These Are My Thirties

I am in my thirties.

There is an old Catholic tradition that since Jesus suffered, died, resurrected and ascended all at 33, that we’ll all be 33 in heaven.  At the end of the world when our bodies rise, we’ll be our perfect 33, even if we died before or after 33.

I always thought that my life would be a lot different in my thirties.  I’m actually past the age of 33, and even with these extra few years, I’m still not anywhere near where I’d want to be.

I thought I’d have more of life figured out by now.
I thought I’d be farming.  I mean farming for real and my husband not having an off-farm job.
I thought I’d have more kids. (I know I have six, but I really thought I would have started earlier and had more by now. I’ve always wanted a big family.)
I thought my house would be bigger. And cleaner.
I thought I’d be richer, a lot richer.  I thought my student loans would be paid off.
I thought I’d have another degree or two.  I have a Bachelor’s, but I thought I’d have a Master’s. I’m a grad school drop out.
I thought my faith would be stronger.
I thought I’d always know where my keys are.
And of course skinnier- I always thought I’d be skinnier.

It’s not all bad. I have had some successes. I had a llama. I am pretty successful at being a cheapskate.

But I’m frightened because I do not have too many more years left in my thirties. I wonder about the tone my thirties are setting for the rest of my life.

But then, I look at my six beautiful children. My children make everything worth it.  All my children have been born when I was in my thirties. They have challenged me in ways I never thought I could be challenged and yet they have delighted my heart in ways that I never thought it could be delighted. I’ve had to find strength that I never thought I had and this strength was something I never even thought existed.

I am tougher.
I am smarter.
My heart and my soul have grown tremendously.

My thirties are nothing like I thought they’d be, that’s for sure. Of course I still wish I was skinnier and richer and above all else that my son was healed from his brain tumor. We take it day by day with him.  We enjoy Vince’s preciousness, even if that means trying to have fun at chemo, something that was never on my radar. I enjoy all of the precious moments with all of my children.

So these are my thirties and it’s clear that this is not heaven’s version, yet I am here now as God draws me closer to Him.

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