A year ago today, I turned 30. I was home-less, job-less and facing a significant swing in my identity.

I felt much older than 30 and also much younger. I remember feeling that this year MUST bring change. That I was desperate not to lose sight of who I really was, what I was really born for, and the destiny of our family. I felt so thankful for our foursome, so grateful for the journey of our lives. But I did not recognize myself; so much of my spark, my joy, my passion, was not reflecting in my eyes. I was on the brink of giving up on my greatest dreams. Thirty seemed like a good year to commit to some radical change and some radical shifts. I just didn’t have much energy to make those happen.

Today I turn 31. And I am truly a different person than I was a year ago. Meeting with my mentor recently by phone, she reminded me of the deep changes I have gone through since September. She suggested that I build an altar, a testimony of what God has done in our lives. Here is one place I can do that.

So here are 31 deep, true, beautiful things about me.

(Note: I am not a narcissist. I am a realist. My Maker is a master artist and I prize ALL his creations, even me. Radical, I know.)

1. I am an artist.
I don’t know how I never knew this before. My art definitely would not have fit in the original renaissance but I have a feeling it may fit in the coming one.

2. I am an influencer.
And yes, I will choose to use it for good.

3. I love, love, love babies.
African and Asian babies are especially adorable.

4. I am a child-whisperer
I sometimes (often?) “get” kids better than I do adults. Maybe that explains a lot? Yes, I am one of those people.

5. Color brings me joy.
I give myself permission to indulge.

6. I am a word-smith
Words are my currency, my love-language, my gift. When I write, I feel God’s joy. I plan to do a lot more.

7. I am unreasonably compassionate
I love the unreasonable part – it will change the world.

8. I am an idea-generator
And I say yes to more innovation; the world CAN handle it.

9. Traditions are my treasures.
I keep collecting them, pearls on my string, beautiful.

10. I value spontaneity
In a world of organization and planning, I am the mom who DOESN’T write everything down. I limit my lists. I strenuously avoid the chore charts and checklists that we all attempt and fail at so regularly. I eschew too much routine. If it can’t flex, than it’s not ready for my earthquake prone life! This is not an easy way to live but it’s a lot more fun and a lot more sustainable – for me!

11. photographs capture my heart as they capture the world
I have no experience or expertise but I’m ready to learn and grow!

12. I will adopt
I am an adopted-child of a King. And I can’t wait to adopt my own.

13. I have a truly great destiny
You’ll have to wait to find out the details.

14.The dirt calls to me
I love gardens and fruits and flowers and chickens scratching and compost heaps and the whole magical mystery of growing

15. I am a mystery
Even to myself! I am learning to enjoy it. It’s a pretty fantastic gift to continually surprise oneself

16. I am an intellectual
I ran away from this one for quite a while, but I’m diving back in with research and a new Greek/Hebrew word study Bible. I finally realized it’s fun.

17. I am gifted.
Not many people’s brain interpret the world close to the way mine does.

18. I channel the Supernatural.
Always have, always will, it’s one of my special gifts. So glad I finally know what to do with it.

19. I am a midwife
No, not literally. I help birth change and new growth in people and situations. This is SO FUN.

20. I am a mother.
It’s one of the truest things about me and even people I have never met before respond to the mother in me. I’m glad that it’s become a blessings, not a curse as I have embraced this gift.

21. I can trust myself.
From my crazy decision to marry an older man at age 18, to my strange decision to give away everything and move my family to Africa five years ago; time has proven that His plans are good, and that yes, I do hear His voice. I am comfortable now with making others uncomfortable. I have a feeling this will come in handy.

22. I am safe.
In His arms. And you’ll be safe in mine.

23. I am wise.
If I had to choose the one word used most often to describe or complement me, this would be it. I am still growing into it. Learning to understand true wisdom.

24. I have found the ultimate Friend
Finding an intimate relationship with Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit has changed my life. I no longer feel lonely, desperate for time with a friend, or overwhelmed by the everyday. He’s always right there, and He speaks. No long-distance phone bills or scheduling issues. I love my many friends but my Friend? He’s it.

25. Beauty is my muse.
“The best way fight evil, is to spread beauty”. – Lois Lensky
One of my life quotes, possibly the overarching theme of my call.

26. I have authority.
Perhaps best translated – I am powerful and this requires a high level of responsibility and action.

27. My spoken words bring life, strength and courage
I always had dreams of speaking powerfully. I’m only just realizing that I already do so.

28. I create home and extend it to others.
I have long dreamed of being one of “those women”. The ones who effortlessly host from five to fifty and whose generous, creative, practical, loving homes bring hope to all who enter. This year God brought me so far along on this dream. And He has promised me more practice, whether I’m ready or not!

29. I am adaptable.
This one gets me SO FAR in life. Give me any situation. Any new job. Or new place. Or new child. Or new church. Or new friend. I can learn how to work with that. I value this so much and find so much fun in continuing to adapt to my new environments and adventures!

30. I am an adventurer
I haven’t bungey jumped in 13 years but I still have that crazy attraction to risk and the unknown. I hope to live more freely out of it this year.

31. I am a journeyer
Life, growth, dreams, love . . . . it’s all a process. Every step of the journey, is the journey. I’m all in.

1 thought on “31

  1. Happy Birthday! What a privilege it is for us to know you, and what a great journey God has you on. Every experience in your life (good, bad, and crazy) will be redeemed, glorified, and recollected as your years spread before you. He has been and will continue to use you mightily in people’s lives. I’m sure of it.

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