The Macs

Thursday, August 18, 2011

thankful for thirty

That's right...

August 18, 2011.
The day I turn the big 3-0.

I know that this day...the milestone of reaching your 30' a hard day for many to face. I have been thinking a lot this week about what turning thirty means for me in my own life. I could be sad about exiting my 20's. A lot of great things have happened in my 20's...I got married, graduated from college, got my first job, moved into my first house, birthed two sweet babies (almost three), and so much more. I could be depressed about the thought of getting older. But lets be real. It is inevitable, right? I could be disappointed about where I am today in life as a thirty year old. Maybe it is not where I expected or hoped to be. I definitely never dreamed that this would be "my story". But today, instead of sulking around about my growing age, I want to choose gratitude. I want to be thankful for thirty.

Gratitude unleashes the freedom to live content in the moment, rather than being anxious about the future or regretting the past.
-Ellen Vaughn

This summer I participated in a Bible study on gratitude. I never really thought of myself as an ungrateful person, but the Lord really uncovered some ugly places in my heart as I studied what His Word says about gratitude. And man...sometimes I can be a whiner.

God's goodness and faithfulness are written all over the past thirty years of my life. Each day has been a gift. Some of those days have been filled with joy. Some of those days have been filled with extreme pain...days that I would have given back in a heartbeat if I would have been given the choice. But I know that regardless of what I was feeling, the Lord was using the events of that particular day to orchestrate something beautiful in my life. I may not see the beauty now. I may never understand. But I know that He is working in my life for my good and for His glory.

So, what am I thankful for at thirty?

I am thankful for the family God placed me in.
I am thankful for godly parents who loved me unconditionally and pointed me to the Lord.
I am thankful for great brothers and a dear sister who are now some of my best friends.
I am thankful for a fifth grade teacher who opened my eyes to my desperate need for a Savior.
I am thankful for God's grace.
I am thankful for the friends God has placed in my life.
I am thankful for an incredible man and godly husband who chose me to walk through life with.
I am thankful for new family, in-laws, who support and encourage me.
I am thankful for my precious Cora who first made me a mama and changed my life forever.
I am thankful for sweet Levi who the Lord used to restore my joy and make me laugh again.
I am thankful for the little boy still growing inside of me who reminds me of the life that God continues to bring to my family even in the face of death.

And I am thankful for so much more.

That doesn't make thirty sound so bad, does it?

As I look to the future I am confident in God's continued faithfulness in my life. I can't help but be grateful that turning thirty brings me closer to eternity with my Savior. I can't wait to be in the presence of Jesus and I can't wait to see my Cora again. It will be truly awesome. And even without all of those blessings I listed above, the hope that I have for the future because of my relationship with Jesus is enough. He is enough.

I am uncertain of what the next chapters in my life will hold. But what I am certain of is how my story will end. I am certain that I am a child of the King. And that gives me my identity...not turning thirty. I know that each day the Lord gives me past today, He is giving me for a reason. I don't know exactly what big things I want to accomplish in my thirties (right now I am just focusing on having this baby!!), but I know that I don't want to go through the rest of my life haphazardly. I want to make the most of each day. I want to live life with purpose. And I want to daily choose gratitude out of the overflow of a truly grateful heart.

So today I am choosing to be thankful.
Thankful for thirty.

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23


Anonymous Anna said...

Happy Birthday Jess! Today is also my sister in law's thirtieth. She's having to spend time away from family because she and my bro are in the process of trying to adopt a new baby. I hope your day is the best it can be!

August 18, 2011 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Don, Aimee, Kaitlyn and Kysen said...

Happy 30th Birthday....I just celebrated my 31st this summer and to tell you the truth, the 30's are SUPER! 20's were great but a little immature now that I look back at it....I went in with the attitude that I am going to ROCK THE 30's and so far, so good! Enjoy it.....and enjoy that cute kiddo of yours!

August 18, 2011 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Jenae said...

Happy birthday, Jess!! I hope you have a wonderful day. Your post today was beautifully written!

August 18, 2011 at 7:26 AM  
Anonymous This Farm Family's Life said...


August 18, 2011 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Happy Birthday! Blessings to you on your special day! Turning 30 was great...each year gets better and better :-)

August 18, 2011 at 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

I'm a long-time follower, but I haven't commented in a while. I just wanted to say, this is a beautiful post! Happy Birthday! May your day be "simply the best"!

