Well, it finally happened. I turned 40 this weekend. Mixed emotions. For the first time I was actually feeling...."old". The night before I laid in bed and thanked the Lord for so many things as I thought about my life.
I thought about growing up in a Christian home, my talks with dad and shopping with mom. Always having a great fun youth group to go to. Church and youth group were some of the best moments I had growing up. My closest friends came from there.
Working at Hidden Acres as a summer camp counselor. My first taste of independence. I loved those summers.
Life changing experience. Moving to California to go to the Master's College. I became a different person there. I grew so much and loved every minute of it. I was so thankful that the Lord provided a way for me to go. I think I never would have left Iowa if it were not for college. I think of leaving for California as one of the most pivotal times in my life. I knew one person when I started and God gave me so much more.
Meeting and marrying Matt. I don't even think I really knew who I was marrying. He has proved to be so much more than I could have ever hoped for. He is the man that you want to go through trials with. He shows me more mercy and love than I have ever been given by any person. He is steady and quietly strong. I love him and he has changed me for the better.
After college and marriage, meeting the best girlfriends I could have ever asked for. They have changed my life. I love them so much. They have been through many trials with me and have been so faithful. I am not always an easy friend to stand by and they have done it. They will be in my life forever. I don't even have to name them. They know who they are and I'm sure most of you know them too.
Having Hollie live by us. I loved living by my sister. She was such an encouragement to me. In my wants, hard times, and victories. I'm still thanking the Lord for the ways that He has provided for her deepest desires. ( Holla Mrs. Jackson!)
The birth and adoption of my baby girls. A path I would have never chosen to go on. So much waiting, disappointment and hurt. But I really don't think there is a week that goes by that I don't thank the Lord for the life changing path he put Matt and I on. I love adoption! I'm blessed to be apart of it. I am more thoughtful to others because of it. The whole experience made me a better mom. Those two girls have changed my life. I'm more in love with Matt, watching him be a dad to those two beauties.
Music. I have so many wonderful memories, singing at different places. God gives everyone gifts to use for Him. I am humbled and thankful that He gave me so many opportunities to do something for Him that I love doing. Do people still want 40 year olds to sing in church? I hope so. haha
Church. I have grown so much at the different churches God put me in. I know there are people around the country and world who are growing on their own and don't have a good bible teaching church and good Christian fellowship. I have had some great experiences. I hope and pray I haven't wasted those experiences or taken them for granted.
Legacy Christian Academy. I worked as a music teacher for almost 15 years. I don't think I really appreciated it until the last few years. I always had fun there and will always be thankful that I had Christian bosses. Any discussion we had always ended in prayer. When I was hurting in my personal life, what boss would sit and pray with me as I cried? I still have encouraging notes from him. I'll always have many memories where he showed me grace in tough situations.
Now moving to Tennessee. I still can't believe he gave me the desire of our hearts and moved us here. AND I am a stay at home mom.
My girls are young, Matt has a new job, I am just getting to know people. I'm wondering what is coming next? I'm praying that I'll be more faithful and obedient to Him. That I'll grow more in love with Jesus. That I'll have really good relationships with my girls. The kind where they want to come to their mom about everything! The kind that grows into a good friendship in later years. I pray that Matt and I will continue to be best friends. That I will die to self and serve Him more. He works so hard for His girls. I pray I'll be used more in the church. Build deep relationships here in Nashville.
Maybe 40 isn't so bad. You have lived long enough to reflect over your life so far but hopefully I'll have many more years to go. Here's to the next 40!
Ellis' birth story.
18 hours ago