. But we thought this renting would be a quick pit stop in between residences. Six months has turned into almost two years. This pit stop is the pits. I’ve tried to embrace the positive. I’ve tried to hold on to my Little Apartment On The Prairie gratitude-attitude. But seriously, folks, I want out of this place. Yesterday.

My dreams have changed, though. I don’t want a fancy house in town. I don’t need a heated garage. I don’t even need a paved road. God has shown me the life lessons we can learn on a homestead, and this country-bumpkin wants to return to her roots. I want some land, some chickens, and a big ol’ farmhouse pantry to store my home-canned goods. I want dirt. I want quiet. I want to not be able to hear my neighbors sneeze. Or swear. Or walk. Or drive. Or flush their toilet. I want wide open spaces. And I believe with all my might, God’s going to let us move to just the right space in just the right way in the very near future.

It’s not at all where I thought I’d be at this point in my life. But I’m thankful for the lessons learned, and the dreams reborn.

I thought by this time I’d be a size 6 again. I thought by this time I’d have my BA. I thought by this time I’d be speaking all over the country. I thought by this time I’d be writing my second book. I thought by this time 36 would look a lot different than it does, but I know it’s laying the foundation for a future I can’t even begin to imagine.

So here I am. Another year, another number, another adventure underway. Another prayer our upstairs neighbors use their inside voices. Another hug and sloppy kiss from the kiddos. Another day at my cozy desk in the corner of my living room. Another day to thank Him for the 36 years He’s given me, and the dreams He inspires on a continual basis.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us — so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.    ~ Psalm 67:1-2

One Reply to “Another Year, Another Chance”

  1. Dear Val,

    Happy Belated Birthday! I prayed Psalm 67:1-2 for you and your family. You’re wise for your years or maybe I am just a super slow learner 🙂 Glad we “met.” May God grant your desire for more space and may He give you grace during this in between time. ((HUgs))

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