This time last year I was sitting at Paige and John’s house in Lubbock and blogging my way into my 47th year of life…I had no idea what was waiting for me…and I’m glad. Had I known that night that I would face the things I’ve faced, I might have written with less positive enthusiasm and with more holy crap, how do you expect me to do this God?
47 was name changing, life rearranging, devastating, scary, can’t look, shocking, pure madness, extreme sadness and a test I felt like I was failing.
Nothing is completely perfect.
This weekend Kurt swept me away to a Bed & Breakfast for a birthday/valentine surprise getaway. The drive, the conversation, the scenery, the laughter, the knowing he is so thoughtful and wanted to make my heart smile…All of this was perfect. We stopped to grab some lunch once we got into town and I asked Kurt if he ordered the weather just for me. It was perfect. Cool breeze mixed with the right amount of sunshine as we sat out on the patio…then my food arrives… my chicken was not fully cooked. Nothing like a raw piece of chicken on your plate to kill your appetite. Not so perfect…mixed with perfect.
After lunch we drive to our destination and the scenery was perfect. Huge oak trees draped in moss covered rolling hills and a pond that needed me in a boat with a book, while Kurt rows us out to the middle as swans dance beside us…It was all things The Notebook…but wait…as soon as we arrive the electricity goes out. That was just the beginning…The beds were super uncomfortable. The morning breakfast was in a dining hall with 6 other couples sitting silently beside us as if we would all get in trouble for speaking. It was summer camp meets retirement village and Kurt and I got a bad case of the church giggles. We were expecting to stay in the plantation home and get breakfast in bed…well, not so much…They will get there but they are new owners and let’s just say, there’s work to be done if they want repeat customers. We had such a great time just being together and made funny memories that will offer something to talk about for years to come…Not so perfect…mixed with perfect.
Such is life…such was 47.
Let’s recap the year …
January and February was all wedding planning and job searching, along with starting a little side business. I was eventually offered a job at a culinary institute. What was sold to me as a marketing position that would utilize my skill sets turned out to be phone solicitations for prospective students…sitting behind a desk and taking or making calls to lure individuals into our school for a tour and $25 application fee. Anyone who knows me knows that didn’t last. I could write an entire blog post on this but I’ll save it.
In March we drove to Austin and attended Easter service with Jana and her family, then I kissed her goodbye knowing in my heart I’d never see her again this side of heaven.
Kurt got Ella in May. Our lives immediately became less “what do you want to do after work” to “can you pick up some diapers on the way home”…
Jana left her earthly home on May 14 and her life celebration in Round Rock was a true testament to her sacrificial love and care for others more than herself. I pick the best friends….
Kurt and I married in July under a pecan tree in Austin surrounded by our children and God’s favor.
I had a mammogram in August and was asked to come back in. It was abnormal and I had a biopsy. Praise, all is well, but it was scary…GET YOUR MAMMOGRAM, LADIES.
The Great Flood of 2016 demolished our town a few weeks later. It was the closest thing to a war zone I’d ever witnessed…Thinking it could not get any worse, it got worse.
We lost KJ in September. My new husband was a now a grieving father and together we kept it together and continued to love on Ella and trust God.
From that Tuesday morning until today has been life’s confirmation that we are not meant to do this alone…that we desperately need each other. You think your perfection is a magnet, when in fact it’s your imperfections and messy that warm hearts and draw others into your life. Let your mess be your muse. Let your imperfections find you favor and grace.
As difficult and challenging as the events of my 47th year of life happened to be, I marvel at the beauty that emerges within a soul after survival.
Life will have moments that you can’t take your eyes off of and others that make it hard to look. Relationships will grow you and bring out your best and worst self. Aging is inevitable and loving yourself is magical. Letting things go is a discipline worth studying and practicing daily…leaving your past in the past where it belongs is a great way to soak in the present with full capacity. Struggling with answers? Being kind is the answer to your problems. All of them. Laughter is better than wine. Laughter with your girlfriends after a glass of wine is the best medicine. Trends are just trends. Be you. The way you wear your jeans, the shoes on your feet, the style of your hair…if it makes you happy and you walk out your door feeling like you can conquer a job or a grocery list or just another day…then do it! You do You.
And to all my fellow members of The Art of Midlifery:
Strike a pose. You’re more beautiful than ever. YOU’RE DEEP WATER WITH RICH SOIL AND STORIES TO SHARE. Reflect on the beauty of your life and all the imperfections and mistakes that you’ve owned and survived. TOAST YOUR LIFE WITH CELEBRATION AND DETERMINATION….and when it’s hard to watch what’s going on around you, LOOK UP. JUST KEEP LOOKING UP. RAISE YOUR HEAD TO THE HEAVENS AND FIX YOUR EYES ON CHRIST. HE KNOWS. HE SEES. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
Happy Birthday Regina Lynn…You can be a pain in the ass but I’m so happy to be you.