What Being 40 is Teaching Me

coffee mediterranean sea - laurie wallin 1It boils down to this: it’s time to be all of who I am.

That sounds pretty obvious, but of course it isn’t, since most of us hide a lot of who we are. Why would we share ourselves? Who has time to experience all the crazy that makes us… us?

It is crazy, right? All of what makes up who we are?

The fact that we love to write, love to knit, love to organize, and want to throw all the laundry out the window and let the rain clean it this time.

That we would choose 22 hours of travel each way to North Africa—just to be with a friend—over an hour shuttling our kids to school in traffic while our coffee splashes down the cupholder and onto the mat that, let’s be honest, we’re never actually going to clean because our teen just kicked a hole in the kitchen wall and that’s the priority fixer-upper.

It’s crazy, right? That we’d choose an hour walk in the rain instead of doing one more “productive” thing to prove we’re valuable in the world.

That we’re worth calling a friend to come hold us when we life crashes into pieces, or to dance with us because we simply want them as a witness for something wonderful.

No, it’s not crazy. 

It’s okay that life’s hard, and we are struggling, and we also believe God’s good and we “will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).

Or that maybe we don’t believe it for a season, and God’s goodness feels more like good-for-us-ness, like eating brussel sprouts. But we hope we will believe again, so we stay near enough to our faith that we don’t lose sight of it completely.

No, we’re not crazy. We’re beautiful. We’re complex. We’re worth loving. We’re still amazing, even when we feel selfish one moment, then pour ourselves into serving, loving and inspiring others in the next. 

We’re not either/or. We’re not worth it only because we’re productive and selfless. We’re not worth it because we get the laundry done (and  put away… ever. I’m working on that. Actually, I don’t give a hoot about it—I might as well admit that right now.)

We aren’t either/or, we are both/and. We’re the entire package at once. God loves our beautiful, complex, thoughtful, impulsive, orderly, sometimes productive, sometimes messy selves. We’re chips off the Old Block, after all. Masterpieces. Each reflecting a piece of the Master who loves His own and knows our deep hearts.

This is what being forty is teaching me, and I know there is so much more to come.

Over the next few weeks I’ll share what happened and what God did on my trip to Tunisia. And I’m excited to share more of my photos that look at life from different angles.

bird of paradise - Laurie WallinImages like this one, taken while lying on the cement, looking up at a flower that God made beautiful from above where we usually see it, and underneath where nobody sees it.

Kind of like He made you and me.

Until next time, I celebrate us—celebrate you—and all the goodness that is to come as we choose to be all of who we are.

– Laurie

P.S. As part of this turning 40 thing, I officially decided to make a big shift in another online space—my Facebook page. For years I’ve been posting as a life coach, but it’s time to be all of me: writer, speaker, coach, photo taker, coffee drinker, mom of four, questioner of status quo, sharer of quotes, seeker of God. I hope you’ll stop by and join me on the new page. It’s at Facebook.com/AuthorLaurieWallin.