Last month, I became mildly obsessed with Justin Timberlake. Alright. The JT obsession goes further back than that. I’ve been a fan of Justin since his NSYNC days. We’re talking pre-BYE BYE BYE era Justin Timberlake. The frosted tips, muscle tee, Drive Myself Crazy, 1997 version of JT.
I never went to an NSYNC concert. I've missed all of his solo tours to date (thanks, broke college student and brand new parent eras of my life). So this year, my JT obsession revolved around seeing him in concert on his Man of the Woods Tour. Something I am happy to report I will be doing in April.
During the Super Bowl, I made everyone at our house—including my two and five-year-old--be quiet, sit down and sing along with me to every word of Justin’s halftime show. Critics be damned, that man put on one of the best halftime shows ever, and I can’t stop that feeling! (See what I did there?)
Often, we look at the JT’s of the world and think that to really accomplish something—to truly leave a legacy—we have to have an extraordinary talent. And culturally, that may be true. Fortunately, the Bible flips the notion of what it takes to be successful on its head. Throughout scripture, we’re given example after example of ordinary, untalented people who did extraordinary things by simply being obedient to God and allowing HIM to work through them.
And by people, I do not just mean old Jewish men. Look at Ruth, Rahab, Esther, MARY. Four women. Four hearts yielded in obedience to God. They did what He asked them to do, WHEN He asked them to do it. And through them, countless lives—and even the entire world—were changed.
Recently, a friend and I—both of us in our mid-30s—were talking about the legacy we’d like to leave after we die. It’s doubtful that anyone will write a book about either of us. And I’m 100% certain we’ll never star in the Super Bowl Halftime Show. But those weren’t the things we said we wanted to be remembered for anyway.
Loving others even when it isn’t convenient.
A relationship with God that causes people—most especially our children—to turn to us for wise advice and spiritual mentorship.
When I left my friend, I started thinking about how to accomplish the things we discussed. I know WHAT type of legacy I want to leave, and I know WHY I want to leave one in the first place; but I’m not always good at figuring out HOW to do those things in the midst of every day life. At 34, there is still so much I want to accomplish…for myself, for my family, for God. In fact, I’d say that my vision for what I want to do and who I want to be has only gotten stronger as I’ve gotten older. Unfortunately, most days I feel lost in the rat race of laundry and playing with (or disciplining) my boys and making meals and TRYING to be an attentive wife. I get to the end of the day and realize that while my house may be clean, I haven’t made progress on the things that really matter.
A few days after talking with my friend, I read—more like devoured—Rachel Hollis’s book “Girl, Wash Your Face.” She talks about the importance of keeping promises to yourself.
I realized that the reason I’m not good at the “how” isn’t b/c I don’t KNOW how to live with intention and leave the legacy I want to leave. It’s b/c I stopped believing myself when I said I was going to do it. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that the laundry (can everyone tell, by now, that I hate laundry?), the kids’ activities, and even the (shame on me) reality TV watching will take precedent over pursuing something with eternal value.
Rachel’s book was the wake up call I needed.
So, here I am, launching a new blog on a random Tuesday in March because, honestly, I need to start keeping promises to myself.
I said 2018 would be a better year than 2017. I’ve been saying I’m “going to do something with my blog” for YEARS. And by God’s grace, I’m going to do just that.
Maybe no one will read This is Thirty Four. Or maybe only the same 10-20 friends who always read my writing will follow along. Or maybe lots of people will read it and love it… or hate it. Any of those outcomes are fine because this blog isn’t for you. (Ok. That’s a lie. It’s actually very much for you.)
This is Thirty Four is for me and for that fire that has burned so deep in my bones since I knew how to put pen to paper. And it’s for God...because I don’t think He gave me the desire to encourage other women through my writing for nothing. And I do believe He has a story—a lot of stories—for me to tell.
To quote another inspiring author, Sally Clarkson: “Part of owning your life is trusting God and stepping out in faith when he puts something on your heart.”
So, this is me, owning my life. This is me, stepping out in faith. THIS IS THIRTY FOUR.