On turning 30: Prepare the ship

Getting older is such a riot. My 18-year old self thought 30 was basically kicking the bucket. Now, I’m literally turning the handle to open the door to my third decade of life and feeling like a tiny, tiny baby. 

To be honest, I have given my birthday zero thought. Zero. Maybe it’s the two under two thing or the work from home with the two under two because school apparently takes a month off and wants us all to lose our minds thing. But today, before I head out to an evening of surprise birthday festivities coordinated by my husband and nearest and dearest, I’m forcing myself to pause, reflect, appreciate the last few days of my twenties and what I pray is in store for my thirties. 

I’ve been using a new app during my morning workout called Pray as You Go. Huge thank you to Shannan Martin (who is not my real life friend but I totally stalk everything she writes and creates) for turning me on to this app. It has revolutionized the way I start my day. It gives you music, scripture and questions for meditation. Today’s scripture came from Luke 5: 1-11. It’s a familiar story for those who share my Christian faith, but let me paraphrase:

Men on a boat weren’t catching fish. 

Jesus says “Cast your nets over here.”

Said men basically roll their eyes and say, “Ok, well, we tried that but OK, Jesus.”

Boom! Nets are filling so fast they are breaking and the boat is sinking. 

I’m not well-versed on theology but I think that’s the gist. 

I’ve heard this story so many times but today I was struck by something new. (It’s amazing how the Bible works that way, isn’t it?)

Are my nets ready and is my ship prepared for God to fulfill his purpose for my life? Am I ready to assume the abundance of his blessings? Or, if he heaped those blessings on me right now, would my nets tear and my ship begin to sink because of a lack of preparation?

I don’t think the story is about this. It’s more about Peter and becoming fishers of men. But this nuance stopped me in my lunging tracks this morning. 

I’m a new idea a day. It’s how my brain works. Don’t ask me how many domain names I own because it’s embarrassing. I get a new idea, buy a domain name, sit on it and either do something or let it expire. It’s a great way to take a first step, give a little life to a new vision and see if it sticks. Most don’t. But I’ve been mulling over several big ideas, visions, dreams lately. And I don’t know what to do, what to start, what to let go of and what to save for another season. 

I don’t sit still well. Surprise! (No one is surprised.) Yet, here I am in a season of waiting. I’ve dubbed it a “holy procrastination” because I am certain I’m not supposed to do any one thing yet. 

My ship is not ready to launch; rather, now is the time for preparations, adjustments, acquiring knowledge. 

So what does all of this have to do with turning 30? I think I’m supposed to spend the first year of my thirties preparing for the next nine years of this decade, a decade I’m convinced will be my best yet. I know there are storms on the horizon but also sunrises and sunsets and the most glorious moments in between.

For now, I’m anchored and abiding in the harbor of God’s word, an intentional prayer life and the discipline of learning, seeking, asking.

Here are some of the places I go to learn, seek, ask. Maybe they will help you, too. 

A MUST LISTEN podcast for me is Manifest Collab, hosted by the talented Kari Sowers. It’s her interviews with the people I’ve never heard of that are so inspiring, furthering the idea that we are all meant to create something. The world needs us to create something. I love her motto: We all have something to teach; we all have something to learn.

Go now and sign up for Emily’s emails. She sends this weekly compilation email that I never delete. You read that right: in a world of one bazillion emails a day, I don’t delete hers. She puts together the best articles of the week and they are certain to fill your soul. 

I find myself retweeting Allison Fallon all. the. time. 

Surely you already know Claire. But if you don’t, she is a must follow for the best entrepreneurial tips and adorable pictures of her daughter. Her Work by Design summit was too perfect. 

Laurie and I went to college together. Her blog is an absolute delight. As a wannabe writer, I really love following her editing and book writing journeys. 

And I will leave the list right there because I just realized it is all women and I can definitely start my 30s with that fun fact.