dear self.

[Last year I started the tradition of writing a letter to each of my children on their birthday. I've decided this year to add myself in there, I want to write a letter to myself, to remind myself of how God is moving in my life as each year passes.]

Dear Self,

You turned 31 sometime last week. It was no monumental birthday, except as life has taught you recently, it is monumental. Every day is important and worthy, even the very hard messy ones. And don't you know about those days with three small children?! Sometimes you feel like you will never get out of the trenches of hard days, but then, God gives you glimpses of grace, and you think yes, yes, this is exactly where I am suppose to be. Naomi had a hard time going to sleep tonight, which as you know, is nothing atypical for her. By the third time you put her back to bed she asked you to sing another song. You are a sucker for her sweet toddler voice, you can't say no to her asking you to sing. And in the dark of the room with the glow of the blue stars that she always requests for you to turn on, she clasped your face and repeated the Three Little Birds song line after line with you. And it felt like time stopped so you could etch her 3 year old silhouette into your heart forever. That was a moment of grace, especially before tomorrow.

Tomorrow Naomi goes in for her 6 month post-scan check up since her cancer diagnosis. And although anxiety and fear want to creep in, you know, that God is capable of giving you the peace that surpasses all understanding. This year, as you can put down in your books as your hardest year yet, it also has been the most beautiful because you felt God and saw God and heard God in ways you never thought were possible. This year you have realized that nothing, nothing can separate you from the love of God and what a comfort that is when you walk through the trenches of life. (Romans 8:38-39)

Do you realized how blessed you are? Like really realize what is before you, and I don't mean the things of this world. Yes, you are so blessed with a home and multiple cars and bed, and clean water for crying out loud. But your true treasure is your family. Your hard-working husband and your three children. God-willing, that number three may change. Isn't it exciting to think how God can use you, ordinary, broken you to be a part of His redemption story?

Ok, now let's get to the chase about turning 31. You were totally cliche on your birthday and went out bought Oil of Olay for the new found wrinkles around your eyes. Just whatever. Wrinkles around your eyes mean you have been in the sun squinting (which being in the sun is awesome in your opinion) or it means you have been smiling a lot, which is also awesome. So embrace the wrinkles, lady! And if buying Oil of Olay didn't age you quicker than turning 31, you used a gift-card to buy a new fancy cooking pan. Really? A pan. Just whatever. Oh, and you borrowed a book on CD from the library, so there's that to help embrace your age as well. And I can almost guarantee you will drink some warm tea before going to bed after typing this.

Who knows what this next year has in store for your little family. But saying 'yes' to Jesus doesn't mean easy and comfortable, but it is assurance that God is in control, and you can't go wrong with that. And remember when you heard a few months ago that it is a privilege to age? It's true. Each year is a gift. Each day is a gift. Don't let those words ever slip away.

Now go and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Live out your story for Him.


Your Self.

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