Mom Life, Spiritual Discipline

This is 35

I recently celebrated my 35th birthday.

What a year 34 was! 34 brought our family of five our first baby boy and turned us into a family of six.

It brought the fear, uncertainty, and excitement of moving from the place we knew as home and starting over in a new ministry. 34 was listing the first home we ever owned, showing it more times than I could count {which meant keeping it completely clean and staged around the clock, while postpartum…with four kids!}. It also meant leaving the house with four kids and a 75 pound Labrador often for showings. 34 was the stress of almost losing our buyers due to unforeseen circumstances on their end, and it was the fear of losing our new home we had fallen in love with. 34 was seeing God’s faithfulness as things fell into place, literally in the last moments before losing all we hoped for. 34 was being reminded that He goes before us, and we truly need not worry about the future.

34 brought spiritual growth through relying on God in ways we never had before. It brought brokenness from saying good-bye to people we loved, and it brought healing through new friends and a new church family. We experienced God’s faithfulness in beautiful ways as our children not only adjusted to moving, but thrived in their new schools and making new friends.

34 challenged me to remain faithful without losing hope, while walking through fear of the unknown.

The changes 34 brought were more than I ever would have imagined, but looking back–I can see God’s hand carrying us through each and every turn. He walked before us, and I can look back and see the ways He provided–even when we felt so alone.

So now we are at 35.

35 seems like the perfect time for reflection…to look back on the past on the journey I’ve taken, and set goals for what I hope for the future. What will 35 bring to my life and my family? How will God use me this year? How will I move from a place of complacency to a place where I allow myself to be challenged and changed by God to serve Him with intention? These are questions I asked as I turned 35, and they are great questions to ask as we look toward the New Year.



At the Global Leadership Summit, Gary Haugen said to, “Relentlessly inventory your fears. Self-examination leads to honesty and growth.”

Isn’t that such a great reminder? Don’t just be aware of your fears, but relentlessly inventory them. Growth only comes through self-examination.

I have done a lot of self-examination leading up to my 35th birthday. I’ve taken inventory of my fears, and I’m determined to experience growth, in my relationships and in my faith.

That is why I have committed that my 35th year will be the year of Yes.

There are three areas in my life I plan to say Yes in the next year.

Yes to My Family

As a mom, it’s easy to get used to saying “no.” No, that’s too messy. No, you’re not big enough. No, I’m too tired. No, we don’t have time for that. No, I don’t feel like it. No, not right now. No, no, no.

But during this year of yes will be finding as many ways as I can to say YES to my family. Yes to the mess. Yes to the play dates. Yes to fun (even if it’s not my idea of fun!). I’m planning to say YES to my family every chance I get in the coming year. As long as it’s safe {and within reason!} I look forward to seeing what I have to learn by saying YES more, and I’m excited to make more memories with my family by dialing back my “no’s.” Saying “Yes,” more often will give me more opportunities to experience joy with the people I love, while focusing on what is most important. I will choose not to let my yes be an inconvenience, but an opportunity.

It’s important to note that saying yes to my family may sometimes mean saying no to other things. In order for me to give my best yes to my family, I must learn to say no to anything that may take my time and attention away from giving my family the best version of me. 35 will bring more time to make my family my mission field, to spend my time serving my family, discipling my children, and giving them the best of me. In order to do that, I have to learn to say no to anything that takes up too much of my time or attention. Only then will I have the ability to say yes to my family without stress, worry, or other distractions.

Yes to Adventure

I’m the kind of person who generally plays it safe. I don’t really take risks or live on the edge. {I actually stay pretty far away from the edge if I can help it}. But as I turn 35, I would like to experience more of this great life God has given me. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.

While this doesn’t mean I will be skydiving anytime soon, I do plan to add a little adventure to my life each week. Something as small as cooking something new and difficult I never thought I’d try, to doing something I never thought I’d do. {If you have some suggestions, leave me a comment! Maybe I’ll try it out!} I’m realizing that life was never meant to be hidden away, but it was meant to be lived. So now is the time to start checking things off my bucket list and looking for ways to be adventurous in my day to day. It may be something big or something small, but it’s time for me to start saying YES to adventure. I’m excited to see what crazy adventures this next year brings!

Yes to God

This is the one that ties it all together, and it’s the one I’m the most excited about. The reason behind saying yes to my family and yes to adventure, has everything to do with wanting to honor God with every corner of my life. And so in this year of 35, I intend to grow in my relationship with God in brand new ways.

This starts with prayers that are not just requests for the things I need, but asking God to speak, and then diligently waiting and listening for his answer. This has to do with asking God to reveal Himself in my life, and then being willing to follow His leading. We can asks questions all day long, but I have realized that I need to grow in listening and being obedient to what God calls me to do, and live out my faith in brave ways.

This is something I have prayed about for a few months, because honestly it’s scary to commit to being willing to say YES to God’s calling, without knowing what it may be. I had felt this tug on my heart for a while, realizing there was more to be experienced in my walk with God. There was more to it than just studying and going to church. I felt this call to disciple my children in a brand new way, through my own life and example. This meant I needed to learn to experience God in a whole new way, and then start living it out.

Our small group meets twice a month, and it happened to fall on my 35th birthday this year. It was our final meeting in the Love Does study, by Bob Goff. {Sidenote: If you don’t follow Bob Goff on social media, do it. Now. His encouragement to love without abandon, and his wisdom will challenge you to love like Jesus in brand new ways!}. At the end of the study, we were left with a challenge to do something. The challenge was to love like Jesus in big ways, with the intention of making a difference in the life of someone or some great cause. To pray big prayers, be expectant of bold answers to those prayers, and then be willing to do whatever God callled you to do.

Doesn’t that sound like a great adventure? Comitting to serving God through loving actions and without hesitation, saying YES to the needs of others, and saying YES to the chance to live God’s love out loud. And it means the chance to model God’s love for my children, and set an example of what God can do when we are willing to say YES to what He calls us to do!

I have no idea what this next year entails. I don’t know what God will call me to do. But one thing I do know is that I’m tired of stale faith. I’m sick of stagnant relationships, and I’m done with living a life of complacency. I’m excited to begin a life of YES and I’m thrilled to share this journey with you.

This is 35This is the Year of Yes.



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