RAMBLINGS FROM A 39,362 DAY OLD WOMAN 2 1

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The BIG 40 is literally right around the corner. Three days to be exact. It’s the final countdown (cue music), and I’m still on the fence. Is it 40 and fabulous? Forty and frumpy? Will I really be “over the hill” or simply on top of it finally? (With the theory of it’s all downhill from here be looming over me?)

I always thought of myself as someone who aging and later years wouldn’t bother. I may have miscalculated. Like that time I used to say, “I could totally be a military wife”, then my husband left for four days, sending me into a pit of dark depression. No matter how well you know yourself, there is always room for error.

So truth be told, I find myself sad and thoughtful over this birthday. Wallowing in what was not to be and what can not be. Focusing on the changes my life has taken. The good, the bad and the ugly. Attempting to evaluate where I am and where I am going. What I’ve come up with is, I have no answers. Again.

I had no clue when we moved from California to Oklahoma. I had a vision, an idea, maybe even expectations, but no real clue. Moving here has been such a growing experience. Eye opening. Really a time a of maturation.

Take my faith. It has become personal. Mine. I own it. No longer part of my identity, simply because of how I was raised. Dictated by fear of the unknown. It is driven by the knowledge of grace, of love, redemption, truth, trust and consequence. A desire to serve and honor my Lord who has never left me. There is a thirst for more. More love. More closeness. More knowledge. More service. More connection. More questions to be answered.

I can see and feel changes in myself since moving here. Not only am I a “few” pounds more loveable, a bit more aged around the eyes, older in years, but I am more free. I am more grateful. Less guarded. More open. More available. More accepting of circumstances and I see through eyes of compassion and grace. We reflect and give back what we receive. I’ve always had empathy. I’ve always been able to see and feel things with intense clarity. 

I spent many years ruled by my emotions, crippled at times. Feeling as if I could never measure up. Sometimes couldn’t breath. Couldn’t move. Allowing MY feelings to rule my life and decisions. Often causing nothing but more conflict, more despair, more anger, more isolation.

How or why did this change for me?

Surrender.

This is my life, and Lord, I give it to you.

Use me for your will.

Help me.

Guide me.

Send me.

I recently had a conversation, with a friend of mine. We have both moved away from family. Moved states, with only our spouses and children. Essentially starting from scratch. Our lives no longer were surrounded by family birthdays, holidays, obligations, expectations, family friends etc. A life we lived designed by history, tradition, routine.

We were on our own, to create our own. We both agree we have found blessings and contentment in this. When you get to start fresh, there is no pressure to be anything other than yourself. No pressure to be a certain way, parent a certain way, have a particular type of marriage, own certain things, have x amount of dollars in the bank. You can literally say “here I am”. “This is me.” Take it or leave it. Once you do this, you begin to allow God to create and design.

Your table begins to fill up. Colorful and lively. Brilliant with people you love just as they are. People who care for you, just as you are. Not because of who you are related to. What church you attend. What car you drive. What your house looks like. What job you hold. What connections you have.

You’ve connected with others over things that matter. Your children. Your faith. Your service. Your jokes and sense of humor. Your common ground. Shared parenting craziness. Your disdain for kids birthday parties. Love of music. Compassion for others. 

Leave and cleave in true Biblical form. (Genesis 2:24)

Although we have only been here a year and 7 months, it feels like a lifetime of roots have been created. Our village is amazing. It’s different. Funny. Warm. Comforting. Dependable. Supportive. Loving. Spans many ages, ideas, and histories. It’s real. It’s perfect.

Amongst all the wonderful, there is still a sadness, I can not seem to reconcile. Maybe it is as simple as taking stock. Over thinking a big birthday. Re evaluating the past 40 years of memories, decisions, triumphs and regrets. I’m just not sure. Maybe it’s just PMS. (ha) Or old insecurities creeping back in. 

I don’t have this desire to travel the whole world or be too daring with anything. I’d like to see Ireland with my hubby. I’d like to take him to Hawaii. I may want to sky dive. That’s all there is on my bucket list.

Then there’s this ache for a daughter I never had.

 Before, anyone jumps on me, I can’t even express in words how blessed and in love I am with each and every one of my four boys. They are unique, kind, complicated, beautiful, individuals that God deemed me fit enough to gift them to me.

Do you ever feel an empty feeling for something you never had or lost? That’s how I feel. I’ll never experience that mother/daughter magnificent dynamic from a parent’s point of view. I will always only know it as a child, daughter myself.

