there are ten days till i turn 40 and i thought we could count down these final days of the thirties together with some of the biggest life lessons i’ve got and that way we can all feel like me getting old has been somewhat worth it. shall we?
last saturday we prepared the house for the Christmas tree. as i sat and looked at the living room with everything in a different place to prepare for my beautifully lit arbor delight with memories and tiny handmade crafts hanging from its branches, i realized this preparing of a room was much like the “prepare him room” that is spoken of in the song joy to the world.
this will be lesson one. when i was younger i believed in my heart of hearts that if i hustled and was wise in my pursuits that there was a way that i could in fact pull it off. all of it. with i’s dotted and t’s crossed i could leap into the great open fields called future and make my mark. after living through the thirties, let me tell you i have no such delusions any longer. i may have been able to do a demanding job well and keep friendships afloat on the river of awesome while simultaneously connecting with friends and family far and wide. but that ship has sailed, my friend. and let’s be honest: if you are not okay seeing me in comfy cozy soft pants then you will probably never see me again post 8pm.
i have limits and they get more pronounced the older i get like someone has picked all of my “area for improvements” in the document of my life and has put them all in bold italics. but with older comes wiser in this respect. i no longer hope to hide my limitations and “fake it till i make it.” i hope to instead be honest about what does and doesn’t fit.
yesterday i took out a long table with drawers as well as the huge leather chair from my living room. in years passed we have stuffed the drawers back where my kids get their jackets and left the chair there and just kind of squeezed it all in. yesterday we put them in the basement. some things in your life need to be moved to the basement. things that don’t fit with your current pursuits or life decor. as we close out this calendar year and i close out my thirties let’s take a moment to look around the room called life and identify the things that are simply ushering clutter into our rooms and minds and be brave enough to put it away. whether it be for a season or for good, there is simply not room for all that you wish to be a part of and all that you currently are a part of and that is okay. sometimes choosing brings clarity and peace.
some things need to simply be put in a different spot. i need to be active and move my body for many reasons. one is my undying love for chocolate and the other is that i sleep better if i have worked out and i am for sure a better mom if i have taken care of my body in the day. last year i worked out mon, wed, fri and there was much rejoicing. this year has been a total struggle and i can’t make it to any of the classes i had grown to love. luckily my scale broke at the same time so we could just kind of remember that i didn’t work out for years and settle into being lethargic, but it turns out it just needed a new battery and now we are making the space to be healthy and wise and finding that things can be moved around to make space for a priority.
the last thing that needed to be done was to gaze. after getting our tree we dolled it up with lights and ornaments and it is really quite lovely. it would be bat-poop-crazy if i never went into that room and sat for a moment and gazed at the splendor. to work to pick just the right tree, unpack all of the lovely ornaments, adorn it as best we are able, and then to pretend it wasn’t there would be crazypants. there are many things in life that we work hard for, labor intensely for, and then once they are checked off we gaze upon them no more. in my forties i hope that i gaze and delight in the things i have fought for.
let every heart prepare him room. i don’t know you. well, i know some of you, but i am not up in your biznazz. i do know this: i cannot claim to be following someone i never look at. otherwise how on earth would i know i was on the right path? one of the most important things i’ve gained from my thirties is the awareness that making room for God has been life-giving and increased the number of people fighting for love by one number. it can be so paralyzing to see people who claim to follow the one called love while spewing hate, but this decade has taught me that i cannot change their teams’ numbers, but i can change mine. make room in your life for what is most important and watch love begin to win.