Saturday, October 20, 2012

At 30, 40 was my pick!

I picked my 40th birthday as my best on my 30th birthday. Looking forward and reflecting backward, I could predict that that 40th birthday would be my most cherished. Let me explain my thinking.

~at 20 I was in college pursuing my dream to be a teacher, hopefully in love with my now husband of 35 years, and imagining life as a mom, wife and educator.
~at 30 I had just endured the heartache of a failed adoption. Days after my birthday, our hopes of raising Elizabeth Joy were shattered when her birth mom had a heart change and took her out of my arms. Even then, God was near and before my 31st birthday Tanner was in my arms and in my heart.

Ron and I had been through a lot by the age of 30. We both had careers we enjoyed and shared the hope for a life full of kids we could love and raise together. The years of our 20s were full of promise and heartache. Infertility, multiple surgeries and the unraveling of 2 adoptions never were enough for us to lose hope of a family. Cameron's adoption was final and Ryan was only a month old but he was at home with us where we believed he belonged.

I had a wisdom at 30 thinking of the decade markers we reach through our lives. It was clear that my family was not yet complete and that there were no guarantees what the road ahead would bring. But I believed that by 40 my family would be complete and all my kiddos would be home and living under my roof. By my 50th birthday, most of my little ones would be out on their own coming back for visits or including us in their families. Ron and I would be at the end of our careers at 60 and hopefully traveling around to our children's families to stay connected with our grandkids. 70 would be a time to crochet and let the kids come to us. We would also be planning a 50th anniversary celebration. By 80 there are no guarantees we would still have each other to comfort and this made me feel that could be lonely.  90 well that would be a gift of time reflecting what I could hopefully remember of my life and anticipating Heaven and resting in Him.

So you see looking forward at 30 for me was clear that the season of having a home full of my family, my kids would certainly be my favorite. Of course, sitting here at 56 and looking back over those decades I can say that each step has been filled with joy and pain.

Our 30s were our family building years and God blessed us with 4 incredible kids. The song by the Forrester Sisters 'I'd Choose You Again' is one of my favorites because it is so true for me. I would choose each of my kids again. I would choose infertility and failed adoption to be allowed the privilege of loving the children and now adults that God chose for Ron and I to raise. They are mine and certainly His gift to us.

Our 40s were spent raising kids with all the chaos and excitement a family of 6 involves. I was blessed to be a stay at home mom and tutor to stroke the teacher side of my heart. There were trips and sports, trips to the ER and reading books in jammies. These were years where I got to see the differences in my kids grow as they each developed into the people they were meant to be.

Our 50s have been what I expected with the kids mostly gone from the family home and beginning lives of their own. Our tragic loss of our son, Ryan, to suicide 2 years ago shook each of us. While it brought us all together and found us clinging to our faith. I am blessed with 4 delightful grandkids and honored to be Noni. Teaching is my passion and such an important aspect of who I am. Ron and I have more time to spend with each other and spend time together but also pursue individual interests. He has his Stone Calendars to investigate and I am listening for ways God can use me to reach out to those who so desperately need Him.

Looking forward to our 60s in just 4 short years I believe we will be ending our careers and seeking new ways to 'Know Him and make Him known' Ron and I are not the type to slow down and be bored. I am sure our lives will be full and that travel and family will be a huge part of our path forward.

Looking back on my ideas of the future at 30 I have mixed emotions. I had no idea how blessed I would be by family or the heartaches we would live through. I agree with my younger self that at 40 having all my kids at home was a wonderful season but I didn't consider how blessed I would be by my adult children and grandkids. Certainly, I don't have the energy or eyesight I had at 40 but my life pace now is perfect for the energy I do have.

This 56 year old feels thankful for each decade marker and realizes that each has been just what it was supposed to be in its time.

In Him,

1 comment:

  1. This so lovely and insightful. I'm 56 as well and can relate to much of your life. Not losing a son, though. I'm so sorry for that loss. Faith is the thing that can help us through the heartaches, that's for sure. I hope you birthday is/was wonderful. God bless, you, girl!