Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I remember when my oldest brothers passed the big one seven years ago.
I thought they were ancient!
As a rather monumental birthday loomed ahead of me, I was feeling pretty good about it.
That is until my little brother brought a couple of his college buddies for the weekend…..
Ben and Robert graciously responded “yes ma’am” to me a number of times during their stay. I was sincerely flattered and their momma’s would be proud of raising such respectful guys. However, since Ive know Ben since he was 7 as the kid who was always playing under the bleachers when I played high school basketball, I assured him he really didn’t need to call me “ma’am”.
Im not that much older than you” I reminded him.
How old are you?” he naturally inquired.
Not quite thirty,” I responded (hanging onto the shred of “twenty-something” that was left)
No way!” Ben replied; “You seem way older than that“.
My brother elbowed poor Ben in the gut and told him it would be an excellent time to shut up!
Sure enough, thirty came and went and I feel way older! Im bound and determined to grow old gracefully. Id like to think that wisdom comes with age. I hope there is an ounce of the “unfading beauty” of a gentle and quite spirit that Paul talks about.
But really. Being brutally honest, no one likes to let go of 20! Its been a good decade. Married. Babies. Moves. New Countries. New language. Ministry. More babies. New friends. Burnout. Learning to love unconditionally. Learning to accept unconditional love. Redemption. Brokeness. Healing. Experiencing Gods grace in a new way. Another baby. A miracle. Another new home. Lessons in trust……. Its been a wild ride orchestrated by the One who knows exactly the path He is taking me on toward sanctification. A never-ending process. A relentless love relationship!

In commemoration of this monumental and dreaded day, C helped my sister Katherine scheme to steal me and a couple in-town girlfriends away to Charleston for the weekend.

It was just the thing I needed. Girls and gab. Martinis and mudslides. Coffee and conversation. Staying up and Sleeping in. Shopping and Starbucks. My camera and my companions! What more could a girl want?

We had blissfully long conversations uninterrupted by little people. We walked the cobblestone streets of the historic district, enjoyed the southern charms of the city and indulged my hankering for shrimp and grits!

A gorgeous rooftop inn offered a gorgeous view of the city at sunset as we enjoyed an evening overlooking the harbor. So nice to occasionally get dressed at my leisure (without someone banging on the bathroom door or a fight ensuing in the next room) and go out with the girls unaccompanied by a diaper bag and without spaghetti stains on my dress!

A very special thanks to the daddies of the 10 children between us who graciously gave us a weekend of relaxation!
And then, just when the weekend couldnt possibly get any better, my sweet, amazingly gifted, talented loving sister Katherine gave me a gift.
A painting she has labored over for months.
I opened it and sobbed. (and Im not a cry-er)…….. Can you see why I did?
Im in L-O-V-E with this sweet lil’ cherub!

  • Danielle says:

    What an awesome painting! It was such an awesome time, a perfect way to say see ya’ to your twenties!!!

  • Wow! That is an amazing painting!

    I’m so glad you had such a nice farewell to your 20’s. Looks like it was tons of fun! I totally understand…the days of being 20-something are ticking by for me too. Yikes! 🙂

  • Faith M. says:

    I so wish that I could have been there to celebrate with you. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. And I LOVE the painting. It’s absolutely perfect and I know how much it means to you. I have a little something for you but haven’t made it to the post office. Love you!

  • Jane says:

    What a fabulous weekend! I’m jealous that you got to walk around without little ones to keep up with. When we were there, I so wanted to take pictures, but it just wasn’t going to happen with two little girls. The painting is gorgeous and such a treasure!

  • Bencher says:

    Alright let me try to explain what I was thinking and trying to say but failed horrible. I have known Mandy for the majority of my life. When you are younger people that are older than you seem a lot older when actually they are only a little farther along than you are. This was the day that we woke up early, drove to Columbia, and suffered from a long nasty game and we were very, very tired as it was 11:30 or later that evening. Everyone who knows me knows I have FIMS (Foot In Mouth Syndrome) and it occasionally flares up when I am tired or it is late at night. Both of those circumstances were met that evening. I was attempting to say something along the lines of “You really aren’t that much older than me.” How it came out that bad I still am wondering to this day. Know that you have made my top 5 FIM moments in life though.

  • Sarah D says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, Mandy! I was one to gladly say goodbye to my 20’s,tho! I agree with the Hobbits view on the subject. That to reach 30 is a “coming of age” and it is always a good thing to be out of “the irresponsible tweens”. 😉

  • Karen says:

    WOW! What a weekend, and what a gift! So precious…so perfect.
    I’m serious…my 30th birthday in a European city for a weekend….you game? 🙂
    Love you!

  • brittany says:

    oh mandy…i’m SO happy you got to get away and have some “girl time” for your big 30! i so wish i could’ve been there with you too:)
    WOW! what a treasure of a painting…and a little girl! so so
    love ya!

  • Aunt Marvel says:

    Remembering so many special times through your 30 years, beginning with your Grandpa’s greeting to U. Ed at 2480 Home Circle Dr. (our 35th ann.) with “now you will have to share your day”! We knew immediately that it was your birth date. Love you, Aunt Marvel

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