March 12, 2012


I am thirty-one years old today. THIRTY-ONE.

Birthdays used to be this checkpoint for me of where I was in life and how I was doing. I've always tried to measure where I was and see if I had finally perfected all of my characteristic traits and quirks that I had wanted to change about myself.

At some point within the last year though, it started feeling less exhausting to be me.

At thirty-one, I can say that I'm done grading myself. I've realized that the changes that happen within us aren't always easily measured or seen. And I've learned that I'm really not responsible for changing things about myself anyway. Spending time with God - being near and close to Him is what changes us. He is the Changer. He will refine and make things new and transform. I've taken my focus off of trying to change and be something more and just live.

Be near to Him and live. This is my new life motto at thirty-one.

What I am most aware of on this particular birthday is that I feel the most me than I've ever felt before.

At thirty-one, the me that I am dances her ass off.
At thirty-one I've come to the place where I'm not trying to be someone else. I'm not trying to fit into some mold that just isn't my shape. I am more okay with accepting who I am and seeing that as a good thing rather than a container for flaws. I'm more grounded in what I believe and why I believe it. I fight lies better because I feel more secure in truth. And I have more joy - it's something I can feel within me and I know it's because of God. Where we have fought and journeyed together and where we are still going. Healing has brought with it much self-awareness and all of that has made me more at peace with not just my story, but with who I am.

It's been a slow process, but at thirty-one, I've started to like who I am becoming. And I'm flawed and full of my own share of depravity and things that need work just like anyone else. But it's different, I am different. I "pinned" this on Pinterest at some point last year. It felt true then and at thirty-one, it feels true today too.(via)

My dear friend Mal gave this to me for my birthday and it brought me to tears. Perhaps it's the gifts given to us that are tied to our identity that maybe mean the most.
At thirty-one, I still want to be a writer when I "grow up." And at thirty-one, it's become a place I've started to allow myself to dream.

It doesn't feel as scary as it used to anymore - growing older, being a real grown woman.

A very silly, slightly crazy, quite messy, completely wild, free, really-living grown woman.


  1. Happy 31st Birthday, girlie! :)

    What a wonderful post, Jen. I LOVE that you're finally starting to really love yourself and see the beautiful, intelligent, smart, talented and fun-loving person that everyone around you sees.

    Continue to embrace everything about yourself because it's healthy and liberating. I'm currently trying to do the same, and I find that the more I stop trying to change who I am to suit others, or to be what I 'think' I should be, the happier I am. It's a tough battle and it won't happen overnight, but it's definitely something worth fighting for.

    Enjoy your special day! I hope that you're surrounded my family and friends, spoiled rotten and filled with love and happiness :) xoxo

  2. happy birthday girl! hope you have a fabulous day & I'm so happy that you are at such a great place in life right now!

  3. Happy birthday Jen!

    I just loved your post !

    Enjoy your special day!

  4. Happy BIRTHDAY, beautiful lady!! I hope I'm as grounded and real and deep as you are when I hit 31! :) I'll let you know how THAT works Hope you're having a day too fun to be entirely legal!

  5. Happy 31st Birthday!! I hope you have a great day!

  6. What an amazing post!! Happy 31st Birthday! Hope that this is an incredible year for you!!!

  7. oh my good grief.

    Happiest birthday wishes!

  8. Happy B-lated 31st. Your looking super skinny in your face :) Go Jen its your birthday, ok belated birthday. Lol.