The man was clearly exhausted, slumped over in defeat halfway up the massive hill he was climbing. Sweat dripped down his weary face from underneath his wide-brimmed hat. Just above where he was resting his aching bones sits an “over the hill” sign on a mound of delicious emerald-colored frosting.
One of my most vivid childhood memories is my dad’s surprise 40th birthday party. Friends and family came from near and far to celebrate the demise of his youth.
At the time I was 10 and my father seemed ancient to me. 40 appeared awful because obviously, all signs pointed to the beginning of the end – including his birthday cake.
Luckily, the big, bad 40 was as far away from me as a dream.
But wouldn’t you know it, 40 finally caught up with me…
My musings on turning 40…
Ten years ago today I was standing on the sandy beach of Puerto Vallarta, water lapping my feet and the sun warming my skin. I was celebrating the end of a decade and more importantly to me, the beginning of a new one.
My 20’s were a bit rough so I wasn’t sad to say, “Arrivederci!” I actually welcomed 30 and the possibilities it held.
It’s been a little different saying goodbye to my 30’s.
For one, we didn’t take an elaborate trip to a beautiful beach.
Secondly, my life is a bit chaotic right now – I’m a mom of three busy boys, ranging from 9 to nearly 16. Between homeschooling two of them and running like a crazy person most days to baseball, piano, drums, and driving lessons – to name a few – I don’t necessarily have time to go on a grand vacation to
mourn celebrate the end of my 30’s.
And lastly, it’s not the getting older part that I mind so much, it’s saying goodbye to a decade that I have loved. These last ten years have brought so many good things that it feels a bit like I’ve crested the mountain of life – how could it possibly get any better?
I mean, 30 was good;
It’s not just the gray hairs popping up or the wrinkles at the corner of my eyes that leave me a bit apprehensive about 40. It’s the all-around life changes.
30 was fun.
The 30’s were groundbreaking and left me settled and comfortable with, well… me.
What could this new decade hold that could be better than that?
I think maybe I’ve mentioned before that I don’t love change…
It’s not all about just me either, it’s my people too… I am no longer a mom of little boys, but a mom to young men, so I find that even my role as a mother is evolving.
It’s not bad, just different… New.
I feel a bit like I’m still trying to figure out how I fit in this new skin of mine, this new decade and this new season of life.
In the end, I have come to the conclusion, apprehensions and all, that the notions I had about 40 and the facts of it are a world apart. I did not look forward to 40 and I dreaded the thought of “aging.” (I’ll admit I fell prey to the belief that life would somehow lose value at this point.) It’s silly to think about now.
As 40 has neared and finally descended, I have found beauty with the changing in and all around me. On the day of my 40th birthday, I thought of the One who does not change while I continue to. The beauty lies in the fact that He has every day of my life carefully cared for until we meet face to face.
“Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; I will bear you and I will deliver you.” Isaiah 46:4
I can breathe easier when that name is on my mind and spoken on my lips…
My hair will gray, my boys will grow to be men and another season will come as surely as the sun rises each morning. But Jesus never changes and will continue to be my anchor no matter my age or the season I find myself in.
Of that, I am certain – in a world of uncertainty.
He has proven Himself faithful to me day after day and year after year.
Because of this, I can confidently close the door on one decade and look with eagerness at the horizon of the next.