Tuesday February 17, 2009

Turning 35

It’s kinda wild to think of being five years away from forty. Forty used to seem so old. Funny, the closer I get to it, the less old it seems. Probably because in reality I don’t feel that old. And wonder if I ever will. I remember my grandma telling me that she still feels like the same fourteen year old who married my grandpa some six decades ago… “only when I look in the mirror do I realize I’m not!” :) and I laugh even typing that because I realize how more and more I know exactly what she means. The wrinkles popping up, the bags under the eyes, gravity pulling things the wrong way! ha~

(when I came down Friday morning the kids had signs hanging all over the house)

In all seriousness though, I don’t mind getting older. I’ve loved my thirties, and wouldn’t want to go back for anything.. well, maybe just the anti gravity part. :) But other than that ~ I feel more settled. more at peace. more content with who I am and where I’m at. My perspective is different, it seems on everything!

I think back to my late teens, early twenties, before I was married. I used to travel with the home schooling group we were in and speak at regional seminars to the women! Sessions like, “How to find true rest as a mom.” Then I got married and had kids for myself. :) Yeah, I see you smiling. Oh my goodness!!! How many times have I thought about things I said to those women and realized sheesh, I didn’t have a clue! Not one. Words are easy. Life is hard. :)

I think my twenties were a bit of an identity crisis for me…  discovering who I truly was. Newly married. New mom. New country. Shayne pastoring a small church. People there not really getting me, nor me them. On so many levels I was trying to find my footing. Unsure and shakingly stumbling through to find the ground I would root myself to on different areas and issues. I thank God for my husband who was a rock. That led me to the Higher Rock~! Together in those early years, the twenties, we found our way. Not a conclusive way, as we’re discovering… :) We’re not the same people we were ten years ago. And I doubt we’ll be the same ten years from now. I used to think that would be a terrible quality about someone, to not remain the same. Now, I think it’s one of the best we can have. I hope I never stop learning. discovering. and growing in who I am as a person.

As the saying goes, “When I was young I thought I had all the answers. Now, I’m not even sure what the questions are!”



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Shayne took me out on Friday. We always joke about my birthday holding “monumental moments.” It is just not a dull time of year for us. And Friday was no different. A phone call from a customer who owes Shayne 12,ooo dollars and who had said two weeks ago he was going to pay (a huge answer to prayer), called to say now he’d changed his mind! () Which, you’d have to know the whole story… actually didn’t really surprise us with this man. But, after all, it was my birthday! Another call, this one from a friend, that ended up with concluding a bit hurtful. I know Shayne so well, and though he wasn’t saying anything I could tell by his face that it wasn’t good what he was hearing on the other end. I finally just said loud enough for the man to hear me, “Hello!! It’s my birthday. Can we do this another time!!”

And before you think my birthday was ruined, it wasn’t!! We laugh about it. I mean, I wouldn’t know what to do if something out of the ordinary didn’t happen on that day~ Reality, God has been doing some major heart searching and cleaning in both of our lives. (changing us again) And we’re re-learning that these kind of situations – – customers not paying. friends being hurtful. even birthdays not going according to plan, are all GOOD things. vital things. NEEDED things. Because they send us to the arms of Jesus who gently reminds us that all that happens is from His hand, to make us more like Him.

I love my husband for so many reasons. But one of the main ones is because he points me back to the face of Christ when I lose focus. I’ve said to so many single girls – “Hey, don’t be looking for the tallest. hottest. best dressed guy around. Trust me, you want one who loves Jesus and will teach you how to love Him more.” As boringly prude as it sounds, bottom line, it’s not the physical stuff that gets ya through. (though those are a nice add on!) :)

(valentine card – shayne hates for me to spend 5 bucks on a card. he’d rather buy a coffee!)

