About Me

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I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Reflecting on my Thirty Years

Today was my 30th birthday.

I have been breathing this terrestrial air since 6:06 am, Sunday, February 3rd, 1980 when I was evicted into the realities of life in this fallen world and began the daunting task of defining who I am and why I am here.

I was greeted first by the masked face of a Dr. Chung who announced,  "It's a girl."  I was then handed over to my loving, beaming parents, who both instantly knew that I was the the most beautiful & smart baby that ever was born.  I was a daughter.

I spent over two years as the center of their existence only to be joined by a brother who loved to ham it up. My role changed:  I was a sister.

As I got a little older, I went to Sunday school & story hour with a girl named Maria. We were practically inseperable from that time on.  We loved each other.  I was a friend.

I began to love books & my parents taught me to recognize letters & string them together.  I was a reader.

At Vacation Bible School  I realized I was a sinner in need of God's grace.  I was a Christian.

At the age of five I started school.  I went to a rural school where there were only 3 other kids in my grade.  I was a student.

I excelled in my educational pursuits.  I loved to read; I liked to write; I did well with numbers; I got good grades; my teachers like me.  I was smart.

When I was eight, I got a sister.  I fell in love with her.  This new little helpless part of my family became my own little baby doll.  I cared for her; I trained her; I loved her.  I was a protector; I was a teacher.

In fourth grade, I started getting too much homework.  I spent too much of my in-class time looking out the window and watching the visions of my mind.  I was a daydreamer.

At eleven, I got my first bra.  I had to go through all my shirts and mark the ones I couldn't wear or the 'boys' would know I had one & mock me.  When I was almost thirteen, my mom had to start buying me 'pads'.  I was a woman.

When I was fourteen, I started high school and discovered that when people talked to me, instead of answering back, I would panic, freeze up and just stand there with a stupid look on my face.  If I did say something I would spend the next several days kicking myself for sounding so idiotic and wishing I could just be 'normal' like everybody else.  I was shy.

My sophomore year, I tried out for the all-school play and fell in love with the theatre.  I had roles in 2 One-Act plays, 2 spring productions, & 1 musical. Later, I became part of the speech team.  In college I took several theatre classes and participated in 2 major college production & several small ones.  I was an actress.

In '98 I left high school behind to pursue higher educational goals.  I went to Chadron State College on scholarships & pell grants to get a degree in secondary education.  I wanted to teach the language arts.  I lived in the honors dorm.  I made new friends.  I went to classes on my own schedule.  I stayed up late.  I made my own decisions.  I was an adult.

By the time I was twenty-one, I had changed my major to the more vague choice of 'English.'  I was full-time student, working two jobs, going in debt, in an emotionally taxing relationship, etc.  So I took a break.  I got an internship, moved to a new city, lost my boyfriend & spent my 22nd birthday alone in a dark apartment watching the Superbowl wondering where my life was gonna go from here.  I was confused.

But God wasn't confused for a second.  He knew exactly what He was doing and within the next year and half--I met Russ, got engaged, graduated from college and had a new vision for my life!  I was renewed.

On August 16th, 2003,  I stood on the platform at the Chadron Berean Church and made a covenant with Russ (& my Heavenly Father) to love, honor & cherish him until death.  The smile on my face was unconstrained.  I was practically giddy!  I was a wife.

My life was now forever connected to another person's life.  My choices & his were all tied up together.  We traveled for his contracted jobs until he received a more steady position in Colorado.  Once we were settled down we knew it was time for another role to emerge as we decided to add to our family.

When I was twenty-five, my first daughter was born.  We named her 'Eden' which means 'delight' because we knew that we would always delight in her life.  I was a mother.

When I was twenty-six, we moved back to Ne and became homeowners.
When I was twenty-seven, we welcomed Jasmine into our family.
When I was twenty-nine, God gave us Acacia.

Now I'm thirty and I am looking back on all the ways I have defined myself.  Some roles have been permanent; others have only been for a season.  I reflect and I wonder.  My thirty years---have they defined me?  Will I let myself be limited by the roles I've played so far...or will I be inspired to continue to grow, change, & redefine myself for the future?

Thirty is not old. Thirty is a juncture.  Thirty is young enough to begin exploring new adventures; but it is old enough to allow stagnation to set in if a person allows it.

Thirty is a threshold for me.  It is a beginning.  I am able to see the possibilities for my life without being blinded by urgency. So much has happened in my thirty years in this world and if the Lord sees fit to give them to me...I hope to use my next thirty years enjoying the moments between birthdays--worshiping my Savior, hugging my children, thanking my husband, listening to my parents, advising my siblings, serving my Lord, volunteering my time, being generous with my resources, honing my gifts, indulging my interests, trusting my Counselor, feeling my emotions and just plain living my life. 

Psalm 119:171-175 (NKJV)
"My lips shall utter praise,
         For You teach me Your statutes.
My tongue shall speak of Your word,
         For all Your commandments
are righteousness.
Let Your hand become my help,
         For I have chosen Your precepts.
I long for Your salvation, O LORD,
         And Your law
is my delight.
Let my soul live, and it shall praise You;
         And let Your judgments help me."


ProudMom said...

You say you liked to write...You're so good at it! I long to be a good writer...I mean, I'm pretty good at grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, organizing my ideas in a structural way...but to actually express my thoughts and feelings...not something I do. You do. That's something about you that I think is great. What a wonderful post! Happy Birthday!

Gina said...

Thanks! It's kind of ironic that you say this because I was just talking to myself last night about how I don't consider myself to be a good writer. I have so many friends who excel in this area that I just don't see this as a particular strength of mine. But as an English major I got a LOT of practice. Maybe all those 10 page essays actually payed off after all. Lol!

Gregg said...

Gina, this was an awesome post! We don't often reflect on our roles in life. Or how they change how we view ourselves and the world around us. It is easy to let our changing roles in life dictate to us who we are, rather than us dictating to our roles who and what we will be.

Meanma said...

Just wait until your next role is Meanma! That is one of the best roles ever. But seriously, this blog was a blessing. You are a fantastic writer whether you believe it or not. You have a way with words. Love you. Mom