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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Farewell my beloved 20's

    At the stroke of midnight, it will all be over. Dooms day is staring me dead in the face. There's no going back after tomorrow. It's all downhill from here. I usually demand a week's worth of celebrating this time of year.  I gave my husband a hard time about it a few years ago.  He hasn't heard a word from me this time.  After tomorrow, it's all stuck where it's at and the wrinkles only get more defined. Gravity has won it's battle by now.
    I have yet to tell anyone that I will be turning the big 3-0...tomorrow! My whole life I wanted to be a 20-something-er. I remember being a teenager and thinking that being 22 would be glorious! That 25 would be the absolute most perfect age. It would be the peak of my life...
   I have never been concerned about age, taken my "Asian" blood for granted. No matter how much Clinique de-puffer I use, the dark puffy lines beneath my eyes are here to stay. No offense to my friends, but I think 30 is old. I guess I can say that now. I DO FEEL OLD! Everyone keeps telling me that their 30's have been the best yet. If that's so, I'm going to be blown away with what all God does to top my 20's!
   When I turned 20, I met one of my best friends- Kalee and her mom Debbi. God fulfilled one of my 2, lifetime dreams by allowing me to go to the Philippines to share the news of Jesus Christ in villages along the Agusan River Valley on the island of Mindinao. I lost my real mother/sister to heart failure that summer too. When I was 21, I celebrated it with the Maid of Honor from my wedding, Mary Martha. I spent that summer in China, planting seeds of the Good News in Harbin. I lost another sister the next year to heart failure as well.
   When I was 22, I think, I am already losing my memory, Mary Martha and I had the ultimate privilege of spending 3 months in Thailand, teaching English cultural classes at a college in Bangkok, traveling throughout the northern hill country near Burma. Even spending a week down in the deep southern part of the country near, Cambodia, which was probably wiped out by the Tsunami a few Christmases ago. I even spent the night in a Thai hospital with the flu, sinusitis and bronchitis that summer. It was a whirlwind, but sharing the Gospel with everyone we met was at the forefront of our minds. School was sort of a distraction!
  Then, I GRADUATED COLLEGE!!!!!!!!  When you are in 9th grade, graduating college never really seems a reality, kind of like the drive to Disney World, you never think you will get there. The end seemed like light years away!
   At 23, I attended the International Mission Board Conference in Virginia, and chose a missions position to be a salt trader in northern India. The next day, God, through the Holy Spirit, told me to go home. He had other plans.
    At His word, I moved to Okolona, MS, of all places, and had a dream job at Ann Taylor Loft in Tupelo, when, a month later, God blessed me by fulfilling my second life long dream--meet the man of my dreams, fall head over heels in love, get married, make babies and be a mommy! No lie, I wrote this one down in a journal somewhere so I would remember it. I only ever wanted to be 2 things growing up-- Miss America (I would have settled for Miss Mississippi! haha) and to be a mommy.
   My best friend Martha Ann and I married our husbands, a month a part.  At 25, the age I thought was the perfect age, I had my first child, less than 2 months later, we moved to Washington, D.C., and Jim had, what he thought, was his dream job.  At 26, I hadn't a care in the world, an entire foreign mission field in my condominium,  was a part of a growing church plant in Annapolis, MD, and being mentored and taught how to love my husband and children by an older lady in our church. I made one of my favoritest friends ever...Kate. She's a real life ballerina! God drew us close over the 2 years our little family lived inside the beltway.
   By age 27, Jim's job had moved us back to Tupelo, I had our second son and we lived in what seemed like an abandoned subdivision with only 2 other neighbors for the entire next year!
   Jim threw me the best ever surprise birthday party when I turned 28. Turning 29 wasn't so bad, I was preoccupied with just having my first baby girl and Jim was starting his mid-life crisis by starting an entirely new career. Oh, and the Green Bay Packers did win the Super Bowl while I was in my 20's too!
   I now know why Jim wanted to avoid the hype when he turned's dreadful. Like coming home from church on sundays to a messy house, hungry screaming kids and a headache the size of Texas-dreadful!
   I never could have imagined God would bless my socks off like He did over the last 10 years, but He has. I don't doubt for one second that He couldn't or wouldn't do the same over the next 10.
  Over the last few weeks, I've been praying about this. Pouring my heart out to God about my role as a wife, mom, and child of His. When I was young, early 20's--I hadn't a care in the world. Only myself to think about. No excuses to not be in God's Word daily. Absolutely no excuses or reserves when it came to sharing the Law with the people I met.  Now, even as an extrovert, I crave quiet, lonely moments, just so I can collect my thoughts, and focus on talking with God. Finding moments for Him to restore the joy of my salvation!  I find excuses all over the place now for why I didn't stop and love that person, or share the Gospel, when that is exactly what we should be about.
  So yes, I am sad about seeing my 20's go. It was a time of tremendous growth in my relationship with the Lord, lost loved ones, took a million and a half journeys, and began a family with my soul-mate.
   My hope and prayer for this new era (yes, I know I'm being dramatic!) of life, is that my zeal for Christ would only grow stronger and deeper.  That I would be even more burdened for the spiritually lost.  That I'd seize opportunities to share the Gospel and teach my children the same. MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT FOR SOMETHING! 
Oh, and that my memory would improve and that I would learn to embrace those gray hairs that keep popping up!
   Yep, that's about it! So, farewell 20's. It's been nice, sweet and even plain awesome!