As I celebrate another birthday this month, I still have to do the math every time I wonder about or someone asks me how old I am. If I didn't have my husband to tell me how old I am (without having to do the math), I would darn near forget. It seems like after about age 22 I just haven't cared. Sometimes I feel so much like my 19 year old self that I'm shocked I'm not 19. Well, the two children and husband are a clue that I'm not my 19 year old self, but still. My point is, I could care less about age in number of years. I used to think I was very carefree about growing older until...
I found a gray hair.
I found it about three weeks before my birthday and it is still the first thing I see when I look in the mirror. It's directly on my part, a half inch from my hairline, just begging me to look at it and sigh. My husband tries to tell me it's just a very blond hair that the sun has lightened after all our days at the pool but I know it's a gray hair. It has a different texture. And much to my chagrin, I discovered a few days before my birthday that there is a twin gray hair right near the first one. I shudder to think about what is happening in the parts of my hair that I don't examine...
The funny thing is, the main reason this gray hair ticks me off is that I don't want to pay to have my hair dyed. I'm cheap. I haven't colored or highlighted my hair for over five years. I like my multi-toned, natural color of dishwater blond/brown and I'm not ready to rock the gray 'do yet.
And, truthfully, the second reason I don't like that gray hair (gulp...gray hairs...) is because they are an undeniable sign of aging. It's enough that I sang along with every word to Eve Six's Inside Out one day at the pool as one of the teenage lifeguards said, "Is this a new one?". The movie stars and celebrities I'm familiar with are older than me; teeny bopper celebs I know nothing of. Now that I'm not teaching high school I'm very out of touch with new gaming systems and fancy technology and I was a little taken aback to find out that shades of neon green, yellow, and pink are en vogue again.
However (gray hairs aside), I don't care too much. I'm living almost exactly the life I have always dreamed of living and that is an awesome feeling to have as I celebrate another birthday. Sure, I have hopes and dreams that are yet to be realized. I do have an embarrassingly long list of material wishes (please just let us get a house with a playroom and a perfect back yard already and a new vacuum and...) as well as non-material desires (I want to walk ever closer with my Lord and live out Phil 2:14 and that beach vacation is calling my name and...). But perhaps life would be boring if I had everything I always wanted right now. I like having something to dream about and work toward.
Have I experienced challenges and frustrations and plain ol' bumps in the road? Sure. Do I react to them calmly? Not all the time. I do try to remember my confirmation verse from Hebrews 13:5: Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.
God's grace in my life amazes me every day. My list of blessings is unending, and who am I to deserve them? I don't... but God's grace just keeps on coming: friends, family, health, security, happiness, support, opportunity, faith, and lots of love. The more I am thankful for the things I have, the happier I am. Isn't that great? Contentment is a lovely feeling to have, especially as I look back on the last year and look forward to those to come.
I know I'm blessed and you can bet your bippy that I'm grateful. Am I simply that lucky to have my life turning out how I wanted? Maybe. I just like to think the Lord has helped me find that contentment. I'm thankful for what I have, thus turning the hand I'm dealt into my dream life. I honestly can't name too many core things I would change about my life.
Except that gray hair.
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