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A re- cap of the day in photos…

(the second shot is a box of records. I showed one to my kids a few wks back who couldn’t figure out how they made cd players big enough in cars to play those!) :)
We perused the treasures of a few antique stores. A favorite past time of mine. Not only do I like looking for things for myself, I love thinking about the people before who’ve used these. History and people and how they functioned and lived fascinate me. World War II, my absolute favorite time in history!

We headed to this vintage clothing store. I met the owner at the Sarah Palin rally we went to in the fall. We stood shoulder to shoulder the entire two hours and she chatted my head off. I didn’t mind. She really was a sweet old lady. And I wished I had taken a picture of her in the store that day ~ she looks like what I imagine Princess Leia of Star Wars to look like now. She wears her hair in two twisted buns on the side of her head. Such an adorable chipper type person she was. Shayne thought she was a bit “odd.” But I don’t think eccentric is odd! :)

(trying on some of the great hats! I bought a really cute little brown one)

We went on to a fabulous meal at J. Alexanders. Their spinach queso dip is amazing. Though I’m a sucker for any kind of dip that contains spinach pretty much!

From there we headed to the modern vintage clothing store ~ where prices are only slightly a few hundred more than the little place we’d just been! ;)

Any other FANS of this place?


Had fun trying on some things and modeling them for Shayne.


Bought the last dress. Loved the second one, but too expensive. And thought the sweater was adorable and a great price for 20 bucks! Seemed too good to be true though, so double checked with a sales person who told me that was an error – it was actually 120! I smiled and thanked her, then walked away and stuck it back on the rack. :)

We ended our time at one of my favorite parks. Shayne decided I should have some birthday shots (wink), and so we had fun with that for awhile. I really end up feeling rather dumb when someone is taking my picture. Especially my husband – I get kinda shy and school girlish, so in most I look like a dork. But, some turned out okay~


(watched the sun set)

Back to moms for dessert!

(my favorite dessert ever!)

A few of my favorite gifts –

(dancing willow tree couple) :)

(and yep.. this is a rug! my old one was so worn and thin. and this one is fluffy and WARM! i hate(d) going to the bathroom in the middle of the night because the floor was always so stinkin cold. :/  so this helps. :) now to just find a toilet seat in the same material i’d be set!! hee. hee. thanks Suz~)

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I’m grateful for this new year of LIFE!! (I love that word) I find myself excited and hopeful and somehow just very trusting (in a new calm sort of way for me) to think about what the days ahead will hold. And though I don’t know exactly what’s in store – that’s where the excited part comes in. I know that the Lord has already been there. He has everything already planned – that’s where the hopeful part comes in. And more than it just being planned. He has a purpose – that’s where the trusting part comes in.

“Being confident that He which has begun a ((good)) work in you, will continue to perfect and complete it until the day Jesus returns.” (paraphrased by me) :)


Thanks to each of you who left such sweet comments and wishes~

love, amber
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46 thoughts on “Tuesday February 17, 2009

  1. freshlyground8oclock

    Oh wow… it looks as though you had a great birthday in spite of the curve balls… good for you!  I don’t have one close… but.. oh.. do I love Anthropolgie! I think I was able to buy a couple dish towels on clearence.. LOL  What Fun!

  2. soldierslove2005

    Happy Belated Birthday! :) I am so glad to hear you had a wonderful time! :) I love the pics. You look great! :) I am hitting 32 this year and I think the thirties are going to be my identity crisis. lol

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. DanishDoll

    Lovely pictures! I don’t think you look a bit “dorkesh!” Looks like you had a lovely celebration. I am asking God to make that guy who owes your husband money VERY uncomfortable!

  4. bakersdozen2

    About the customer not paying…… You guys are so good about that. (makes me kind of mad) I:^ {
    You are right though. It’s trials like these that The Lord uses to conform our character to His.

