Jamberry Nails 129

Today is my birthday.
I turn 32.

Somehow, it seems like I was 25 last year and I’m 32 this year and I have no idea how that happened. I’m suddenly an age that I always looked at as rather old and not really much fun anymore and yikes it’s getting close to 40!!!

But now that I’m here, I. LOVE. IT.

Today, I am filled with so much gratitude. G. K. Chesterton says,

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

I love that, and it describes my heart today.

It is a beautiful day of pouring-down rain. My little cottage is warm and cozy and the only thing to make this day better would be to have a fire in the hearth (but the wood is soaked! ha! :) ). I have a candle burning, Sarah McLachlan holiday playing on Pandora, coffee in the mug beside me.

A huge part of what makes this day extra-special is one of the sweetest friends on the planet, who offered to take care of all three of my kids today so that I can have a day off. A DAY OFF. What exactly even is a day off?? I am feeling so spoiled rotten by her and hardly know what to do with myself, it’s just so wonderful!

while pumpkins centerpeices table centerpiece nourish wreath inside the house

Turning 32. And gratitude.

Somehow it seems to be an unspoken thing among women that after you turn (shhhhhh!! 30!) a number in the tens digit that begins with 3, you don’t speak about your age anymore. It’s like, oh goodness, it’s embarrassing to be over 29!! At least act and pretend to be in your 20’s, and hopefully you’ll convince everyone that you’re younger than you are.

WHY, may I ask? Why is age looked at as a thing to blush about, wish it were different?

I have begun to think differently. Today, I celebrate being given 32 years of life.
And specifically, I celebrate life and health.

My eyes have been filled with tears several times already this morning by the blessings of the Lord, and the kindness of people who love me far more than I ever could deserve.
*insert a moment of tears overflowing*

The older I become, the more I realize how much I owe to the people around me, the people that God has put in my life. So much of who we are we owe to the people around us; they have helped shape us, mold us, influence us. Some of the people who have shaped me in powerful ways are not even present today. Their legacy lives on, but their physical lives do not.

In the past two years I’ve said goodbye to two people that have impacted my life in huge ways; my friend by her years of beloved friendship, and my nephew whom I never had the chance to know in this life.

[bangles I’m wearing today that belonged to Ruth]

remembering Ruth

Loss impacts a life deeper than almost anything else we will ever experience.
It shakes our beliefs, it makes us reevaluate what is really important, it can bring us an eternal perspective like nothing else will. I am not the same person I was before the deep losses, and I will always feel the ache of them not being a part of my life on earth any longer.

And yet, it is these very people that gives me new perspective on aging, on turning another year older.

My friend Ruth was not given her 32nd birthday. The day that she would have turned 32 was filled with tears, the ache of missing her deep and painful.

Today, it was that memory of her that choked me up, and as my little children woke up one by one, I hugged and kissed their sweet sleepy faces, laughed at their stinky breath, filled with gratitude that today I get to be their mommy. I get to wake up and care for them and be in their lives, and have them in mine. We get to do life together.

My beloved friend Ruth, my little nephew that left this world before he ever experienced life here, my cousin who wasn’t given his 21st birthday, my dear aunt that was full of beauty and peace – it’s a day to honor their dear memory and chose to live well and live fully today. To celebrate this day that I’ve been given, this gift of turning 32, and celebrate the gift of life. THE GIFT OF LIFE. It is an inexpressible gift, and one day we all will hand it back to the One who first gave it to us, and exchange it for eternal life. It is a gift so rich, and each birthday can speak of fresh mercy and deeper growth.

Today I am feeling the incredible richness of this gift, and how undeserving I am of it. I feel such gratitude to so many people in my life – those who have made me what I am, helping to shape and mold me, those who push me out of my comfort zone and help me become more, those who love me far more than I deserve to be loved… I feel so rich, so undeservedly rich.