I will never have another baby. I will never experience the misery of pregnancy, the pain of labor, and that euphoric feeling of love the moment you see your baby for the first time. The car ride home from the hospital. Those first few weeks of getting to know each other. I will never roll over in my hospital bed and see my husband asleep on a miserable pull out chair and feel my heart burst, because I just love him so. He will never over rub my shoulders or ask me 50,000 times if I’m ok while experiencing a contraction. (NO I’m not ok! While I quietly shake my head yes) Listen to my mother in law try to convince me to accept pain medicine, or my mom look at me and sweetly remind me I can tell everyone to “shut up” if I want to. I am sad about this. Maybe it’s a natural thing to experience. I’m not sure. I have not been here before.

I want to foster. I want to hold babies safe who aren’t. I want to keep them held tight, clean, fed and safe. If even for a day or two. I want, when my boys are older, to hold tight those older kids who have seen nothing but terror, and tell them they are safe. We are here. You are safe. You have value. You are wanted. You are worthy. You are capable. Yes, our door is open, come in.

I want to go to school. I want to study the Bible from an academic point of view. I want to learn history. I want deep conversations. Debates. I want to learn learn learn learn.

I want to be a good mom. I want my boys to ALWAYS KNOW that they are LOVED. They are treasured. They are heirs to The King. (Romans 8:14-17) To be proud, stand tall, honest, kind and generous. I want my husband to know, no one has ever had my heart like he does, and no one ever will. I want my husband to know Jesus. His grace, His love, His redemption.

I want these roots to flourish and produce fruit. I want my legacy to be of kindness, honesty, faith, love and humor.

Even though I am processing some sadness, I am so grateful. I’ve been given a great life. A husband to be proud of, children to adore, family to cherish and friends I treasure.

For every person in my life, thank you for taking this journey with me. For loving me, laughing with or at me, showing up when it counts, (and even when it doesn’t seem to).

Here I am Lord. Use me. Send me. Take these next 40 years for your glory and your will. Help me to nuture what is of you and to depart from all that is not. Take my sadness and turn it in to joy.

Remember if everyone at your table looks the same as you, you’re doing it wrong.

Keep it colorful, vibrant and full of love. Keep it kind. Be in service. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Your eyes saw my unformed body;
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
Before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:16

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2 Comments

  1. Wow! This could be me. Thank you so much for sharing how you feel so openly. Made me feel not so some in my own jumbled up thoughts on being 40 and yearning for change but not so sure how to do it. You and your thoughts s are a blessing to me today!

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America’s 4 Can’t Miss Family Vacation Locations 0 1

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The United States is loaded with amazing trip destinations, which can make it difficult to decide what location will be best for your family. Are you looking for a family trip that involves adventure? How about a vacation filled with amusement park excitement? Maybe you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere where you and your family can enjoy some rest and relaxation? Whichever trip you are searching for, there is a destination perfect for your family. A few of the more popular destinations around the country we’ve broken down for you below. These are just four of many possibilities to choose from. Plan the trip on your own or check out some of the best charter bus tours available around the country to lighten your load.

Orlando, Florida

It should come as no surprise that the most popular family vacation location in the United States is Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney World is unlike any other theme park in the world. Built solely with families in mind, Disney World is an entertainment complex made up of four different theme parks and two water parks. As the flagship Disney destination, Walt Disney World is comprised of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom; plus Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach for the warmer months. If your family is feeling more adventurous, Universal Studios Orlando is home to some of the most iconic roller coasters in the country. Families can also venture out to SeaWorld Orlando to visit some of the coolest sea creatures around. Between the weather and tourist attractions, Orlando has a little bit of everything to entertain people of all ages.

Yellowstone National Park

If your family is interested in an iconic sightseeing adventure, Yellowstone National Park is a fantastic option. Check out the swirling pools of natural hot springs, deep forests surrounding gorgeous meadows, and breathtaking explosive water geysers. In addition to the beautiful landscape, don’t be surprised if you come across some buffalo, elk, and even grizzly bears throughout your adventures. What makes visiting Yellowstone National Park so great is its sheer size. Yellowstone is so large your family will never feel crowded by other visitors. Plan a trip to Old Faithful one day and Yellowstone Lake the next. Mammoth Hot Springs is another popular destination you won’t want to miss. And if your family enjoys hiking, you will fall in love with the countless number of trails at your footsteps.

Washington, D.C.