August 18, 2011 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Katie Smith said...

Happy Birthday Jess! This post is so encouraging- as is the rest of your life! Praise God! :)

Blessings- Katie

August 18, 2011 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Happy Birthday! I hope today is wonderful!

August 18, 2011 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

happy birthday!!! love your outlook. it's hard to change our perspective sometimes with the way the world thinks!

August 18, 2011 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Kalyn said...

I turn 30 on August 30!

Happy Birthday!

August 18, 2011 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Happy birthday, Jess! We are thankful for YOU! :)

August 18, 2011 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah! Happy 30th to you!!! It's my birthday today too! I hope your day is as wonderful as you are.

August 18, 2011 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger The Boccias said...

Happy birthday, Jess! Hope today is extra special.

August 18, 2011 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY from a 30 something to a 30! I feel wonderful in my 30's - more confident & just better about life!! I pray you enjoy your 30's so much!!

August 18, 2011 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

i hope that you have a very happy birthday!

August 18, 2011 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Happy 3-0 Jess! Thanks for the reminder to continually be grateful even in the midst of life's trials. You are a blessing!

August 18, 2011 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Happy, happy birthday, Jess! Beautifully said!! I am grateful for the many ways you've encouraged me through your writings! Thanks!!

August 18, 2011 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Carla said...

Happy Birthday Jess, that's such a beautiful post. I just turned 36, I can hardly believe it, it seems I was 26 last week!! Your attitude to life does my heart good, thank you.I hope you have a lovely birthday celebration.

August 18, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger tmezzy said...

Happy Birthday!!! Welcome to the 30s!
Hope you have a wonderful day :)

August 18, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Danielle H. said...

Happy Birthday, Jess. Well said!

August 18, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Lauren Thomas said...

Happy Birthday!
You are such a blessing and encouragement to all of us out here in blog land! ;)

August 18, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

okay laughing and crying at the same time. Laughing because I surely needed this. Crying because I SURELY needed this.

I have felt completely okay about my upcoming birthday - it's just like all the others, but actually looking at and SAYING that number -that is just so weird!!! Not bad, not good - just WEIRD. I think it will take getting some used to - and I won't be surprised if I try to still say 29 for awhile. Maybe it's because I just don't feel all that different - but yet the number 30 sure make things seem to be different! But I am thankful that the Lord has given me a friend (and friends!) to turn 30 with!!! That makes it all so much better!

Thanks for this today - and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope your day is as much of a blessing as you are!

August 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Awesome Jess! Happy birthday to a beautiful person in and out. His presence just shines in you!

August 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

Happy Birthday Jess! I hope you have a beautiful day!

August 18, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Mrs. H said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Jess! I know I do not know you, but I can tell thru your blog you are precious and someone I would totally be friends with in the real world :) Hope you have a wonderfully blessed day!! 30's are awesome!

August 18, 2011 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Rsymphony said...

This is a beautiful post! My husband and I were just talking about our “aging” the other night…he’s closing in on forty and I’m two years away from thirty ;) So, this post made me stop and think about a lot of things :)
Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day! :)

August 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Stef said...

beautiful post, Jess. Happy 30th Birthday!

August 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger anne said...

Beautiful post!!! Hope you have a wonderful, wonderful birthday!

August 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger anne said...

Beautiful post!! Hope you have a wonderful, wonderful birthday!!

August 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Meggie said...

Happy Birthday! My husband will be 30 on Saturday and his attitude is great too. I loved this post. I need to work on living each day with purpose and making sure I'm not such a whiner! I love the quote about gratitude and the verse from Lamentations. Thanks for sharing!

August 18, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger JESSICA said...

Perfect...just perfect.
Happy Birthday!

August 18, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger rentz said...

Happy birthday, Jess! Believe me, the 30's are great. Busy, but wonderful. Sadly, I've only got a little over a year left to experience them. Love your perspective! Hope you have a blessed day.

August 18, 2011 at 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Happy Birthday!
What a great reminder to be thankful for everything.

August 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Jess!! Hope you have a great day!!! I will be entering my 30's in October...and I have to admit...I'm pretty excited.. :)


Go Big Red! :)

August 18, 2011 at 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! You don't look a day past 20! Enjoyed reading your blog today. I hope you continue to feel God's love throughout the rest of your life.

