Hello 30!!!

Well, friends – TODAY was a great day for a post because it’s my 30th birthday!!  I can’t believe it!  Well actually, I can.  I’ve always felt my age about 4-5 months before I actually became it.  (Is that weird?)

I made a vow to myself years ago.  I saw many of my friends who were kind of down about being in their late 20s, because it meant they were getting closer to 30.  And I vowed to never feel that way about an age – to let a number define who I was or how I felt about my life.  I decided that no matter how I felt at 30, I was going to have a party.

So I celebrated with Derek this past weekend and I put on a dress, we bought party hats and confetti and we went for a walk into the woods, did a photo shoot, and threw confetti in the air!  We laughed and listened to country music while we drove.  We ate the hugest plate of nachos ever, and we still made room for cake.  We took a walk on the pier with the sun beating down on us.  And I soaked it all in…all that love and beauty.

I feel great about being 30.  I’m getting ready to be a wife, I’m finding new community and new friends and seeing all the possibilities on the horizon.  And I’ve also grown a lot this past year – even though I wasn’t always how aware of how being stretched would make me stronger.  I feel stronger, on the inside.  I’ve realized just how much I have grown – thinking about being 30 now.  So I wanted to share with you some of my BIGGEST life lessons up until this point! Because as we get older we should be gaining wisdom, right?! :)

1. Take Risks and lean into those “What would happen IF” moments 

I have never regretted those moments where I chose the road less traveled.  When I took a leap and quit my major in college, and started pursuing a creative life – it hasn’t been an easy road but a fulfilling road.  When I started pursuing back the man who loves me, I haven’t regretted a decision I’ve made that has drawn us closer together and helped our love grow.  People may not always understand your journey, but you do – and you know the risk that’s calling your name.

2. Be kind to yourself – because you are doing the best you can

This is still a huge lesson I’m learning – because being kind to myself doesn’t come naturally.  But the same grace that helps me understand others and their brokenness I should give to me and mine.  I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be, but my value isn’t in being perfect – it’s in being authentically myself.  So even in those moments I fail myself, I can learn to be kind.

3. You can’t make everyone happy

This is a huge lesson that I’m still learning and it’s taking a LOT of work for me – being a natural “people pleaser.”  But I’m learning that it isn’t my job to keep the world spinning on its axis and trying to prevent the brokenness of other people.  They are going to have it regardless.  I’m trying to learn that I can soften an atmosphere with my presence without feeling totally responsible for it.

4. Practice gratitude – Remember God daily and all He has done for you

This practice has changed my life.  It makes your life more abundant when you realize all the gifts God so freely gives – from warm sunshine, to a conversation that happened at just the right moment, to flowers budding on trees.  All these little things are reminders of all the way God loves me and has always worked for my good.

5. Practice vulnerability and realize that your weaknesses are not things to be ashamed of, but powerful ways to connect to other people

This is also huge!  Some of the most redemptive conversations I’ve had were in moments that I didn’t want to admit my own brokenness or pieces of my story, but in doing so, connected to and helped redeem another person’s story.  It’s a powerful way God has worked in my life and it encourages me to connect deeply to others!

6. Life isn’t linear – it isn’t lived best as a trajectory, but as seasons of the soul.

I learned this after college and it’s one of the most beautiful ways I journey through life.  I realized quickly that the most learning comes from living out a season well and trying to learn the lessons it’s calling you to learn.  Nothing lasts forever, and putting our energy into securing things in life isn’t as helpful as learning to receive what God is giving us in that season, developing patience, and trying to understand the purpose behind what we’re journeying through.

Thank you for sharing with me in my journey!!  So excited for this year and all that’s ahead!!

And here’s to 30!!

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Thank you my love Derek Cole for taking all these beautiful photos!  And, holding my hand so I don’t fall off the cliff.  Yeah, that :)

 

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A life filled with gratitude begins with finding thankfulness in the small moments

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