For the family full of history buffs, Washington D.C. offers all the American history you could ever need. From national monuments to museums, Washington D.C. offers something for everyone in the family. There is boundless energy in and around Washington D.C., and once you’re there, you’ll begin to understand why it is one of the faster-paced East Coast cities. Devote time to visiting the U.S. Capitol, White House, Washington Monument, Smithsonian Museums, Jefferson Monument, Arlington National Cemetery, and the Tidal Basin. However, if your family is more interested in avoiding the tourist attractions, the city offers plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops, and clubs. Embrace the history of our country with your entire family by visiting Washington D.C. today.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is two hundred seventy-seven river miles long, eighteen miles wide, and over a mile deep. Considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is an enormous chasm in Arizona that should be experienced by the entire family. With over six million visitors a year, the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United States. Be sure to visit the South Rim, which is home to the Grand Canyon Village and the Bright Angel Trail. There is plenty to do at these destinations, but be prepared for a large mass of people. If you are looking for a little quieter escape, visit the North Rim, which houses backwoods camping and intense hiking trails.

 

All four of these family vacation destinations are full of activities to keep the family busy for days. The memories that your family can create at each of these locations will last a lifetime.

 

 

Photo by Gert Boers on Unsplash

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How to Power Up and Roadtrip Easier this Holiday Season 0 2

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This content may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Read our disclosure here.
Today’s conversations is a collaboration with bracketron. All opinions are our own.

I feel like I may say this every season – but it’s my favorite time of year! I love being on-the-go during the holiday season. It is so much fun visiting our favorite holiday attractions, attending get-togethers with friends and family, going skiing, sledding, driving to see Christmas lights and displays – and the list goes on.

I’d love to hear your favorite holiday activities in the comments below!

What I love even more is being able to capture these memories and moments on my phone. Which means, we need to stay charged while on-the-go!

And voilà – I have the perfect set of devices for you along with a 30% off coupon code to snag these at an incredible deal!

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Roadtripper VOICE

This is THE Bluetooth/FM transmitter for cars with either old or no Bluetooth at all. Because we do have one of those! I HATED driving in that car because I couldn’t kick on the holiday playlist or audiobooks I have saved in my phone. This, this makes up for that car we just won’t let go of yet.

Hop over here and grab your Roadtripper VOICE at 30% off using code BLOGGY30!

travel phone mount

Roadtripper Travel Mount

Flying over the river and woods this holiday season? This is the perfect gadget for airline travel as it mounts to seat-backs, can stand up on its own, and has a vent mount for when a phone mount is needed. It’s a solid all-in-one mount for traveling!

It’s not just for air-travel though. It’s also great for road trips in the family vehicle!

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Are you a podcaster or do you record videos for your blog/vlog while sitting in your vehicle? These two are my favorite options for easily and precisely setting my phone for these activities.

They’re also a great way to keep your phone hands-free while driving!

bracketron gravity phone dashboard mount

PwrUp Gravity Qi Fast Wireless Charging Mount

Charge your phone on the go with this Bracketron PwrUp wireless charging mount. A suction cup with Temporbond technology makes mounting easy on most surfaces, and the included vent clip attaches easily to car air vents. This Bracketron PwrUp wireless charging mount uses Qi wireless charging technology to quickly recharge compatible smartphones without power cords.

I highly recommend downloading their free PwrUp app (iTunes) (Google Play/Android)! This app will show you exactly where the phone’s charging coil is so that you can adjust the feet of the mount properly to the two coils. It also monitors your battery’s charge so that you don’t exhaust your battery.

Did you know? Most chargers keep charging when the phone is at 100%, which significantly degrades the battery.

Hop over here and grab your PwrUp Gravity 10W Qi Certified Fast Wireless Charging Mount at 30% off using code BLOGGY30!

OneClick phone dashmount

OneClick Dash Mount

The Bracketron OneClick Dash Mount is the perfect solution to dock or mount your Smartphone in your vehicle. The quick-adjust arms allow for a perfect fit to secure your phone while operating your vehicle. In addition to the tension arms feature for a quick release when you are ready to leave your vehicle.

Perhaps you’re recording your podcast on the go – this is the perfect hands-free option. Place on your dashboard, start recording from your phone – and go!

Hop over here and grab your OneClick Dash Mount at 30% off using code BLOGGY30!

Visit bracketron for more fun and convenient tech gadgets!

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bracketron: We’re obsessed with the power of great design. With innovations that make life safer, easier and more fun. With products that anticipate what customers need before they even realize it is how Bracketronbecame a world leader in innovative mounts and accessories that help provide the safest driving experience.

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