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Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, a grandson, a granddaughter, 3 dogs, 2 rabbits, 2 dwarf frogs, an unfortunate number of tadpoles, and a whole lot of love.




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Friday, December 16, 2011

Forty....and other 'F' Words.


I'm forty.

Yep, I said it. And so far, the earth hasn't stopped rotating, people aren't gasping and none of my body parts are hanging any lower than they were the last day I was 39.....so far.

You may remember, the approach to my birthday last year was riddled with self-imposed misery that culminated into a pity party of colossal proportions. Good times.

With that in mind, I was nervous as to how I would handle the transition into the digits beginning with the big 'F.'

As with any birthday, there's a natural tendency to look back and ponder. I do that every year, but especially whenever I cross over into a whole new decade. It was during those retrospective thoughts recently that it occurred to me that Forty isn't the only F-word used to describe my journey.

My 20's:
Frantic: excessively agitated marked by uncontrolled excitement or emotion

I married Chuckles when I was 21. Z was born when I was 22. A was born when I was 24. K was born two months premature when I was 27 and I suffered a post-vasectomy miscarriage when I was 28. Toss in a boat load of insecurity, self doubt and a young mom of 3 young kids who was trying to hold it all together or at least appear that she was, and you've got a hot mess on your hands.....Frantic.

My 30's:
Forge: to move ahead slowly and steadily

I entered my 30's weighing 250 pounds....254 if you want to be exact. I'll never forget the day my Mamaw Putter said to me, "You're too young to be that fat." (May she rest in peace.) I remember thinking, "I'm not fat. I just have giant bone structures." It wasn't until I dragged myself into a Ladies Fitness Center and stepped onto the scale that my eyes were finally opened to what had gradually been happening. That was when I Forged into my journey of exercise and a healthier lifestyle that ultimately led me to go back to school to become a Massage Therapist a year later. Halfway through this Forging adventure, my husband had his vasectomy reversed and we welcomed C into our family when I was 35.

Then God revealed the next thing on my To-Do List. And when God reveals something to you, He doesn't leave a doubt in your mind, and the 2nd half of my 30's was spent doing studies by Beth Moore that required me to come face to face with some hard core identity issues in my life. Tough stuff but I survived.

I turned 39 thinking that my To-Do list was under control. BIG mistake, because out of the blue, God allowed the next one to slap me upside the head....My approach to relationships. I had a pattern in my life that I kept repeating without even realizing it and it became clear that I needed to break the vicious cycle. It was time to stop trying to please people because where in the heck does that end?!? Somebody is always going to be mad at you. It's reality. You may as well accept it.

Beth Moore gives an awesome visual to how to approach people. Picture the Cross between you and each person in your life. The horizontal line represents the connection between you and the vertical line represents boundaries. That's where I always screwed up. I would walk on eggshells with their boundaries but in my desperate need for the connection, I would always forget to put up my own. Then when I would try later, it would come as a shock, people would get offended and the vicious cycle repeats. Can you say insanity?!?

So my 39th year was spent instilling some crosses. The installation of crosses always begins with forgiveness. I had to forgive myself. I had to forgive others. And I had to move forward with the new changes and the determination to ignore hostile repercussions that always accompany things that people don't understand. These were my mistakes that I had to take full responsibility for and with that comes the responsibility to clean it up and stop the cycle in it's tracks. Some people stay. Some people don't.

Good riddance 39!

Six days into my 40's:
Free: Not under the control or in the power of another

I turned 40 weighing exactly 100 pounds less than I did at 30.
Food does not control me.

I am the child of my Heavenly Father. I am in the Royal bloodline. My identity lies in Him. Therefore, I throw all of my insecurities and doubts about my self-worth into the pit with the enemy where they belong, because that's who they're coming from.
My thoughts do not control me.

My life is full of amazing people who know me well and choose to be a part of my life anyway. A solid cross stands between each of us. They are not responsible for my happiness, nor are they to blame for my unhappiness. Just as I am not responsible or to blame for theirs.
My fear of relationships does not control me.

Now I prepare myself for God to reveal the next thing on my list. I'm holding my breath here, because I know it's coming sooner or later. Joyce Meyer says, "If God hasn't told you what He wants you to do next, just keep doing the last thing He told you until He does." So I will.

You might notice, none of the things on my list can be checked off and considered accomplished. They're a daily battle filled with choices.

In the meantime, I'm passing these lessons onto my kids so that maybe one day when they look back at their 20's and beyond, their 'F' word can be 'Free' and save themselves some of the pain that comes with the 'Frantic Forge.'

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