Another thing I feel such gratitude for is my health. One year ago I thought that exhaustion, feelings of being overwhelmed by life, and low blood sugar/thyroid problems were just a part of life as a mother of three, and that I would gradually just become even more run down. I talked about that here. If you’re friends with me on Facebook and see my posts about Plexus, please understand that the only reason I promote it is because I feel like a completely different woman that I did a year ago. I feel like I have my life back. I have energy to get up in the mornings, to not just survive the day but to thrive in it, my mind feels clear and sharp, and I don’t even deal with low blood sugar problems anymore. I’m so excited about these all-natural products that have not just changed my life and gave me the nutrition I was so desperately needing, but thousands of other people are saying the same thing. I am just so grateful, tears-flowing grateful.

[edited to add: bargain hunters alert! November 27-30 use coupon code THANKS2014 to receive 10% off your Plexus purchase, and 15% off automatically to join wholesale!]

On this day that I turn 32, I want to live it big and wide and arms flung open in worship to my Lord. And not only this day, but this year, and any year that I will be given after this. I want to grow deeper, and especially grow in caring less what people think of me, and more of what God does. There are some huge ways I’m being pushed out of my comfort zone in the coming year, things I know about and thing I don’t know, and I don’t want to run from it, but embrace the opportunity to grow.

Live large, and don’t be ashamed of the years you’ve been gifted in this life. Own it, and worship Jesus because of it!

I absolutely love this quote by Elisabeth Elliot; let it be true of me, and all true followers of Christ!

one desire


32 thoughts on “Another Year Older.

  1. beklovesjeremy

    Happy Birthday Clarita! Wonderful post. Each day, each year IS a gift. Thankful for you, that you get to have a day off, and a special birthday!!! How awesome!!! Enjoy it!!

  2. Heidi Weaver

    This post was so beautiful and real to me for two reasons: birthdays and loss. My birthday was yesterday so I’ve been feeling blessed and reflective also. The loss of my daughter last year has forever changed who I am and made me into the person I am today. This post put into words some of what’s in my heart.
    Happy Birthday – hope it’s lovely!

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Happy birthday to you too! And I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. While I have known other loss, I haven’t known what it’s like to lose a child, and I simply cannot imagine the grief and sorrow. Yes, it changes who you are so much. May God be ever near, and give you much sweet grace! xo

  3. The Simple Farm

    What a beautiful post on the bedroom…and pretty much the heart of your written feminine soul. Lovely.

  4. fingerprintsonmyheart

    This post resonates with me…the age I am is the age my precious sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had three years to live. My oldest sister said when turning 40, “Why should I mind being 40 when Lynnae would have loved to reach this age?” So today I thank God with you for the gift of beautiful life…here on earth and the one to come in Heaven! Happy birthday!

  5. Jolene

    Happy Birthday! I couldn’t agree more that 32 is great! Actually better than my 20’s :) What a wonderful friend you have, offering you a day to yourself! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. Chelsy Renee

    truth truth TRUTH!! thank-you so much for a fabulous post…I love this + it resonates so deeply with my heart and where I’ve been at lately.
    and Happy Birthday. =) You are such a beautiful gem + I’m so grateful for the impact you’ve made on my life. Your looong email full of wisdom was like a much-needed breath of fresh air. thank you from the depths of this sometimes floundering heart. =)

  7. downonthefarm2

    your friend is awesome—keeping your kids! a day off sounds like a perfect birthday. :) funny how that is with the people i love the most. haha. but it’s true. great perspective on another birthday, another year added on to The Number, :) i feel the same way. and there are gifts in grieving, you described them so well.

    it cracks me up to realize that you are as close to my oldest son’s age as you are to me. :) and last year for me was especially startling, i remember making a cut out number cake for my mom when she turned 44. so it messed with my head that it was ALREADY my turn for that same number. lol.

    happy HAPPY birthday beautiful friend! love you much.

  8. Elizabeth

    I’m a day late…sorry. But a Very, HaPpY..HAPPY Birthday to you!
    Like Beth said ^^^up there…I have loved my 30’s so far, best decade!….and I’m older than Beth! ;)

    I’m so sorry for the losses you have faced in the past couple years.
    It’s scary and hard and sad and part of life. The part I don’t really care for.
    But you express your grief it with such a humble spirit.

    You are beautiful inside and out Clarita! I’m glad I know you. :)
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your beautiful family!

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