Friday, October 18, 2013

why it's so good to grow older + my heart's desire for 31

the hubs made me rice krispie treats for my "21st" birthday ;)
So I turned 31 yesterday.

I sometimes can't believe life is going by so quickly- though 30 was one year that stretched into eternity thanks to being pregnant 42 out of 52 weeks of the year. ;) 

I woke up yesterday morning expecting the sadness of being even older to hit {turning 30 was harder than I thought it would be!}, but strangely enough I was actually really grateful to be able to have lived another year. 31 years is a very long time, and I've been so blessed to be able to experience so many things in three decades. :)

Life is something we don't deserve. The fact that we get to be alive, to know the mercy of God and enjoy His creation for any length of time is a gift, you know what I mean?

The last few birthdays I've woken up with a prayer on my heart for the next year of my life. Last year was that I would grow in maturity in Christ, and this year, I feel God has placed it on my heart to pray for boldness. For fearlessness in Jesus.

I honestly care way too much about what man thinks of me. I care too much about how I look to others, and I care too much about how I am perceived. I'm a people pleaser and approval seeker. And not in the good way you try to share in a job interview. It's not good at all.

It's vanity.

Man's opinion means nothing in eternity, and yet I can be so worried and tense over what other people say and do, especially when it pertains to me. Ugh. It's so vain.

Pride and vanity are easily some of my biggest struggles and sins. It's a constant battle, and one I don't like to even admit.

I think that's why I'm kind of {in a weird way} happy about growing older- it seems like the older- the more wrinkled I get- the more children I have, the more gray hairs I find, the more mistakes I make, the more things are out of my control, the more imperfect I realize I am all the time- the more I need Jesus and the less I care about silly temporary things like how I look or what people think about me. And losing that vanity means I get to be closer to Jesus which makes growing old so worth it.

Wasn't 17 like yesterday? My goodness.
{pic that's been in the Rob's wallet for nearly 14 years}
At the rate life goes, it won't even be long until I meet my Savior. For real. My first baby is turning 10 on Sunday. I graduated from college 10 years ago. College. Crazy. 

This year I want to grow up more in Jesus and stop caring so much about myself- I want to care more about what Jesus wants for me than what anyone else thinks or says about me. I want to gracefully and with wisdom be able to speak and live boldly and without fear of the reproach of man when it comes to the truth of God's Word. Because only the Son of Man's opinion really matters in the end.


I love Jesus so much. I fail Him so often in my words and thoughts, but I'm so thankful the Holy Spirit keeps changing me. I know I am hypocritical all the time because I can't do what I know I'm supposed to do, but I know God is greater than my weakness! {and at least I'm not alone in that- Paul is ahead of me!}

1992
I honestly look forward to the day when I see my Lord. It's sometimes scary to think of this life ending because I know all of the things I didn't do right, you know? But it is so freeing, so wonderful to know that God has already forgiven me things past, present, and future through the blood of Jesus! {thank you, Matt Chandler, for reminding me of that this Sunday...} 

I am fully relying on His grace to see this race to completion, so that I may stand before Him fully complete and redeemed and made new.

Every wrinkle I earn, every new morning I wake up a little older- means I'm one day closer to seeing my Savior. Aging means I get to {hopefully} care less and less about the things of this world and myself, and become more like Him. And that is truly exciting.

Like C.S. Lewis said, "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." 

Turning 31 just means I'm that much closer to the finish line. :)

source: pinterest

15 comments:

Jennifer Heidinga said...

You are just as beautiful now as you were at 17. :-) Thank you for being so transparent and opening your heart to us!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, thank you :)

Joy said...

Happy Birthday! This was beautiful and full of wisdom. ♥

Penny said...

I struggle with this as well. I am 42 and wish I was as wise as you at 31. Vanity and Pride are exacty what they are and as ugly as the sound, we must call our sins what they are. Well said!!

emily ressegue said...

Ok... validate me! ;) You have been with your hubby since high school, right? I have been with mine since middle school. So, maybe you feel the same. So many people wish they would've known their spouse when they were younger. You and I have! But I still would have loved to known him as a little boy. Do you ever think that? It's a recent thought for me. You are a blessed woman! :D

Suzanne Cole said...

I am 34 and I feel the same way. I feel this awkward in between stage again in my life similar to the teenage years where you are somewhere between a kid and a grown up. Now we are in between again, young adult and mature adult! I see a lot of women my age dying their hair and hating growing older, but I look at some older women all silver and beautiful in their wise and mature way and I look forward to that. It definitely helps to have a loving husband to grow old with and heaven to look forward to! Thank you for putting your beautiful words to my thoughts and feelings! Happy birthday!!

Anonymous said...

Mandy I've wrote u before and told u that I love your blog and it such an inspiration to me ......and that I was excited we were pregnant at the same time - well guess what? I had my baby boy yesterday !!!! On your birthday! Kinda cool! Happy belated birthday! FROGKB@HOTMAIL

Briana Runde said...

I love your outlook on birthdays and getting to be another year older! I was surprised to find out that I really struggled when I turned 30. Then, when I recently turned 32, I looked back thinking how these last two birthdays were no big deal. I hope to view it like this from now on... it's another step closer to seeing Jesus. :)

Teresa R said...

Happy Birthday, Mandy! My birthday was Oct 16 and I turned 57. Each new year draws me closer to Jesus. I have seen many changes through these years and I am blessed to be living at a time like this.

Sarah Ruth said...

Beautifully written. I love getting older for the same reason. Although there are some days when I wish I was still 17!

jackie said...

You are blessed for having these thoughts and desires at this "young" age - I am 51 and have been a Christian for a long time. However, it has taken several huge events in my life to start getting to the point of understanding the difference between "desiring" God much more than pleasing man and wanting praise. Happy Birthday!

Chrissy said...

Hey there ~

I recently started keeping up with your blog and I just have to tell you what a blessing you are! I am a few years and children behind you and it's so great to have such a godly example who is just a bit ahead of me. : )

Thank you so much for this post. My dear childhood friend who is only 24 years old and just got married 6 weeks ago is on his deathbed (from cancer) and we are waiting for word of him passing in to glory. So hard. So painful. But this post helped to put things in perspective and help me be excited for him. The quote from CS Lewis is perfect.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Mandy. I always look forward to your blog posts. I love how you are open and real with us. It helps to know we're all going through the same things each in our own different way. Moat of all I love that you help me in my walk with the Lord. You point us back to Him. You get it amd its great to see another beautiful and Godly example.. thank you! Your posts always hit close to home and I love seeing your love for Jesus.-Christine

Mrs. Bauer said...

Happy 31st! You are more beautiful every day- inside and out. And, in all honesty, you are like every one of us: scared to share our thoughts and open our hearts. We fear the answer we will get from others, but the response from the Lord, reminding us that we are good and faithful servants doing well is the greatest gift we could receive. Enjoy this year and many more to come! Love, Laura

Rachelle @ Sweet Home Pasadena said...

Wonderful, honest post. Happy belated birthday. :)

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