Monday, September 12, 2011

Raindrops on Roses....

My birthday is a few days away and my Dad and sister asked me yesterday what I wanted for my family birthday dinner... a Jones family tradition.  This got me thinking... I will be 27 this year... 3 years till I hit 30.  When I was little I envisioned 30 as so old... ancient in fact.  As I steadily barrel towards this very age, it makes me reflect back over my past. 

My brain works in funny ways.. I know this and I will be the first to admit it!  As I found myself looking back, I started comparing the things that made me happy as a little girl to what makes me happy nowadays... I am embarrased to admit it, but in the shower this morning, as I was thinking about my favorites, and Julie Andrews voice starting singing the famous song from The Sound of Music.. "these are a few of my favorite things.." ( I TOLD you my mind works in funny ways...)

Age 7 pictured with my monkey George...
When I was 7, my world was very small..  Friday nights were TGIF on TV and ice cream after dinner.  Sundays were church days, dressing up and rushing to find our bibles, then heading off to Sunday school. During the week we would get off the bus and hurry with our homework so as to play for the longest amount of time with our friends down the street.  My life cycled around  these things.  It was a comfortable cocoon.  Predictable and complete, nothing in life was lacking.  I had the love of my parents and sisters.. ( even if we did fight..)  I had food to eat, clothes to wear and did not have a care in the world.  My list of favorite things back then would include:  the color pink, reading books, catching bugs ( of the lightening and lady bug variety)  playing with my barbies, legos and play doh, and happy meals from McDonald's. 

Age 17.. ready to take on the world!
Fast forwarding 10 years, I was 17.  A senior in high school and feeling like I had conquered the world.  That year was of course an important one to me.. but also to the rest of the world.  On September 11th, 9 days before I turned 17, our country came under attack and thousands lost their lives.  Nothing was the same after that, but I was still in a comfortable cocoon.  I went to school, hung out with my friends and worked part time at a pizza place called Rita's.  The money I made from that job went solely towards my shoe addiction and going out with my friends.  My dad gave Miriam and I a car to drive and a gas card to fill it up when needed.  Life was good.  I had my first boyfriend, and consequentially my first heart break.  I took senior pictures and worked on the school's yearbook staff.  The future was bright.. the world was my oyster.  My favorite things at 17 were:  (still) the color pink, my class ring, going out with friends, driving around for no reason.. just because I could and SHOPPING!

Now here I am.. 10 years after that.  Soon to be 27, I have done MOST of what I expected to do.  Graduated from college, married to an amazing man, and the mother of beautiful children.  We work hard to scratch out a living in this uncertain world and uncertain times.  My comfortable cocoon is no more however, due to the fact that I found out a secret well kept by my parents.  Life is HARD.  Life doesn't always work out the way you want it to, and EVEN if you do everything you can, it isn't always enough.  These were hard truths to digest over the years.  My easy, predictable life is no more.  I have worries and nagging doubts and even lose sleep over the hard knocks that life sends our way.

I was talking to my Dad the other day, bemoaning the fact that we just cannot seem to make it... I was feeling like a failure in fact... and my dear dad just shook his head. " Rachel, you are judging by the wrong standards." he told me.  I needed that reminder.  I needed it badly.  By the world's standards, yes we are struggling... just as so MANY others are.  But by God's standards, what a wealth we truly have!  God is supplying our EVERY need... how could I forget that fact?  God will not judge me at the end of my life for how big of a house we live in, or how much money was in my bank account, but by how I lived my life.  He will look to see the fruit of the spirit that bloomed over the span of time and how I let my light shine to the world.

Brian and I during the first month of our relationship <3
I got sidetracked there.. sorry :)  I DID tell you my mind works in weird ways!  Back to my favorite things!!  I guess it all fits in, because my favorite things now, at 27 are not really the materialistic and shallow things that they were at 7 and 17.  My cocoon might be gone, but the love isn't!! I still have the love of my parents and sisters, but added to that I now have the love of a truly wonderful man, and three beautiful babies!  My favorite things now are:  Spending time with the afore said wonderful man who I am blessed enough to call my husband, hugging and kissing my sweet children, getting together with  my dear friends ( you know who you are!!) ( I do have some frivilous things..)  COFFEE and running are now on the list as well.. lol

I am now looking forward to compiling another list at 37.. :)  I wonder how ten years will change this list- or if it will at all.. I guess I will just have to wait and see!

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