August 18, 2011 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger flower power momma said...

birthday blessings to you.
love the way you are embracing being 30! It's just a number as you know. May your handsome fellas shower you with much love and kisses.

August 18, 2011 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Happy Birthday! Everyone I know says that their 30's have been their favorite decade yet. I hope you can look back in 10 years and say the same. :)

August 18, 2011 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Happy Birthday! At 33, I can definitely say your thirties are wonderful and something to enjoy. :) Have a beautiful day!

August 18, 2011 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Toni :O) said...

Yay for turning 30! Happy Birthday and may this be one of the best decades for you! :0)

August 18, 2011 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger ohsoblessed said...

Happy Birthday! I am a new follower of your blog and I have learned so much from you! This post is incredibly beautiful and exactly what I hope to say each and every day of my life. Thank you for sharing

Have you read the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp? It changed my life and I hope that you find some time to read it if you have not already. I have a feeling it will align with the beat of your heart and encourage and deepen your faith in a brand new way.

Your little Levi is precious. My daughter was born right around the same time as he was and I enjoy reading about your days as they are similar to mine!

August 18, 2011 at 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy birthday sweet sister in Christ! there is MUCH to be thankful for! thankful for you!

August 18, 2011 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Mama10EE said...

Happy Birthday Jess. I too enjoyed turning 30 (am now 32). Your post made me think today about what I am thankful for, on a day that I have been so sad because my only child has started Kindergarten, which I have seen so negatively. Thank you for your post, and your willingness to share your family with the world.

August 18, 2011 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Ranee Brokaw said...

Happy Birthday! A great reminder to be thankful at any age!

August 18, 2011 at 1:41 PM  
Anonymous kathy said...

Thirty years ago today I became a Mom.


I am so proud of you, in everyway.

August 18, 2011 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

Happy Birthday to an amazing lady! Wishing you lots of joy today and always:)

August 18, 2011 at 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Kristi W said...

Hi! I rarely comment, but I do try to keep up with your posts. I am so glad you have a positive attitude about turning 30. I see so many bloggers agonizing, yes agonizing over turning 30. I am 42. I freaked out about turning 40. You know why? Because my 30s were amazing! Perfect? No. All rosy and comfortable? No. A huge time of learning, loving, giving and growing? YES!! So now I am approaching my 40s with an attitude that if my 30s were so great, who knows what all is in store in this decade! Already a couple of really really hard years, but incredible growth and eyes opened to how God's love is more incredible than I could have EVER imagined in the past. So I say congrats on entering your 30s and keep your eyes and heart open to all of the wonders around you. Even in the midst of difficulty and pain.

August 18, 2011 at 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Jess! I hope you know how truly loved and appreciated you are. Your example as a mom and faithful follower of Christs lifts me up.

August 18, 2011 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Happy Birthday! What an inspirational post. I just turned 29 on the 15th. I've already started dreading next year...but this gives me such a different outlook. I'm going to be thankful for thirty too!

August 18, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Lynda said...

Happy Birthday! May God continue to bless you and your family.

August 18, 2011 at 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Happy 30th Birthday Jess! Hope it is really special xx

August 18, 2011 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I want to wish you a Happy Birthday! I love reading your blog - your posts always make me feel refreshed. Hope you have a wonderful day!

August 18, 2011 at 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God's grace is always there for us. Instead of being down and out about being 30, you choose to cherish each and every day with your husband and your darling son. Cora is so proud of her mother, her 30-year-old, wise beyond her years, mother!! Some of the best things that happened to me, happened to me in my 30's. I will soon be leaving my 50's behind but so glad and grateful I'm still here to enjoy life and to be a grandmother!! Hope your day is wonderful and happy. Mary (a friend from SLC Utah)

August 18, 2011 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Happy Happy birthday to you!

August 18, 2011 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger KF said...

Happy Birthday Jess! Thank you for your post. It was very encouraging!
Kim Freund

August 18, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Anonymous EricaG said...

Happy birthday! I love my 30s so far (32), and I never felt sadness about "crossing over." There is too much fun to be had!

August 18, 2011 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Melissa Joy said...

Happy Birthday, Jess!!!
We are rejoicing with you in God's goodness (even when it is difficult to discern His goodness through our human-eyes) to you and through you. I bless Him for creating you!

