Oh Sweet Mercy–I’m 35

IMG_7735On my date with my sweet hubby on Saturday he challenged me to take a picture that represented me turning 35 and instagram it. Um, hello, pressure. And just one photo? Does he know who he’s talking to? I never have just one picture. Not to mention that I don’t like to be put in a box, although I like life to be very cut and dry. I know, I’m a walking contradiction. During our breakfast conversation he also asked how I would describe myself and I said complicated among other things.

All I know is that the days are long sometimes but the years are definitely short. And the older I get the shorter those years seem. The days blur together and before you know it, you’re another year older. Another year closer to 40, what?!

So in an effort to pick one picture (I’m so compliant) I choose this one above to represent my 35th year. Why? Well, in the spring I’m obsessed with these pink trees but there is so much in this picture. I love nature. It’s the physical representation to me of the beauty and creativity of God (although I see this in people as well). It’s like God’s proof that He indeed is the Creator of all things beautiful and the older I get the more I realize and let it soak in that He sees me as beautiful, flawed and all. When I’m in nature, in the presence of beauty I feel more at peace. In many ways, even when life has been challenging, hard and sad this past year I have still felt at peace knowing that God will somehow work things out. Water soothes my soul. There’s something refreshing and calming about it and we can’t live without it; physically or spiritually. God really is the Living Water and I can’t live without Him. Parenting makes me desperate, I don’t know what I’m doing most the time and I need God to fill me up and flow out of me, every day. I love the bridge.  I feel like there’s always a bridge that we’re being asked to walk over. We don’t always know what’s on the other side and sometimes, I would rather just stay put. But it’s in trusting God each day to walk where He’s asking that we find the greatest adventure. Those beautiful blooms, love them. I love that in life, if we are being shaped by God we are slowly becoming more mature and beautiful with age (at least that’s my hope). But here’s what I resonate with most, this tree isn’t always in bloom and beautiful. It happens in seasons. Sometimes it looks dull and lifeless and you wonder if indeed it will bloom bright. But the seasons change and it does indeed become splendid with color. I don’t always look pretty, bloom bright or look like this beauty of a tree but God is still doing things in my life and growing me and for that I’m thankful. And one last thing. You can always tell a trees age by it’s rings. The older it is the more it has. And so it goes with us humans. The older we are, the more age we show (unless you use Botox). There are more fine lines on my face and more gray hair than seems possible (Praise God for hair dye). I just like to think these wrinkles and gray hair tell a bigger story of years lived to it’s fullest and that I have weathered some storms and thanks to God’s sweet mercy in my life I’m still here standing.

I’m thankful for another year to live life, to love and be loved by my family and friends, and to be in college ministry.  It truly is a gift and I don’t take it for granted. I’m also thankful that in the past year we haven’t had to move houses and I haven’t had a surgery. Praise the Lord!

If you had to pick a picture to represent your last year what would it be?

And because it’s my blog, here’s another picture of a beautiful tree.

pink tree2


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