I'm 35 today, and surprisingly, I'm not ashamed to say it.
In reflecting upon this year, I'm reminded that a year ago today, I began a journey toward healthier eating and lost 55 pounds. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually like growing older. I like the 35 year-old me much better than the 25 year-old me. I wouldn't trade anything for the maturity, wisdom, and life experiences that it has afforded me, both the good and the bad.
While sometimes I still see myself as a little girl playing house, when I pause to reflect on all I've done and been through in my life, I guess I do FEEL 35. I felt 35 six years ago when I buried my child. I felt 35 when I celebrated fifteen years of marriage to my college sweetheart. I feel 35 every time I look at my three beautiful children... and let me tell you, 35 feels good.
It feels like wisdom. It feels like beauty. Feels like strength.
If I could sit down with my 25 year-old self over a cup of hot tea, I would tell her that she has much more strength than she knows, and that she will brave one of life's deepest sorrows and prevail. Not that I am strong, but that in my weakness, His strength in me is made perfect.
So, I'll take the laugh lines. I'll take life's battle wounds. I'll take the birthing scars. Those will be my badges of honor, my crowning glories. Thank you, God, for each and every victory, each and every trial, each and every loss. You are shaping me and molding me into a more beautiful creation each and every year.
Here's to another year older and another year wiser.
Happy birthday to the 35 year-old me.