And by the way, I finally mailed off my long braid to Locks Of Love, so was praying for your family (and whoever would receive it) as I did so this morning.
I'm so eager to meet Cora when I get to reunite with my own seven children in heaven. And your description of Levi restoring your joy and teaching you to laugh again brought me to tears... I am so eager to meet the baby boy in my own womb, for I trust that God will use him to do the same for me.
With love and sweet wishes for a blessed day as you are thankful for turning 30...

August 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Happy birthday!! Did you have a party? I hope you post pictures if you did!

August 18, 2011 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Happy Birthday to you from a reader in Annapolis, MD! Cheers to 30, I wish and pray that your 30's will be some of the best years of your life. It isn't so bad! I'm loving life at 32 :) Best wishes to you on the approaching birth of your son.

August 18, 2011 at 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be 30 this year too, in a few months, and have been struggling with this a little bit. Thanks for the new perspective....I will be thankful for thirty!!

August 18, 2011 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger eeguiltner said...

Happy Birthday, Jess! I hope you have had a great day!

August 18, 2011 at 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Yolanda said...

Jess...what a wonderful post. Your heart is so full of gratitude. I enjoy reading your blog so much. May God continue to bless you and your family!

August 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Happy Birthday, Jess!! There's nothing bad about turning 30, is there? My sister said our 30s have to be better than our 20s were. Let's hope that's true for all three of us!! And tell that little baby boy (I'm rooting for he needs to stay in there and make his birthday 9/25.

August 18, 2011 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger The Schilling's from Cimarron said...

Happy birthday little mama! you always put things in perspective for me and for that I am truly thankful! I always appreciate your compassion for the lord and life...... miss you lots and wish you lots of luck when you have this new baby take care always!

August 18, 2011 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

What an amazing reminder of how to look at life. You are an inspiration! Happy Birthday and may this next decade bring you so much joy :)

August 18, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger The Moffats said...

Happy Birthday, Jess. Love you so much, friend.

August 18, 2011 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Selena said...

Happy Birthday, Jess! Thirty years ago today, God gave you your first breath of life... Isn't that beautiful?! And speaking of being grateful, I am so totally and forever grateful for YOU!!! Your openness as you walk with our Lord is so encouraging. I really do love you and I really only know you through the beauty of blogging. God is good and I am thankful for your 30th birthday!

Hang in there... That sweet baby is still growing! :)

August 18, 2011 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Happy birthday...whatever year you may be :) I hope the next 30 years bring many more things for you to be thankful for!!!

August 19, 2011 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger ASJ said...

Happy Birthday! Wishing you a wonderful, happy day.
Amy from Australia.

August 19, 2011 at 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Amy Geiser said...

Happy Birthday, Jess! You inspire me often. I hope you had a great birthday! In December I will turn 30... and it is just weird. I'm not scared, I don't hate it... I just don't feel like I should be 30 yet! BUT, I love that I get to turn 30 this year with people whom I truly admire (from afar) - you and Amanda B!

August 19, 2011 at 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you again for your encouraging words. They truly speak to my heart and I found they are exactly what I needed to hear.

Was your bible study a book? I would love to know what it was.

Have a great day!


August 19, 2011 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger DianeTaylor said...

What a WONDERFUL post, Jess - you truly made me stop whining today about all the little things bothering me and be grateful for what I do have. I love that song BLESSINGS by Laura Story - I hope you are continually blessed by our heavenly Father as you enter a new decade in your life. I am an empty nester in my 50s and let me tell you- it just gets better and better :)



August 19, 2011 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Wanting What I Have said...

Tears...happy birthday! I am so thankful to read of God's faithfulness and goodness in your the midst of HARD things. You make me want to love Jesus more. Thank you and happy, happy birthday! (a day late.) :)

August 19, 2011 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Robert J. Nash said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderfully blessed year! Thank you for faithfully following the Savior and sharing your journey with all of us!

August 19, 2011 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger vonFRINKenhagen said...

Happy Birthday!! I turn 30 in March and have been dreading it. Thanks for giving me hope and gratitude to face 30 head-on!

August 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Vonda said...

Happy Birthday!

August 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Marianne said...

Sorry I'm late, but Happy Birthday to you! Looks like you had a wonderful day!

August 19, 2011 at 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Jessica! You are an amazing girl, mom, wife, teacher, friend! I am always encouraged by your blog and was always encouraged by you when we taught together! Congratulations on 30 and this new exciting adventure that God has for you!
Blessings to you and your family,
Rachel James

August 20, 2011 at 10:29 PM  

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