    I’m glad you had a good time on your B-Day. I really like the first and second dress. Beautiful!! Your hair looks so good that way too.
    You 2 make such a perfect couple. ~Your marriage, by itself, points people to Christ…. isn’t that wonderful?!!!
    Love you, Friend!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  5. Elizabethmarie_1

    Glad you had a fun birthday!  I love Anthropologie!  It’s my favorite store, although I don’t own a whole lot of things from there.  I do want a dress from their new spring line, but I will have to save until next spring to be able to afford it!!!  It’s funny but true what you said about feeling the same, but getting older.  I feel the same as I did when I was a teenager, but when I look in the mirror….Ummmmm, What is happening to me???  How sweet of your kids to make those birthday signs for you!  I love the picture of the bench, I really like that bench!  Your new rug also looks nice, and you look cute in your birthday photos!

    Have a good Tuesday!!!

  6. SpazzyMommy

    Happy Birthday, Amber! It looks like you had a very special day! Your pictures (as always) are gorgeous!!! The antique store looked like a lot of fun! :)

    Be Well. Cass

  7. M_Squad4

    Looks like you had a wonderful birthday….and…by the way….life begins at 40!  So you have a lot to look forward to for the next five years!

    Your hair looks really nice on the pictures……..never heard of Anthropologie..but it looks like a great store…I’ll have to google it and see if there are any close to where I live.

  8. jdbischof

    Well I’ve been following your blog for a while, and wanting to share this with you. Now seems the time.

    I remember working with Shayne back in the day at HQ. Not for very long, I think he went onto better things (you?) only a few months after I got there. But I remember being really attracted to him – not in a romantic way at all – I just thought he was a really, really cool guy. A guy I could tell loved Jesus and was living for One person there (one who didn’t wear a blue suit). I remember wishing I could get to know him better, just because I liked being around those kind of people. Of course, friendships being what they were then, it was sorta hard to make friends with the opposite sex, so I never did get to know him very well. (He probably doesn’t even remember me). Later when I heard the two of you were an item, I thought you must be a really special girl. And now, after small peaks into your heart through this blog, I can tell that you are special indeed.

    Oh, and I LOL at the part about giving mom’s advice. I look back at those memories and cringe. The only part I don’t cringe at? The time I would spend praying with them on the phone. I know that even if my advice was idealistic, those prayers went to the One who could send them the refreshment they needed.

  9. cherylyn_p

    Oh, Amber! I so very much know what you mean about not “feeling” like you are your chronological age. I don’t remember 35 being such a monumental birthday, but remember thinking “40? No way am I 40!” Soon, I will be 56 (in April) and I’m thinking, “More than halfway through my 50’s??? Sixty sounds so old!!” My mother (turned 80 a few weeks ago) assures me sixty isn’t old. I guess it’s all relative and about “us” (inside) and not a number!

    Loved the children’s birthday art and you, in the hats, look spectacular!

  10. homefire

    Glad you had a good day!  I had to chuckle at the record player in the car.  I remember trying to explain records to my kids, too, and even more amazing than that, I tell them I can remember when NO ONE had cell phones!  It’s beyond their comprehension.  Since I’m now past 45, I think I can assure you that you just don’t ever feel old –well, physically, yeah, but your mind just doesn’t process the “old” thing very well!

    Did your grandma really get married at fourteen?  I know a couple ladies who got married at sixteen, but fourteen is truly beyond my ability to imagine!

  11. cricket79

    You are exactly 5 years and 2 days older than me, my birthday was the 15 and I turned the ever dreaded age of 30. Actually I think I dreaded it ahead of time more. It’s just gonna take me some time to get used to that fact that I am no longer in my 20’s. I do think the 30’s will be a good time for me, I went thru a lot spiritually in my 20’s and I feel like I have “found myself” more now that I am older. I know I still have a long way to go in many areas of my life but I am excited to see where I go in my 30’s. I hope the rest of your 30’s are great!!

