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Me @ 34: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

I think this is the most exhausted I’ve ever felt on the morning of my birthday.

Trying to reflect and write this, feels like I’m climbing up a hill after running 5 miles.

I could just not write this year. I could just try and wait until this evening. I could…yes, I could.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last quarter of my 33rd year, it’s that plans don’t always pan out.

If I wait until “later,” this post may never come and these words may never be.

Pausing has gotten harder and harder as my responsibilities have grown. Even now, I’m pumping as I write. Gotta maximize this time!

I’ll be glad I sacrificed sleep for this later…I think.

I hope.


Thirty-three, full of the biggest change of my life…pregnancy and motherhood. I was pregnant this time last year and didn’t know. It’d be a few weeks later when symptoms would begin to show, at which point, I took two pregnancy tests to make sure it was true.

I was nervous, extremely sick, exhausted. Months later, things got better. I felt more alive. And then it was time for his arrival.

Our son arrived and all of a sudden I had a life responsibility that trumped nearly everything else in my world. An unexpected delivery experience had me more dependent than I’d anticipated.

There was so much pain. Healing came slow. And yet as I healed, my husband and son needed me. They needed my time, attention, love, and my milk supply.

The doctor’s instructions seemed oxymoronic. Rest, but nurse around the clock.

Weight checks and doctor’s visits on top of barely being able to walk due to an unplanned cesarean after laboring naturally for 22+ hours.

I think it’s safe to say that most of my 33rd year of life was not what I expected. I was riding a roller coaster in the dark. I didn’t know what was coming, all I knew was I couldn’t get off until the end of the ride.

And now I’m 34. Our son will be 4 months next week. I’m still not in my ideal rhythm and part of me is just fine with that. Every day is completely different. I can plan things and sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. I’ve learned to let go and flow more than I already knew how to do.

I’ve also learned the importance of intentional living and protecting my time. My availability has changed and my priorities are shifting. I’m not as busy as I used to be, yet somehow I have less time now. I’m more selective and I don’t want to do anything or go anywhere unless my husband and son are good and have what they need from me.

Even taking today to celebrate my birthday seems mistimed because I haven’t finished handling things for our home and family like I would’ve liked before the day arrived.

But I can’t stop time.

This year I hope to figure out how to get back into a more intentional rhythm, but I’m also open to the possibility of the unknown. Things like discovering more about my husband, pregnancy #2, new clients and projects with work, unexpected growth and challenges with our son, cultural and governmental changes that may affect us. I can’t fully pre-plan and prepare for any of these things, but I do want to have the margin and capacity to have room for them when they come.

Two things I know that margin and capacity can’t come without:

  1. Intentional time in prayer with God and His word

  2. Saying “no” and keeping some dates on the calendar empty on purpose

Although we can’t stop time, we can create breaks within it. I hope to do more of that at 34.

Proverbs 19:21 “Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.”

That’s about all I can bank on this new year.

God knows.

God’s got it.

God is with me.

God wins.

And that’s absolutely enough…more than enough actually.

So, hello 34! What great mystery you bring. There’s no stopping your arrival so I’m as ready as I’m gonna get. Help me Jesus. Here we go!

Check out my previous birthday posts:

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