36 Fun Facts From My 36th Year

Today is my 37th birthday. It’s feeling kind of weird to be approaching 40, so my plan is to hug 35 for a bit longer. 🙂

As an avid journaler, most of my life chronicles end up on my journal pages in colored ink. But I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into my 36th year through some random (and not in any order) memories:

  1. Last year, on my 36th birthday, my old website (Embracing Grace) crashed. God used the crash to birth Hope For Pastors’ Wives, and we’ve never looked back.
  2. I read 40 books, most of them excellent and enriching.
  3. We finished our 9th and last year of homeschooling. We both survived and thrived.
  4. My husband and I celebrated 14 years of marriage. He’s my best gift, every day!
  5. Our family finished fund raising for church planting overseas. Goodbye, deputation. Hello, life in South Africa.
  6. A pastor’s wife introduced me to the wonder of 10 foot long iphone charge cords. Where have I been all my life?
  7. I began the process of becoming a certified counselor with ACBC.
  8. I became a fan of Burt’s Bees lip balm and lotion from Old Whaling Company. Always in the bottom of my purse.
  9. My husband and I hosted our third pastors’ wives retreat. It was one of the highlights of our year- so many miracles and answers to prayer.
  10. I planned and enjoyed my first ever personal retreat for spiritual enrichment. Why did I wait so long to do it?
  11. Sears closed, and through that God provided much needed clothing for our family for our future overseas. They paid me to shop- literally.
  12. I met SO many pastors’ wives in real life who I’ve known online for years. My community of pastors’ wives which God has gathered around me is scattered around the world, numbering in the thousands. This blows my mind frequently.
  13. I realized that I do not really like watermelon. Why have I forced myself to eat it for so many years, and been unsatisfied?
  14. I had gallbladder surgery, which has revolutionized and improved my health in so many ways. Wish I had done it years ago.
  15. I started learning how to play the musical saw. It’s takes more muscle than you think, and yes, the blade faces you when you play.
  16. I learned how to create charcuterie boards. Eye appeal is more than half the meal when you’re doing charcuterie.
  17. I started using my Kindle again, after 6 years of not using it (in favor of paper and ink.) I thought I would hate it, but I was wrong.
  18. Praying through the book of Psalms every month became one of my spiritual disciplines (and a delightful one at that!) It has transformed my prayer life.
  19. I realized that yellow is not my best color unless it’s a skirt or pants. But green is wonderful.
  20. I discovered that I do my best (and most enjoyable) public speaking in a conversational style with one or more other people. Tag team speaking with my husband is my favorite.
  21. My husband and I studied the topic of lament in depth. It was and continues to be life changing.
  22. I purchased a Psalter (the Psalms set to music), and it’s my favorite “hymnbook” to sing from. Calming, comforting, faith enriching.
  23. My horrible nightmares and flashback dreams disappeared, thanks to neurofeedback therapy. A relaxed, happy brain is so much better than a traumatized brain.
  24. I worked as a content specialist for therapists, and even managed to do it while we traveled. I quit in December when the job no longer fit our schedule.
  25. God gave me a beautiful Boston (Steinway) grand piano, which I’ve dreamed of and prayed for since I was 10. It is a miracle story- truly. And now my baby is on it’s way overseas. #HoldMe
  26. I realized that cinnamon and evergreen are my favorite candle scents. Please blow out your musky or artificial food scented candles just for today.
  27. My husband and I attended a Weekend To Remember hosted by Family Life Today. It was wonderful! We worked as volunteers and got a discounted rate.
  28. Both of my children wrote several pieces of poetry and several songs, delighting me with glimpses that they, too, may be avid writers someday.
  29. Podcasts became my friends while doing housework or taking long walks on the farm. (Some of my faves- Truth For Life, The World and Everything In It, Emotionally Healthy Leader, The Busy Mom, At Home With Sally, A Year of Listening, and Truth In Love)
  30. God convicted me about my lack of prayer for the persecuted church around the world. I now pray regularly for persecuted leaders/believers, and for the souls who persecute them.
  31. I decided that dark chocolate and milk chocolate with almonds are my favorite kinds of chocolate. Sea salt makes both of those even better.
  32. I adopted the word “sucheva” (“such of a”) and other such creative words and phrases into my vocabulary. I’m a word nerd.
  33. I learned so many rich biblical parallels from observing “the way things are” on the farm where we were living. “Consider the lilies” is a command.
  34. I refrained from having company during a ten day span in which an unreachable dead mouse was decomposing in our kitchen. I almost evicted myself.
  35. I got my hair cut short again, thereby setting my curls free and reducing the headaches I was having daily from the weight of my own hair. Most people are shocked that I have naturally curly, perm-like hair, but it’s true.
  36. I learned more about God’s grace, mercy, love, sovereignty, and wisdom. I grew leaps and bounds in understanding how the Gospel impacts and changes every part of my life. My faith has been tested and strengthened, and my ability to hope in God continually (Romans 15:13) has increased. My love for and insatiable, daily need for large amounts of God’s Word (through reading, listening, and memorizing) has filled and delighted me like never before. I am entering my 37th year as a rich woman with a full heart that is passionate about Christ and His Gospel.