Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Okay, I'm 30, so far I have learned.....

Ahhhh,   The wisdom of 30….

............on my 30th b-day with Katie, Kam, Elizabeth, Coy, and Eli
So, I am getting old.  30.  It seems lately every way I turn people I love keep telling me I should write a book.  Now to be quite honest I must say this is shocking to me.  I mean, I really know nothing about anything really.  I think what gets me along in life is a sense of humor (that more often than not most people don’t get),  a brutal honesty to what it means to live in this world, and a FAITH like no other.  Still, these kind words have had me pondering that surely I must have learned something in my 30 years on this planet.  Alas, I have found 6 basic truths on my life thus far and I have divided it up throughout the ages I learned such lessons.  Here they are for your reading enjoyment. 

Life Lessons of My Childhood:  Just be a kid, and take only the good from your dad and mom. 

My dad taught me to love Jesus.  He told me often what God had done for him.  I grew up as a preacher's daughter, not in the home of an alcoholic father, as he was before I was born.  Even thought I never saw that side of him, he told me about it.  I am so happy he did.  At my toughest times, his testimony sustained me.  I wanted to know the Savior he did.   My mom told it like it was and never met a stranger.   On the good side of this she taught me to LOVE all types of people, even if you didn't like them.  When we lived in Andrews I have memories of growing up with my best friend, Chrissy - playing on a playground that seemed the size of Texas.  Those were the best moments when life was great!   Of course, childhood was not always perfect.  I came out with my own sets of issues, I work through them and they made me the person I am today.  The key here is to go forth is that you must take the best and only the best!  Sure you can't forget all the rest, but keep near you only the best!

Life Lesson of my PRE-TEENS:  Honestly, you never fit in with anyone. ever. 
Okay, so everyone in middle school finds themselves staring in the bathroom mirror looking at this awkward person in front of them and thinks “Who am I?  Where do I fit in?  AND Does anyone GET ME?”  I’m here to tell you, NO.  Now I say this as a person who is blessed to have family and friends that loves me just as I am despite my many quirks.  Many of them do “get” lots of things about me – like the way I flush the toilet with my feet, or the way I put on lotion with my elbows, or how I always read the last line of a book first.  Still, I always tell everyone I know never to put your stock in people.  People will fail you.  I’ll be really honest here…..  I love my husband.  He does all he can to make sure I am happy and loved.  Still I know that although I can trust him, that he will fail me in one way or another.  He is only human.  The only love that is unfailing is the love of Jesus Christ.  That is perfect love, and the only place where I know I am truly accepted, loved, and celebrated for being ME!  This kids, is the main secret to my unequivocal happiness.  As far as passing time with people on this earth, choose people who make you laugh and who accept you as much as possible for who you are. 
 These are two of the people who helped me make through middle and hish school - Katrina and September... basically, they kept me grounded and loved me no matter WHAT!  Props to alot more people the list can go on and on, I really need to go through some old pics and scan but you get the picture... See what I'm saying about surrounding yourself with people that love you through all of your junk?  I mean look at me in this picture, I am wearing two diff. earings (on accident), exactly a great example of how I do stupid stuff without thinking, thank God I have people who put up with me.
Life Lesson of my TEENS:  Just because everyone else is jumping off the bridge…. Ummmmm
              Jamie always helped me aviod any "guy" issues... yet I still couldn't escape RJ and his charm (see example in the background of this picture)  lol  even though we tried our best "story"  ha ha
 Again, my "chosen" sister - September was always my rock, especially in high school.   She kept every secret, made me talk through my problems (I always prefered the silent treatment), and made me look at everything from every angle.  A real true blue friend.
I met my husband 18th birthday.  Actually we had been in school together for years but God knew just the right time for our world's to collide, a second sooner and it would have never, never worked.  We were and are opposites.  Again, God's timing.  Then, the boy would just not leave me alone.   I'm not kidding. Plus, I knew my genes would be totally dominate and the kids would look like me.  lol

