38

(In case you’re wondering, I have decided to use numbers in all of my post titles from now on.

Kidding.)

purple and red balloons

Photo by spemone on Pexels.com

Today, I am 38. I don’t really know how I feel about 38. 38 is awfully close to 40, but 40 doesn’t seem as daunting and scary as I once thought; now 40 seems like the age when I will be really and truly grown up and settled in my skin. I like the idea of 40, so the idea of 38 isn’t so bad. It is a bit hard to believe that I have actually lived for 38 years, and even harder still to believe the fact that there are many parts of those years I don’t remember. Earlier years of my life are particularly fuzzy around the edges, and I find it harder to remember things all of the time. How sad to think that parts of my life have already slipped away from memory, and even sadder to think that this will only get worse as I get older.

Now that I’ve sufficiently made us all depressed about aging, how about a shift?

About a month ago, my therapist asked me if there was anything I wanted to do that I haven’t done, and I immediately answered, “Go skydiving.” She loved that idea and encouraged me to look into it and make it happen. I got excited, got online, and then I got disappointed. The thing you may not know about skydiving is that there’s a weight limit. And guess what? I exceed that limit. My heart sank when I read the words, and then the familiar sensation of disgust took over. I can’t even pay money to throw myself out of an airplane because I’m too fat! While I could choose to throw myself a huge pity party about this (and I may have done so for a few days), I have been thinking of other ways to celebrate turning 38. I thought about making a list of 38 goals to accomplish, but since my track record of achieving yearly goals has been abysmal, I felt like 38 goals might be overkill. However, I do think that I could manage a smaller list of goals, so I decided to pick something I’d like to do for 38 consecutive days. If I pick 5 goals to try one at a time for 38 days each, that will get me through more than half of the year. Then I can either add new ones or repeat these over again.  I like the idea of adding good habits to my life through “streaking,” and hopefully after 38 days each of these actions will become habits and a part of my everyday life. 

Here are my goals, in no particular order: 

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
  2. Pray for a different unreached people group every day. 
  3. Offer a specific word of encouragement to someone, either written or verbal, every day. 
  4. Read 3 chapters from the Bible every day.
  5. Establish a social media bedtime. 

All of these goals represent things that are meaningful to me: physical health, the gospel, relationships, spiritual health, and boundaries. They are areas of my life that I want to continue to develop and grow, and such growth only happens with intentional planning. I am probably going to start with the 4th goal since my spiritual health is one of my top priorities, and I have been lazy about Bible reading recently. Reading the Bible every day is something I aspire to but don’t always achieve, but I’m hoping that getting 38 days of solid reading behind me will help cement this as a daily routine.

If you could do something every day for 38 days, what would it be?

And don’t worry; next year I am definitely going skydiving!

Charlotte Turns Five

Charlotte turned 5 years old on Friday. I can hardly believe it. She’s definitely not a baby anymore, but of course I will continue to call her my baby, protest though she may. 🙂 I have loved to see how Charlotte has grown over the past year. We don’t have nearly as many tantrums and battles as we used to, and even though we went through a rough stretch with her fighting bedtime, she is a rock star about going to bed and has been for many months (probably no doubt due to the fact that we let her look at books in bed after lights out as long as she is quiet).

Charlotte at 5 is genuinely fun to be around—sweet, thoughtful, kind, affectionate, and delightfully silly. Some of the things she says and does crack me up. She loves making up nonsensical songs and prancing around the house. She loves stories (and in fact she told me she will always love stories—rock on, daughter!) and gets so emotionally invested in them, which is why sometimes movies or books are too much for her to handle. We recently finished reading through our first chapter book, A Little Princess, and while I was worried that we’d have to stop after how she cried when Sarah’s father died, she wanted to keep reading it and ended up loving it. We then read Sarah, Plain and Tall (I promise we don’t just read books about people named Sarah), and she loved that also. We’re now reading A Secret Garden, and I’m already trying to figure out what book to read with her next! Even though it sometimes drives me crazy when she interrupts me to ask a question while I’m reading, I love that she’s really thinking about what she’s hearing and working to understand it. She can’t wait for the day when she can read books to herself, and recently she’s been obsessed with sounding out words to figure out what they start with. One of the gifts we got her was a gift card to Books-a-Million, and it was so fun watching her excitement at getting to pick out her own books.

We had Charlotte’s birthday party at a local bouncy house place on Saturday, and it was the first party where she got to invite friends. I was nervous because it was going to be a blend of church and school friends, but she had a blast, and so did all of the kids who went, as far as I could tell. Watching her run and play with her friends was so much fun. I’m going to be so sad when Charlotte starts kindergarten and has to leave the school she’s been at since she was 7 weeks old. I’m praying already for God to give her one or two best friends in her kindergarten class so she won’t be lonely. That is one thing about Charlotte: she loves to be around people and really hates to be alone. How she is like that is beyond me, since her dad and I are both introverts who value alone time, but she prefers to hang out with us instead of playing with toys or doing things on her own. Sometimes her inability to be alone makes me want to pull my hair out, but I remind myself that one day I won’t be the one she’ll want to be with, and so I try to cherish our time together.

I look at my girl these days and can’t believe how grown up she looks, and I pray that as she continues to grow she will keep her tender heart and her joy. I pray that she will have confidence in who God has made her to be and that she will love Him all of her days. I pray she will know how much she is loved and will love fiercely in return. I pray that she inherited all of my good traits and none of my bad ones. And most of all, I pray that she will come to know Christ and live to make Him known. Happy birthday, my sweet girl. Here’s to many more!

The Saddest Birthday Girl

This video from Charlotte’s birthday party deserves its own post. Take a look at how Charlotte responds to her family singing “Happy Birthday.” She’s less than impressed.

That expression on her face is priceless. She was clearly tired and ready for a nap by this point. I will point out that she perked up considerably when we brought out her cake. 🙂

As a bonus, here’s a video we took on Charlotte’s actual birthday (which was this past Sunday). She was giggling up a storm, and I couldn’t resist capturing it on video. (Her adorable little pants were made by my aunt Zonia.)

Charlotte’s First Birthday Party

We had Charlotte’s party at my parents’ house on Saturday, and it was a blast! My aunt and uncle even drove up from Alabama to be there. It was great to spend the morning with family.

Cake and photo book display

All of Charlotte’s monthly pictures

Birthday table!

Birthday chair with princess tiara and “Ms. One-derful” sunglasses

Cousins!

Yummy!

Showing off the walking skills.