  12. naturalmomma1

    I love that dress you got…looks just like one I saw on a tv show. I just recently have been checking out stuff at that store (online, not sure where one is around here.) I really like the stuff, but it is expensive! Where are you from originally? (You said you were in a new country.) I like your thoughts on this. I’m only 28 but haven’t liked to think about hitting 30. So what you write here is encouraging. :) And how *do* mothers get true rest?

  13. ABAHM

    So happy to hear about your full, happy day…starting with all those messages around the house…how fun! The vintage shop looks great. Our favorite store of late is a second hand store that benefits single women having babies. The woman who runs it has a definite talent at putting things out, and they get great donations! It is a different place every time we go in. David bought his cousin the cutest purse there for Christmas.
    You are so cute, love all the pics, yummy strawberries, and I’m with you on the bath rug. That one looks so soft and warm. My son asked me if there was something I wanted at Christmas and chuckled when I said a bath rug…mine was looking tacky, and it is something you enjoy every day!!
    I agree it makes me kinda mad to hear Shane hasn’t been paid when I think of him working hard. Glad God is in charge and give you all peace. I will join Danishdoll in praying!
    And yup, 35 is young…happy days in the midst of the kids while young…so do enjoy!!

  14. chulya

    oh!  i found myself agreeing and wanting to chat with you about many subjects you hit here!     first of all, getting older is NOT all bad!  you are SO RIGHT!  i like myself and who i am right now so much better than the insecure person i was in my 20’s!   i laughed so hard about shane’s opinions on cards.  i happen to agree!    i used to tell my mom, growing up, i’d rather have a dollar for an ice cream cone… instead of a card.    (guess that gives my age away).  anyway, to this day, ALL my girls never buy cards.  we always make them.  it looks like your kids are following in your “creative” steps!  i LOVE their little signs everywhere!  heart warming!  and so sweet!  YOU ARE LOVED!  (in case you had any doubt)! 

    i, too, LOVE anthropology!  it gets my creative juices going!   do you just LOVE trying dresses on?  and modeling them for shane?  that is one of jen’s favorite things to do!  i’m SO GLAD you took pics of the dresses you tried on!  i love this type of thing!  you are so much like us!  hee hee!  you looked smashing in them all!  i, too, love the 2nd dress….and i also love the one you got! 

    oh!  and i loved the 2nd hat pic!  SO CUTE!  your hair looks wonderful!  and i love the last picture of you!  (contemplating being 30) 

    i LOVE the way you live….with an eternal perspective! ! !      HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear AMBER!    (and may God place it on that man’s heart to give you your money back!) 

  15. Kelly_O78

    Oh I love Anthropologie! They have such neat things, it looks vintage even if it’s not (yes, I love the antique/vintage shops too!)

    I thought about my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and starting a 32nd year, and how I used to think 30 was so old… now it’s just getting started. (John turned 40 last year – that’s really changed my perspective on that age!)

  16. WindSurfing_in_the_sun

    fun fun! I like Anthropologie, however their prices are WAY out of my thrift store shopping league. I mean, if i liked something that well, i’d go to the store to buy it.. then convince myself to NOT get it. I wouldn’t wear its worth ever and I’m sure I could make do with what I’ve already got :). Oh mercy me.
    I also like your “advice to the youngins..”
    Yes. My cousin and I were discussing that the other day.. finding a spouse that Loves Jesus and in turn both draw closer to Jesus as they draw closer to each other. :)
    Glad to see you had a FUN birthday!!!

  17. chambray7

    Glad you had a fun birthday!  Im with you on being 35, and not feeling like it!  And also on not wanting to go back to the teens and early 20’s, wow….thought I had life figured out….lol…..Here’s wishing you an exciting year of being 35!!!

  18. Mymanyblessings

    Happy Birthday

    Well for someone about to turn 40 you don’t look it…I will be 49 my bd in May and I look every year of it…lols. But, you do grow and the years don’t seem so bad. I would never go back. I don’t exactly love everything about my life…but i’m thankful for everything i’ve experienced in my life and for everything I have. God, my family, a home, food, shelter…everything we need we have. We are so blessed. Thank you Lord..

