A few months ago, I made my way out to the family playground. I hadn’t been there in months for two reasons: a. Kalyb didn’t come back to us until the end of November and b. My life from November – February included practicing from 5:30-7:30am, teaching from 7:30-4:00pm and attending some sort of game or practice until anywhere between 6pm and 9:30pm. Come to find out, 9:30pm is not the most ideal time for a trip to the family playground in the winter months.
So, when I did finally make it out to the playground, I was the new one out there. Moms approached me wondering when we’d moved to campus (6 months ago) and introducing their children (we live on a Christian campus – most have about 3.2 children with 1 in the womb). One conversation stuck out as a woman asked how old I was (gasp! 30!) and said that she had also just turned 30 and then wanted to talk about how awesome it was to be 30. I’m not sure I’m there yet, as it still feels surreal.
What stuck out to me, though, was how in my mind I had created this woman to be so much older (she’s so put together and is absolutely beautiful), so much wiser (she’s married to a man with a prominent position on campus), so much more….grown up. How did I become a 30 year old (step) Mama? I mean, I can answer that: I fell in love with and married Josiah and got an amazing bonus with Kalyb. But…30? In my little girl mind, even 18 seemed so far-fetched. 30. At 30, you had it all together. You were established. Focused. Organized. Grown up!
I attended another gathering that was full of 30-something young mothers. I missed a call from a dear high school friend as I was there and had to grin as I thought of the stark differences between where I was and where the Lord has brought me. 15 years ago, I spent evenings at parks over-analyzing life and relationships. I gallivanted all over ‘the valley’ meeting up with friends, hanging out, and having friends over to enjoy our ‘bomb shelter’ (pantry FULL of food that could’ve kept the entire neighborhood alive in case of any bomb threats). We had family dinners and my sister was just a room away to go crawl in bed or to go wake up for our morning drives to school singing Christina Aguilara. In college, I spent late nights rummaging through the local Wal-Mart, hung out with my teammates and came home with random animals that I had no way of keeping, I thought I would be getting married to several different people. I lost my best friend. I went to Spain. I student taught. I graduated. Just years ago, I was living in downtown San Diego with an amazing group of friends. Working a job I came to love with people who were like family. Spending my evenings at Bible Study, walking downtown, helping at the youth group, and praying for my husband hunt.
And now here I am. A 30 year old wife and mother, in love with Jesus and desperately trying to portray Him through my life, my marriage, my family, my home, my job, and my choices. Trying to get a better understanding of my identity in Christ in regards to each of these roles that I play. Feeling a little out of place in the process, a little challenged, a little uncomfortable, and a little frustrated at times. But, I think those are good things. In these 30 years under my belt, I haven’t felt too challenged, uncomfortable or frustrated. So, Lord, bring on the growth! The revelation and understanding. I can feel it brewing and I’m so excited to be where He has me.