Happy Birthday to me!

It's official. Year 26 has come and gone. If you were to ask me the cliche birthday question, "Do you feel older?", this time, I'd actually answer, "Yes." Probably because my life changed so much this year. Andy and I were talking about it this morning and I was inspired to blog. I bet you can't wait.

It was a year ago, this weekend, that I wrapped up my role as communications director at Northview. I attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit Simulcast that day (Sat, Aug 12) and ate a cinnamon roll from Capstone (courtesy of my big bro) for breakfast. I savored every bite, especially since I was pregnant and it was completely excusable.

Then, Aug 12 to Sept 26 was a total blur. It felt like one LONG day. I remember week 32 of my pregnancy being the last week I was even a small bit comfortable. From them on, I lived on the couch - seriously. Slept there, ate meals there, watched TV there, cried there (a lot) and counted the minutes until each day was done. Quite depressing, but a sacrifice totally worth making, come late September.

It was the day I had been waiting for my entire life and fighting for for nearly three years. The day my beautiful baby girls were born. The day I became a mommy. The day I realized how much in love I was with my husband. The day everything in life took on new meaning.

Since that day, I've learned a lot about myself. In the beginning, so much of being a mom is motivated by pure adrenaline. Necessity forces you to make sacrifices you never knew you were capable of. Baby's gotta eat. Who cares if it's 2 am and your pain medicine has worn off.

But then, as your body begins to heal and you emerge from the fog, you start to realize that sacrifice now consumes your life. And it's allowed me to experienced brokenness like I never have before. Insecurity like I never have before. Fear. Gratitude. Love.

I think it's just the way God planned it. Painful, uncomfortable processes that allow us to understand his Grace and Sacrifice much more clearly. So what am I doing with it? I'm learning not to live for myself. To give freely, generously and joyfully. I'm learning the beauty of sacrifice. I'm certainly still a work in progress, but I feel like me and God took some pretty significant strides.

Plainly stated: It's been a good year. My babies are healthy and thriving, and so is my marriage. I've been to the Super Bowl, visited lots of far-away family and friends and lost 55 pounds (all baby, but who cares).

I guess all I can say is year 27, you've got a lot to live up to. No pressure.


kim said...

For totally different reasons, year 26 was great for me too...and I did feel older when I turned 27 last year. This year, I've found myself just thinking "older", like calling myself 28 for the last six months (I've got less than a month to go here for that!)

It was so great to see you and your family the other day. I LOVED the girls and hope to stay in touch, perhaps:)

ellinghouse said...

Jenni -
First off...happy birthday girl! Secondly, thanks so much for writing such a thought provoking post, I really needed that today. You are so right about having babies and the sacrifice God asks of us.

Mackey Family said...

I think you should go into writing. Your BD story was so interesting.You have a way of expressing yourself that others understand. I think you could motivate many women and mothers. Just an idea.
Give your family a hug from me. Love you guys!