I've kind of avoided this birthday for about the last 6 months, refusing to think much about it or let it dance around in my head. Instead, I've focused on Trav's April birthday, then Ava's, but like it or not, tomorrow (the 24th) it's my turn. Thankfully we are very busy this weekend and really have no time to stop and "celebrate." Travis did make some plans for us, but our childcare fell through and this funeral took over our week. He feels really badly about it, but it's ok. It's not necessarily one I want to dwell on for long...However, I was looking forward to some uninterrupted time with him :) But, we can do that another weekend.
Anyway, as I face the music and start thinking about all that my 30's might bring, I thought I would reflect a little bit on what my 20's have held and how those 10 years have shaped my life today. This is probably totally boring for anyone but me, and maybe my parents, but I'd kind of like to write it down so one day I can show Ava and her siblings, how the Lord wrote the story of my life. Looking back and reflecting is always such a wonderful way to praise the Lord and see His hand guiding and directing your steps all along. At each step along the way, I had times when I wondered if He had a plan for me, or if He still remembered me, but for every time I wondered that He did a mighty work in me and laid one more piece of the puzzle down. To see only 10 years of it from a distance now, with a little wisdom and perspective behind me, makes me wonder what I'll say when I'm looking at 60 or 70 years? Hopefully, I'll see a beautiful tapestry, rich with good times and hard times, full of depth and maturity and sweet, sweet memories. Most of all, I hope I'll be able to reflect on a life well lived, honestly and humbly before the Lord and others, gradually devoid of me and filled more and more with Jesus. That is my heart's desire...
But for now, my 20's :)
2000-#20-I was a sophomore in college at the University of Northern Iowa and totally unsatisfied with my life. It felt boring. I was going to school full-time and working at a floral shop part-time. Single. I begged the Lord one October night on campus, to do "something" with my life. To give me some kind of story. I was convinced I didn't have one :) Little did I know that He would take those words I threw before Him and take me on the beginning of a ride like no other!
2001-#21-I was a junior in college, in an exchange program at Fresno State in Fresno, California. HUGE year for me. Dated 2 people I shouldn't have, learned lots of lessons the hard way; Lost several close people to me in devastating circumstances; Walked in plenty of grief and found my faith rocked to its core...And YET, found God faithfully tending to my heart and showing Himself to me in a very real way. Major heartache and major growth this year.
2002-#22-Huge milestone year. A game changer year in many ways. Graduated from UNI with a bachelor's in Interior Design. Got my first job and moved to Naples, Florida to work for an ID firm. LISTENED TO MY MOTHER AND GOT INVOLVED AT A BIG CHURCH...MET TRAVIS!!! Began a relationship with him that would change my life forever. Fell head over heels in love. Served on a ministry leadership team together. Made lots of new friends.
2003-#23-Got engaged, got married!! Moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina with my new husband to begin our new life! Became a seminary wife :) Started Nannying. Lived on a shoe-string budget and couldn't have been happier!! Saw the Lord provide for us and begin to shape our ministry life together. Enjoyed married life!!
2004-#24-Moved out of our apartment into a little house we rented on a huge acreage. Watched the Lord provide for us in incredible ways! Developed some sweet friendships with other seminary couples. Travis began serving at a little country church as their youth pastor. Trusted the Lord and walked way out of our comfort zone in many ways...Got our first baby!! A darling golden retriever, Ryley :) Our home was never as clean again!!
2005-#25-Grew very close to the family I nannyed for and fell in love with my little Olivia. Continued to support Travis in his Seminary journey. Spent some of the best times with our friends, made incredible memories. Traveled around the east coast. Developed some great relationships in our Church and loved our little group of students. Started praying about expanding our family. Got a random call from Grace Church in Minnesota...
2006-#26- Flew to Minnesota for a formal, second interview. Accepted a call for Trav to be the Junior High Pastor at Grace! Moved in March. Brand new city. Brand new jobs. Brand new Church. Brand new friends. Sweet to be closer to family, but still a difficult year of transition. Grateful for the move and excited about the future! Really began trying for a baby.
2007-#27- Bought our first place, a condo! Started nannying again for 3 cute little boys. Major year of transition at Church, lots of ups and downs. Explored Minnesota. Continued to try for a baby...Got pregnant!! Miscarried that baby a few weeks later. Huge season of disappointment and grief. Started really blogging through it and watched God use that in several ways.
2008-#28- Grew very close as a couple, took a wonderful vacation together to Marco Island and really sought the Lord for His plan in our family. Saw incredible blessing at Church. Decided to enroll in an infertility program...Fought through a big delay when our insurance provider changed...Travis flew to Peru for a Mission's Trip...I discovered I was pregnant again, on our 5th Anniversary, while he was gone!!! AMEN and AMEN!!!! Started my wedding business. Enjoyed every minute of my pregnancy. Found out we were expecting a girl! Little Ava Page made her way into our hearts...
2009-#29- ALL ABOUT AVA!! Our precious daughter was born on April 17th. Life changed forever, but for the better! Wonderful year of learning and parenting and marveling at our sweet gift from Him. Incredible year of ministry and blessing at Church. Lots of wedding business. Very, very grateful to be in Minnesota, at Grace, right where we know He has called us to be.
2010-#30- Wife. Mother. Pregnant with baby #2!! Waiting to see what God has in store!!
What a ride these last 10 years have been! Major milestones, huge life decisions, and unbelievable blessing. All to His glory and His name...
Thank you Lord for 29 years of life!!
Look out 30, here I come!!