  19. DawneElla

    Amber you look so adorable in those hats! 

    Excited–hopeful–trusting! A wonderful way to enter into your 35th year! Happy Birthday and you don’t look a day over 29!!  

  20. kgrubinski

    Happy Birthday! I’m just a smidge older than you and totally agree – I love my 30s!! The closer to 40 thing is a little weird, I must admit… and I always thought of 40 as OLD… NOT ANYMORE! Anyhoo, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Glad it was a good one!

  21. grams53

    Belated birthday wishes!  Only 35!! Goodness, I’m more than twice your age, but thankful for good health and the joy of living…especially living for my Maker.

  22. Jaynebug

    I remember turning thirty five. I’ll be 50 this year and I’m okay with it. Life has it way of messing with our understanding of time, but I feel freeer and younger in my mind set than ever before.  Maybe I just surrendered into NOW.  Happy birthday. Enjoy the journey. Be the blessing.

  23. Richgem

    Amber, I missed your birthday! Oh no! Well, happy belated birthday!!! You are a beautiful and wise person! I wish I had been that way when I was 35! Maybe I was, but don’t remember now! Anyway, I pretty much feel like I’m 35; young, fairly healthy and still energetic enough to pop up off the couch to get something done. That’s WITHOUT caffeine!! My favorite thing about time going by is that I know the Lord better and feel so much hope and love! I’m also more bold in talking to other people about Him.   The gravity issue…I guess that’s a “law” that we can’t fight and truly win! The true beauty within you will be revealed on your outside and everyone will still love you because of that!  The people owing and not paying up issue… How can people be so awful?  I’ll pray for you!       Love, Gail

  24. Hutch5

    @DanishDoll – 

    @bakersdozen2 – 

    @ABAHM – 

    some exciting news.. the guy called the very next morning and said he’d changed his mind! (so odd since just the day before he was so adamant about not paying)But we’re confident and no doubt at all GOD changed his mind!! Reminded again of the POWER in God’s people joining together to pray ~ thanks to those of you who did!

  25. Hutch5

    @homefire – 

    yeah, my grandma WAS fourteen when she married my grandpa (he was 21). Isn’t that wild!! They grew up in the appalachian mountains, very poor, very much like “Little House on the Prairie.” Things were just different ~ I think a fourteen yr. old back then was probably alot more mature then one nowadays. Still.. crazy thought, I know! 62 yrs. later though they’re still together and going strong! =)

  26. down_onthefarm

    Thanks for sharing the birthday fun…and the hard stuff.
    Busy. Busy. The accuser is busy. I am convinced that he goes all out to especially ruin days or occasions of significance…I’ve seen a pattern for sure. So encouraged with your perspective…an opportunity to run into the arms of Jesus. Thank you.

    Not dorky. Not at all! But that did make me laugh! The photos are beautiful because YOU are! :)

    You’re welcome.


  27. dayofgrace

    I know the feeling, I’m 32 now and it’s hard not to dwell on the number, but rather enjoy feeling young and savoring each moment, instead of pining for a “younger age! I’m married ten years now and it’s getting better each year, so I try not to think about the #s.

  28. purpleamethyst76

    I went to Anthropologie last year for my birthday, I love that store!  We have one about 20 minutes from here.  I like the dress you picked.  You just need a bright green necklace to go with it.   :)

    You look great Amber-dear!  SOOOOO glad you had a nice day with that husband of yours.  ((HUGS))

  29. homefire

    @Hutch5 – That’s so true, that kids grew up quicker then–something it would be interesting to explore a bit. 

    And I’m so glad you got the money!  That is one of the worst problems with being self-employed, we’ve discovered.  We have a job right now where the lady owes another $200 and seems to have forgotten it.  She’s a friend, and I think we’ll just forget it, too, but it does make things awkward.  And when it’s a large amount, it can really be a problem!


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