I turn thirty tomorrow. I know that some people really hate that number and dread their thirtieth birthday. Ever since I was 19, I couldn’t wait to turn 30. I can’t really explain why, it’s just an age I looked forward to.
Now that I am one day away, I’m still looking forward to it. My twenties brought some of the greatest blessings, but they were also easily the hardest years. I am feeling optimistic about my thirties.
This is the year that Scott and I got married. We went on our honeymoon to Tennessee, and went back to Springfield, MO to finish college and start our life together. This was the BEST year. We went on a weekend trip to Kansas City around New Year’s. We traveled to different churches candidating and just loving every second together. We went on a lot of long hikes and trips to Branson. It was the best.
Scott accepted a position at a church in Garden City, MI. We moved in the summer and immediately hit the ground running. I taught preschool, Scott did every job imaginable, and we adopted a puppy. I also found out in the middle of 21 that I was pregnant! So exciting.
The year of Chloe! I quit my teaching job and decided to be a stay-at-home mom and raise my family. We had slow mornings and many Target runs together. Scott was still working 7 days a week, so we didn’t do much this year together. I got to enjoy a lot of firsts with Chloe, and it felt blissful. My dad had open heart surgery, and my life changed dramatically. I realized that no matter my age, I needed to take care of myself.
Surprise! Pregnant again! It was a difficult pregnancy. I couldn’t keep anything down for over half of it. I had placenta previa and a slight thyroid cancer scare. We took a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC with Scott’s dad and had a blast! My dad had a stroke, and we went to see him in the hospital. It was the greatest surprise I’ve ever pulled off. Also, a job shift. We trusted that God was going to open a door just in time. He did, a month and a half before Addison was born. We packed up and moved to Burton, MI to serve at an amazing church. Moving while 8 months pregnant is not fun at all. We were elated though. Scott actually got time at home with us. We got settled in our tiny home.
I started running! I was sick of baby weight. I signed myself up for the Warrior Dash, because I knew I needed a race to scare me into actually training. I ran the race, had my shoe get lost in the mud, and was bruised and tired. But, I finished. A week later, I found out that I was pregnant. I continued running until I felt too sick. Then, at almost 12 weeks, I lost the baby. I was devastated and angry. Once I recovered from the “labor and delivery” that I had at home, I started running again. I used my anger to motivate me. I got in the best shape of my life. I soaked in every moment with a baby and toddler running around the house. Twenty-four wasn’t a cheery age, but it played a huge factor in shaping me.
FIVE YEARS of marriage!!! Scott ran the Warrior Dash with me this year. I kept my shoes on, so I was proud. We took several trips to Port Huron with the girls and built a lot of sand castles. We found out we were pregnant with Harper! Another girl!! We were still serving in ministry in Burton, MI. Life was simple, even with two little ones. We went to the Detroit Zoo, pumpkin patch, and took a trip to Illinois to see our families. I had a seizure two days before my 26th birthday, and got to take my first ambulance ride!
Scott got ordained, and I felt like the most proud wife. Also, Harper is here! After the scariest last ten weeks of a pregnancy, our baby girl arrived safely and peacefully. We got a whole lot more tired, and a whole lot more blessed. A lot of this age was a blur; probably from having three kids 5 and under. Chloe started preschool, and this was the first year of homeschooling for us.
Scott surprised me and took us on a trip to Holland, Michigan to celebrate my birthday. They have a Tulip Festival every year, and it was incredible. I love flowers. I love the beach. This was another age of packing up and moving. Our wonderful church was struggling with the major downturn of the economy in Flint, and they could no longer keep us on staff. It was heart wrenching to say goodbye under such sad circumstances for everyone. We packed up our lives, cried on the road, and arrived in Bartlesville, OK in time for a massive snow storm to hit Michigan. We got settled into our little apartment and dove into a new ministry.
This was the year that I had to hand two of my babies over to doctors for surgery at the same time. No matter if it is a complex surgery or routine, it is hard. My faith in God grew this year. I was homeschooling a kindergartener, doing speech therapy with Harper, and doing ministry. I LOVED winter in Oklahoma. It snowed once. I became a dance mom, and took many trips to the park. We hiked to a small waterfall as a family. We also moved a second time– out of a small apartment into a perfect house. I think I spent most of this age taking care of sick kids. Moving really took a toll on the immune systems in our house. This was also the age I started using essential oils.
Woof. This has been a hard one. We stepped down from our position at the church in Oklahoma because we KNEW without a doubt that it was no longer where God wanted us. This time, God didn’t open a new ministry door for us right away. We are still in the hallway, but we know it is right. We moved in with my parents for a few months while we got back on our feet after two months without income. Then, we moved for the fourth time in 17 months into a house of “our own”. My father-in-law passed away, and the world flipped upside down. We have been exceptionally blessed through it all. Being close to family has been such a gift. Scott and I got to go away together ALONE for the first time since before having kids. Our marriage is stronger than it’s ever been. I am finding my footing a little more. After so many years being “pastor’s wife” and “mom”, I lost Ashley. This year, I have been able to find her again. To “find yourself” is truly a gift. I am confident that this gift is going to help me jump into my thirties in the best way. I am once again taking control of my health after several years of feeling defeated.
Thirty is going to be great. I just know it.