Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Next Forty Years

     Wow, forty.  I can't believe I made it to be forty years old.  I remember when I was young I thought forty was so old and thought it would take forever to turn forty. I was wrong.  I can't believe how fast it went by.  Of course there were moments in my life I thought would never end.  The lessons I've learned, the tears I cried, the smiles and laughter, the celebrations and mourning's, all have brought me to this day.  I am who I am today because of the people I met and the experiences I have lived.  All the trials, pain, and joys in life have left it's mark on my heart. 
     Someone asked me if I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice what would it be?  What a questions.  How would I answer that.  I gave it some thought.  Mistakes I made flashed through my mind.  Would I tell myself not to do something that I thought I did wrong?  Would I tell myself to handle a situation differently, or would I tell myself to do something that I wish I would had done?  True, there are decisions I regret and moments I wish I would have known what I know now, but I had to learn somehow.  As I reflected I came to the conclusion that I would tell myself not to take things so serious all the time, take time to laugh and enjoy the time you have with the ones you love.  Don't be afraid to take some chances.  Cherish the little things in life. Don't worry about tomorrow and the what ifs or spend so much time stressing over life's hang ups.  Love others even when you feel you can't.  Most of all cling to God.   Ultimately my relationship with God will reflect on in my life and all those my life touches. 
     To complicate things she asked me if I could go back would I change anything?  Again, like picture show, my life replayed in my mind.  I remembered times of heartache, pain, regrets, and utter sorrow.  A list of many things I wish never happened came to my mind.  As I was about to say some thing I wish I could change I was reminded that all those things has made me who I am today and how they brought me to have a relationship with God.  Well, both are good things, especially my relationship with God.  I have lived my life with Him and without Him.  I can say that I am so thankful to have Him in my life now.  I don't know how I survived without Him in my life before.  All the horrible things that happened to me made me stronger, grew my heart, and made me turn to God.  With that how could I change anything?  Looking back I can see God's hands on everything that has ever happened to me good or bad.  He was there with every tear, smile, every cry, every heartache, disappointment, and every dark moment I lived.  For that I am truly thankful. I looked at her and said I wouldn't change a thing.  With a shocked look she said why not? She said I know some of the things you went through and why wouldn't you want to erase those things that were so horrible and unfair?  With a smile on my face I said because I know that God was and is in control.  I told her that because of those experiences I have gone through I am stronger.  I have a closer walk with God.  I am now better equipped to help others who may be going through something similar.
      Of course I can say that now, but a couple of days ago as my 40th birthday approached I was going through some kind of mid life crisis.  I was questioning what I have accomplished in my life?  I thought of things I wished I would have done.  I started to compare my life to of those I know who seem to have successful careers, published their books, traveled, and seem to have done so much with their life.  I know at the beginning of our family we decided that I would be a stay home mom. It has been a struggle. I have in a sense put some of dreams on hold.  I have been so focused on my six kids and husband that time has flew by.  I already have a daughter who has been out of the house for 2yrs now.  She is ending her second year of college.  My second oldest is completing her Junior year of high school and only has one more year to go before she to leaves the home.  On the other end of the spectrum my youngest is almost done with Kindergarten.  All the kids are growing up so fast.  Next year all the kids will be in school full time.  I find myself thinking what am I going to do with my life?  Maybe the house will actually stay clean for more than a few hours.  Looking back on my children growing up I have made so many mistakes as a mother, but as any mother I did the best I could with what I had.  I am blessed.  I have good kids.  Sure we have had our rough spots and still do, but we have worked through them and working on the now. All and all I am thankful that I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay home with them.  It has been a sacrifice in many ways for the whole family.
     Anyway, I have found myself reflecting a lot on my life, my role as a mother, a wife, a daughter, and so on.  I have been so focused on those roles in my life that I have lost a big part of myself.  I have come to the conclusion that it is time to focus more on myself, my relationship with God and what He wants me to do.  Sure I had dreams and still do just different. My heart is doing God's will.  I am thankful for the good, the bad, and the ugly in my last forty years and open a new chapter to my next forty years plus.  I will try not to sweat the small stuff, laugh when I can't even smile, and cling to God through the good and bad.  Nervously excited to see what life will bring, but trusting God in it all.

Trish Iiams

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