Okay, so I have always been coined a “leader” but in reality I am quite comfy being the follower.  I would be content just to sit in a crowd and have someone else direct me to greatness, IF that someone knows what they are talking about.  I have this habit of wanting to see the world from everyone’s point of view.  This can be an awesome trait, or in many cases this has lead to some of my least proud moments.  Living in the moment and taking part of something that goes against your moral compass is just plain stupid.  Trust me when I say I would get that voice inside that would tell me, “This isn’t you.  This isn’t right.  You don’t need this in your life.” And EVERY SINGLE TIME I went against my own intuition negative consequences followed, some that even haunt me today.  This is where my first crossing of depression met me.  It was terrible, terrible, terrible.  I hid it with a smile, but those closest with me knew it and helped me through.  This was also a the first time a doctor sat me down and told me that if I ever wanted to have children it would be a major deal, if ever.  I never fully gave it to the Lord I loved, I wanted to keep it and worry over it.  I have a bad habit of doing that....  Back to the trusting the voice inside of you - Here’s what I’m saying...... if you know it’s wrong and if you know it is not something that will make your life better and the people you love proud than just don’t be stupid.  Five minutes of pleasure is not worth a lifetime of regret.   I promise.  I also learned that sometimes we are called to be leaders, and if you feel that calling then you better LEAD!  Even if you would prefer not to, God will give you all you need to just get it done. 

Life Lesson of my EARLY TWENTIES:  Sometimes you just have to get over it and go on with it.
    My amazing Columbia College pals Katie, Casey, and Kim.  Not to leave out anyone, but these are the only pics I could steal off my old myspace account.  At our 5 yr. reunion and Master's graduation.
My early twenties were a bit of a mess. Just know college, friends, new love, and a whole lot of stupid mixed in.  During this time I learned a lot about myself and I really learned that stuff happens.  Sad stuff happens.  Bad stuff happens.  Good stuff happens.  Great stuff happens.  Regardless the only thing I can tell you is – life happens.  I got to such a point of dwelling on the world that my heart literally broke for it.  I felt like I had all the pain and sadness of the world on my shoulders…. My heart broke ALL THE TIME. Yes, there is a name for it: depression.  And it has reared its ugly head toward me several times.  Right after my 21st b-day it had a grip on me like no other and I allowed it.   Here is a moment:  it was a week before leaving for Korea.  I was overwhelmed with life.  This was my all time low point.  My soon to be husband was moving heaven and earth to "cheer me up".  I finaly got a name for all my physical issues polycystic ovarian syndrome - a definate hurdle trying to have children one day and in battling my constant battle with weight.  I had answers, but not the ones I wanted or needed.  I had just lost all of my grandparents to death.  The world seemed so sad, and staying in bed all day and not ever seeing the light of day again was a great comfort.  As I reflect upon this rough patch I'll just say - Thankfully, I survived that but I will never ever forget that feeling, nor would I want to.  I walked away learning some stuff:  Don’t be so busy dwelling on the BAD THINGS that you miss the rest of your life.  Don’t get so caught up into one friend’s drama or one person’s snide comment to you that you make it a big deal.  Yes, the world is a bad place, but God is still working in it.  He needs YOU to help do that. Just get over it, and go on with it.  Your life is NOT waiting on you.  Get up, go out, and LIVE IT.  God’s blessings are waiting on you. 
Life Lesson of my MID- TWENTIES:   There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for you!
   Yes, a cheesy cruise picture... what else would you expect?  At 25 I lived to travel and do whatever was FUN!

Major life change moment:  me and the hubby had been married for four years.  Our lives were not what we wanted them to be.  Don’t get me wrong – we were blessed by human standards – perfect house, perfect friends, perfect job, blah blah blah.  Why were we feeling this void?  What in us wasn’t filled?  We were not living a life in Christ.  We both loved Jesus but our lives were not a reflection of this during this time at all.  We went to a Bomber’s game one night and after the game Christian Rock artist Mark Shultz gave a concert on the field.  We were able to go down front and center.  I am going to tell you something right now I know beyond a doubt – GOD orchestrated the whole universe and everything and made that night, on the baseball field, with that band JUST FOR US!  That night changed our lives – we looked at each other with realization, forgiveness, and walked out of that stadium with a new approach to life.  Of course, we failed again and again but that was the start of the greatness – the seeking of God’s true will on our lives, the wanting to live by Jesus’s teachings, the drive to help and love others.  The call to be MORE than what we are – MORE LIKE CHRIST.  Then came a couple of more stupid decisions on my part followed by redemption in Christ yet again.  HE never fails, NEVER.  I had so longed for a baby,  and I tried to jump through the hoops of taking meds to help with the PCOS, but finally just quit them all and  I just said, “Lord, it’s in  your hands.” 

