38

“And then I can get life back on track.” If there is a sentence I have said more often since 35, I would love to know it. This one-liner and its sentiments have been my perspective since fall 2019. In my memory there are distinct moments that I know I said this about health, relationships, schedules, work, my pregnancy, motherhood, COVID life. From one perspective it is a hopeful statement: things are not as they can be and I can make them better. From a different direction it is negative: telling my brain we are in the wrong and it is up to us to fix it. But in my current season: end of Q1 for the year, start of spring, turning 38, my baby turning 3 and life presenting the reality that it will be changing…. I have seen this line for exactly what it is: a lie – life was never derailed, I was not missing an action step, and that the concept of returning to a previous state as growth is false. The truth: life is a journey and each and every moment, day, month, and year has been a piece to help make it whole….. to make it today.

Newly 37 Celebrating 2! March 2022

What caused me to examine this was two very distinct and opposing feelings.

Our new little guy June 2022

First: life has moved so fast and suddenly I find it 3 years after what felt like a time when everything changed and changed and changed. Some of the biggest changes were faced, and despite having periods were it was if I felt every second tick painfully by, and yet did I relish the good? Every single day presents good? Did I waste it? A feeling of loss, fear, and sadness for the end of even some good seasons. This was a feeling, thankfully not of regret, just wistful disappointment that I turned around and even the good stuff changes or fades to new.

Special Beach Trip July 2022

Second: life has taken so many unexpected turns and I would never have believed where I am…. and yet I still truly in my deepest heart feel, this life is abundantly blessed. I cried tears of intense overwhelming joy with my therapist recently that how could God reward a broken and and sinful human like me who has spent so much time asking why and when and how…. with the gift of lessons and wisdom and perspective to make the hard so beautiful. Thanks to the lessons, I can live a life as a better person. Do I really deserve all this blessings? My cup runneth over and I can’t wait to see how I use the gifts he has made possible.

Halloween October 2022

The fear of life passing by and the blessing of life continuing to move forward. Both of these view points have flooded my mind, heart and soul over the last few weeks. So much so I felt the need, the importance of selecting which one would “win” and dictated how I see this new chapter of 38. Until I realized that singular perspectives is what has gotten me in trouble before (“Getting life back on track), and that we are designed as complicated beings, because it means that only one being can truly understand us: God. The conflicting emotions, the ever changing circumstances, our wild hearts – they desire to be understood and then accepted and that means they need the one that understands them best, their creator. This season is calling me to unite myself to Him to know the path.

We started Mommy & Daughter Dates November 2022

As I pondered how to unite myself to Him, I actively chose to pour it all out to God and see what he had to say. Funny enough this was in time for Lent this year and so I made my focus for this season: slowing down, letting go of perfection, and making space for Him. This is an approach on life that is not natural for me, often uncomfortable and demanding the grace to execute. (An example – instead of having 10 specific prayer things I have to do daily – that turns into another way to become perfect {charting how well I do}. Obsessing over it {grumpy at Shannon when she won’t sleep so I can go pray}, and then trashing myself when I falter….. I take the time in prayer and make it as reverent as possible. Be open to what finds me {if a Catholic podcast pops up, listen VS going to back to the very first episode of that podcast and requiring I listen to them all in order just to get to the one I saw. Just say a prayer to hear God in it and listen}.

Christmas 2022

This seems easy or odd, but it hits the core of my heart:I want a perfect Lent and turn it to an area for accomplishment, instead of encounter and healing by seeing God in the realities of what is. Stay in the present, use each and every moment to seek God’s guidance, make room for him be removing what is loud, distracts, and pulls to the wrong areas of focus (again this can be in how I approach my prayer life or in making sure I think through an evening routine for less stress and cultivation of more peace: layout the pjs early, get more sleep to have more patience, turn off other noise).

Christmas Decor December 2022

My brain told me this will cause so much overthinking and preoccupation – it will never work. Reality: in the season where we are called to meet Jesus and deny ourselves, I have to be purposeful to plan the day around peace (put the phone down, set alarms). But has been wild, it has stretched me, and it has brought a healing I never could have seen coming. Life is turned upside down …. thus God is here.

DC Work Travel with Mom December 2022

In all the lessons and all the growth and all the efforts to deny a life theme or the goal of one true perspective, I have found something new: an understanding. My life is a journey and with my humanity I can only see and know and truly grasp such a tiny fraction of it. God knows the whole picture, THAT SURRENDER IS FREEDOM. So take what he places on my heart, examine it with him, learn what he is calling me to and walk. The why, the how, the when and coming up with my own solutions isn’t what this season is for. In fact it is even about stretching beyond “thy will” (“OK God here is what I want, but I will do what you want”) and jumping to desiring God alone. Isn’t that crazy? Just desire him – and don’t even consider the pieces of the puzzle. With this thought process, we can go through periods of learning, new growth, new perspectives and still have freedom knowing the truth answer: only He has to know the outcome. And to do that I must do my best to slow down, strip myself of perfection, arm myself with faith tools, and make space in the living present.

New Year December 2022

Welcome 38….. there is a quite a lot to take with us on this leg of the journey…. and with God in the driver seat, it is a beautiful opportunity for me to live in the present and make that a place of joy: holding all the feelings and choosing to believe in the good. God has good – he has shown that in my life. Let’s make this trip around the sun a chance to fully walk in the belief of this truth.

38 March 2023

Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!
Jackie


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