When I was in my teens.
I looked and felt.
A mouth full of braces.
And a house full of brothers.
Never self confident.
Always uncertain of myself.
And life around me.
My twenties seemed an eternity away.
But I dreamed about them.
I would be such an adult then.
And I would be better.
My twenties would definitely be my best decade.
Of that.....I was very sure.
My twenties came.
And I followed the expected route.
An art career that never took wings.
Not talented enough.
Or so I believed.
I finished Clemson on another career path.
And married my high school sweetheart.
We struck out on our own.
And moved away.
Very little money.
But crazy about each other.
And best friends.
Scott sewed love.
And encouragement into my life.
And I grew.
He convinced me I could do anything.
And I grew to believe him.
I became a mom.
She changed me even more.
My capacity to love.
We became parents.
And started our own family.
My twenties.....I thought.
Would definitely my best decade.
But I was wrong.
Then came my thirties.
My career got underway.
And more people who depended on me.
I grew more sure of myself.
And what I could do.
My life was marked by independence.
I grew more confident in my abilities.
And what I thought I could control.
I eliminated a lot of risk from my life.
Thinking that was a good and responsible thing to do.
My marriage remained strong.
Scott & I tackled everything together.
Our family grew.
Taylor came when I turned 34.
She brought joy.
And laughter into our lives.
Those were demanding, but satisfying years.
My life as a working mom.
In my thirties.
We bought our first home.
It was love at first sight.
We made lots of good memories here.
In my 30's.
Our lives were marked by...... busy.
Busy raising my daughters.
Busy running my home,
Busy at work.
Busy getting stuff done.
Time flew by.
In my thirties.
And I felt sure.
That would be my best decade.
But I was wrong.
Soon came my forties.
Those were good years.
And also hard.
I came to a better understanding of who I was in my 40's.
And what I believed to be true.
I could stand toe to toe with any challenge.
It was not so much under my own strength as a woman.
I learned better.
Through hardship and challenges.
I learned some valuable lessons.
Taught by my own bout with cancer.
Scott's battle with depression.
Losing loved ones.
Demanding responsibilities at work.
Walking through life.
And all the hard things that come from living.
Those experiences brought me.
But, mostly, more humility.
My 40's forced me to take a hard look at my own mortality.
That can be......a very good thing.
As was giving up what was never mine to hold.
Those were wonderful years.
And very hard ones.
I was sure that my 40's would be my best decade.
But I was wrong.
Then came my fifties.
My girls went to college.
And left home.
Then the other.
Kate got married.
And moved far away.
My role in their lives was changing.
Not in a bad way.
Just a different way.
And that was okay.
That lesson I learned in my forties.
Served me well in my fifties.
I learned to adapt.
And accept change.
I learned to hold my hands open.
And while this decade has been marked by "letting go."
Other things have been generously added back in.
Things I didn't have time for before.
Or others I laid down for no particular reason.
I've now been able to pick back up.
Wonderful things I love.
I began writing this blog.
And starting "creating" again.
Even renovating an old house.
Serving in Africa became my passion in my 50's.
And I had more time to invest in friends.
I became more seasoned & experienced at work.
That's a good place to be.
I still make mistakes.
I still have plenty to learn.
But, there's a peacefulness that came in my fifties.
And a strength from knowing who I am and what I believe.
I didn't find that so much until my 50's.
Scott and I have embraced our empty nest.
After years of putting our kids first.
And considering them in all of our plans.
We're doing just what we want to do.
Our 50's have become.
The best years of our marriage.
Another big change.
Our first grandchild.
How this little guy has already altered our family.
As we've opened up our hearts to take him in.
It has been a circle of life experience.
And I feel sure.
My fifties will be my very best decade.
But I may be wrong again.
Because my 60's are just ahead.
And I'm looking forward to what they will bring.
There may be loss.
And likely hardships.
I still have a lot to learn.
But whatever decades I may have ahead of me.
I pray they are always better than the last.
Hope is a powerful thing.
And a life that's full of meaning and purpose.
Marked by love and kindness.
And making a difference.
Will always be my best decade.
As the new year approaches.
I pray that for you as well.
And thank you for letting me share my life.
Make it your best decade.
Whatever decade it may be.
"...The closer to Me you grow, the more fully you become your true self ---the one I designed
you to be,,," Sarah Young "Jesus Calling"