Life Lesson of my LATE TWENTIES:  Nothing ever stays the same, but a change will do you good. 
After four years of marriage, I remember the ultrasound of the doctor telling me and my husband my cervix wall was paper thin, even if we had a healthy fertilized egg it wouldn't be able to stick.   Yet here I sat in the same ultrasound room months later blessed with a little baby human inside.  After worrying like crazy and doing progesterone treatments the first trimester, he was still there!  Then, alas, here came my healthy baby boy.  Just when I was at the top of my world it turned fast.  Unbelivably, a terrible bought of depression followed.  Here I was so in love with this tiny person.  That horrible overwhelming feeling of sadness took hold of me again. How could I bring him into this dark scary world?  Everything on the news seemed bad, bad, bad.  Nothing was good or right.  I was at a loss to be a bright light for this little person, I felt so dim.  The answer came to me via a radio show one night. A man was talking about raising children in this world.  He then said, “We raise our children not in FEAR but in HOPE.  Hope through Christ.”  I got it.  I prayed all night that night, for God to deliver me from this paralyzing fear and he did.  HE DID! 

Then he had a little laugh because then…. Here comes another baby human.  Major decisions had to be made.  I knew God had called me to be a full time mommy.   I was a great teacher, a great wife, a great mom – but not all at the same time.  After major prayer  we sold our new house, our new car, I think everyone is calling it “downsizing” (right before the market crashed).  I quit teaching and stepped out on faith.  That was almost four years ago, and surprise surprise – yet another baby human has joined the mix.   All this change was pretty dang stressful.   In the mist of all this God called me to a Christian Rock Band and I was blessed beyond measure to worship with them and grow as a child of God for the time I did.  I learned so much about humility and grace.  About forgiveness and love.  About hope and HEALING!  Nothing was the same, well God was – he always is – it is not HE who changes – it is US – we allow sin into our lives and that sin is what distances us from that perfect love.  I look at it like this – when I am thinking (as I do often)  “Nobody will see me do this…” I remember with each sinful action I am breaking God’s heart.  I am messing up perfect love and acceptance.  Earthly things change, change, change – possessions, friendships, relationships, careers, our bodies, our mind – God is eternal and Christ’s love is our direct link to that awesomeness.  It feels good.  As Bob Marley would say, “Baby don’t worry about a ting’ cause every little ting’ it’s gonna be all ri-ight!”  And with God on our side, who can be against us?  With Christ’s love, fellowship, grace, and forgiveness every little ting’ Is gonna be all right!  J

One little tidbit about being a mom....  it is no joke.  I have the duty to be the best I can be for my kiddos.  I am SO not a perfect super mom.  I make sure of several things each day - they have good healthy food to eat, they get read to, they get lots of hugs and kisses, I tell them "I LOVE YOU, I am PROUD of you.  God LOVES YOU!"  they are taughts right from wrong, and they are taught how to make it right when they do something wrong.  The rest is well, bonus.  From one of our favorite songs, Lead Me - "Father, LEAD ME, cause I can't do this alone!" 
  with my bandmates * I guess I should photoshop Phil in for sure!
          my life at 30 consists working full time for these three little baby humans!

Because I am a teacher, I feel the need to recap...

Life Lesson of My Childhood:  Just be a kid, and take only the good from your dad and mom. 

Life Lesson of my PRE-TEENS:  Honestly, you never fit in with anyone. ever. 

Life Lesson of my TEENS:  Just because everyone else is jumping off the bridge…. Ummmmm

Life Lesson of my EARLY TWENTIES:  Sometimes you just have to get over it and go on with it.

Life Lesson of my MID-TWENTIES: There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for you!

Life Lesson of my LATE TWENTIES:  Nothing ever stays the same, but a change will do you good. 

So... there is is.  I hope more than anything else you see the light of Jesus in me.  Some days it is hard to "shine" but trust me, it is there and it sustains me.  That's my secret.  I hope the secret is out! 


  1. Nan - I love this post - so profound! It, literally, made me want to cry and not in a bad way. Have we had the discussion that I, too, have PCOS?? I can't remember, but I didn't find out until after having Smith that I had it and we know how my life has gone since then! Yikes! Anyhow - love the post and love you my friend! 30 will be great for you!

  2. Nan, thanks for sharing your heart! What a great recap of life, real life. :0)

  3. Nan, You so SHOULD write a book! I was captured and brought to tears (good ones) while reading this post! Love you , girl!!! You are a fabulous Mommy!!! And, you are setting a great example for your kiddos (aka babyhumans)!