Dear 30...

Dear 30,

I've been mentally prepping for your arrival tomorrow more than any other year of my life so far. What is it about you that makes us 29-year-olds freak out a little? Why am I slightly intimidated by you? Why is it that as you inch your way closer I am more acutely aware of my mortality?

If I'm like this when you come to town, what's 40 going to be like? And don't remind me that you're halfway to 60. Sixty.


Until this morning you really kind of did freak me out. Probably because I feel a bit behind where I thought my life would be by the time I was 30. Did you know I was "supposed" to be married with a brood of kids by my mid 20s? Well, as it turns out, God had other plans. I am married, which is great, but the kids still remain to be seen. Did you also know that I thought I would look different in my 20s? Not so much my height or weight, but my actual face. When I was a teenager I thought I'd look like those 20-somethings I saw on TV shows... oddly enough I still look like me, just older. And I constantly remind myself that those women don't just wake up looking like that. Must be nice to have hair and makeup people....

Anyway, 30, you're probably wondering what happened this morning to change me from being scared of you to being almost excited by your coming. I gave my 20s some thought. The good, the bad, the ugly. What I learned, who I met, and all the "firsts" that happened in that decade.

I got my first...

  • Car
  • Cell-phone - yeah, preteens... when I was 21 and I got my car and my parents thought it'd be good for me to have a phone for my long drives from WI to NE for college. Before that it was landlines and calling cards - then a lovely TracFone.
  • Apartment, then another apartment - on a lake that was nice for looking at, bad for swimming or anything else. Closest thing to beachfront I may ever have!
  • Full-time jobs
  • House
  • Gray hair - at 27... not cool
  • Cat... and cat.... and cat.... three's company and more than enough
  • Speeding ticket - in a non-air conditioned car in WI at the end of May with a bag of ice melting away in the passenger seat... directly in front of my parents' house.
  • Degree - Bachelor's in Theology with Youth and Family Ministry emphasis - woot!
  • Kitchen appliances - yes, the microwave, toaster, toaster oven, crockpot and blender were all exciting!
  • DSLR camera
  • Guitar

I got...

  • My 4 amazing nephews and niece
  • To be a Godparent - twice
  • Married to my wonderful husband
  • The brothers I never had but always wanted
  • The best sister-in-law I could ask for
  • A great mother and father-in-law
  • Into the first and only college I applied to - Concordia University Seward

I met...

  • My husband
  • My favorite little kids who call me "Auntie"
  • My in-laws
  • Some of my best friends who are now spread all over the country
  • Some of the most loving and caring Pastors I've ever met
  • Some of the coolest teenagers, young adults and kids I know
  • Michael, Jim, Pam and Dwight - hey, when you're single and live alone in a new place, you make what friends you can, even if they're "fictional"
  • New brothers and sisters in Christ - across churches and denominations - they are true blessings

I learned...

  • How to do my own taxes, how to budget, how to save money - essential life skills, for real
  • Wine coolers are delicious
  • What not to wear - I met my husband and said bye, bye to the "grandma sweaters"
  • That I love ministry
  • That I can do more than I thought I could - I have gifts and talents I'm still discovering
  • How to spend holidays and birthdays alone (not very well, however!)
  • How to "cook" for one... and then two...
  • That I won't actually look like the 20-somethings on TV - and that's okay
  • How to leave a job and start a new one
  • How to be a wife - still a work in progress here
  • How to plant flowers and keep them alive - here's a hint, they need water on a regular basis!
  • How to fix a car - aka, how to get your husband to make the call for you
  • I'm still kind of scared of the dark
  • How to shoot a gun, bow and arrow, and camera - and I love all three
  • Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go to the docto-
  • The chiropractor is awesome
  • There's not only land, but some civilization north of Green Bay, WI
  • What a Yooper is - and that I'll never be one
  • Why a snow scoop and snow shovel really are two different things
  • I like a snow shovel better
  • How to rid the bathtub drain of the nasty hair monster - aka, if you stand in ankle-deep water during a shower long enough, hubby will dig out the drain for you
  • Patience pays off - even if it's just putting a smile on a stressed out Walmart or fast-food worker's face - it's worth it to be patient and polite
  • People don't mind talking about themselves if you give them the chance and prove you can listen
  • Listening also pays off
  • The Sunday school songs are true - neglecting your Bible and forgetting to pray will cause you to shrink - spiritually, mentally, emotionally and relationally
  • I have more to offer than I usually think I do 
My 20s had their crummy moments, but all-in-all they were pretty great. So, 30, maybe you should be a little intimidated by me. Stop trying to scare me and take a look at the gigantic shoes you need to fill in the next 10 years. We're going to be spending a lot of time together in the next decade - I'm anticipating an everyday sort of thing here - so let's get along. Let's be friends. Because I'm guessing that some of the best years of my life are tucked away somewhere in the 30s. God's got things up his sleeve I can't even imagine. 

30, you'll be here in few hours. I'm ready if you are. 

Let's do this. 

A Wife Like That

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