This morning I walked into my boys’ room and found them both sitting on their beds, groggily staring into space. They were only moments from the normal morning insanity, where they bounce around the room destroying things until I come to remove them from their bedroom prison, but I had caught them still in that vulnerable just-awake state.
“Good morning, babies,” I whispered, and they both covered their eyes so I could turn on the light. They blinked as their eyes adjusted, and then suddenly Ryan was awake (and talking– the two are pretty much synonymous where Ryan is concerned).
“Happy birthday Mommy!” he sang out joyfully, with the kind of eagerness only a boy ten days from his own magical day of wonder and cake can dispay.
“Thank you, buddy,” I replied, digging through his drawer for something suitable (read: not requiring the iron) for him to wear to school. As I pulled out his last clean pair of underwear, I became aware that I was being scrutinized.
“Mommy, you look just the same as you did when you were only twenty-nine,” the ever-observant one remarked.
I guess it’s good to know that I didn’t turn overnight into a wrinkled hag. My nose has not developed a huge hook or a hairy wart. My hair has not become gray and stringy, mostly thanks to that box of hair dye that my mom and I spent some quality time with on Friday.
Undoubtedly I have changed in the last years, but thankfully it did not happen overnight. And while I would gladly look in the mirror today and see the me of ten years looking back, I would never choose to miss the tapestry of life that God has woven into me since the last time the first number in my age changed.
Ten years ago today I turned twenty. Since then I have visited China (and learned to use chopsticks, and watched the sunrise over the clouds somewhere over the Pacific ocean). I have fallen in love with and married the most wonderful man I could imagine. I have graduated from college with honors. I have seen the positive line on a pregnancy test four times. I have brought two amazing boys into this world, and I have grieved a son I will never know this side of heaven.
I have lived in two dormitories, two apartments, two duplexes, and a house since my twentieth birthday. I have experienced excitement over owning appliances. I have had the dubious joy of buying four different vehicles. I have planned family vacations, bought life insurance, learned how to shop for groceries, and become the creator of Christmas magic in my home. I have spent sleepless nights worrying about our finances, and I have seen God’s incredible faithfulness to provide for our needs.
In fact, through it all I have seen God’s faithfulness. Truly, that should be my theme as I reflect on the crows’ feet and gray hairs that thirty has brought along with it. What God has taught me about His faithfulness is worth a few more candles on my cake, worth a stronger pair of glasses, worth the diagnoses of arthritis and all the aches and pains that go along with it. Because His goodness and faithfulness are so much greater than all that. And His mercies are new every morning, even on my thirtieth birthday.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Oh Lord.