12.10.2012

And Then There Were 31...

No, not flavors of ice cream. Candles on the cake. Today is my 31st birthday. Happy Birthday, Me! In the middle of a snow storm - 31 years ago - my 40-year-old father bundled my almost-41-year-old mother into a 4-wheel-drive truck, and navigated the snowy hills of East Tennessee to get her to the hospital.

According to Mom's calendar, she thought I had at least two days to keep cooking, but the doctors were convinced that I had already overstayed my welcome. Additionally, they were concerned about Mom being "old" and threw around words like "at risk" - because 31 years ago, people didn't have babies after the age of 40. {cough...sarcasm...cough} A few drops of Pitocin later, I started getting a little peeved, and poor Mom headed straight into hard labor.

Graham family lore promotes the story that when my dad called home to inform my siblings that I had arrived, the recently dethroned baby of the family (my closest sibling, age 12 at the time I came on the scene), yelled into the phone, "Is she NORMAL???" Apparently she had been quite concerned that Mom's extreme age would affect my mental capacity. My siblings have occasionally claimed that Dad's affirmative response might not have been the most accurate. Siblings are sweet like that.



Last year, I did a lot of introspection about what I wanted my 30's to look like. I even wrote about it on the blog (here, here, here, here, and here - for anyone who's interested). One of the last posts that I wrote was a list of ten things I would like to change and/or accomplish in my 30's, and with one year under my belt, it's time for a check in to see what progress has been made. I'll try to keep it short!

  1. Write a book - I'm not sure it's something I have any passion for doing. Editing other people's books? I'm all over that!
  2. Owe no man anything - We paid our house off this year (yay!), but we also took on another debt. However, we've gained a lot of discipline in this area, and I would love to see us be debt-free before Peter turns 40 - which gives us 2.5 years.
  3. Travel Europe -  We have a goal to go in 2014, but you never know what outside factors may affect those plans. 
  4. Find a job that I love - DONE! Of all the items on this list, this was the one thing I really didn't believe would happen - and it was a totally God-orchestrated event.
  5. Be as comfortable driving a 5-speed as I am driving an automatic - I took my first hesitant steps late last month. After a panic attack on a hill, I drove home. This is still a work in progress, but at least there IS progress!
  6. Make a decision about bringing kids into the equation, or not - This is obviously personal, and something we are still avoiding er, discussing. 
  7. Read one book a month - DONE! Goodreads makes it easy to keep track of reading lists, and in 2012, I read 52 books (plus any I might finish before the end of the year). I'll never stop reading, but I'm marking this one as done anyway.
  8. Develop discipline - Ongoing project, but let's look at the list of trouble spots that I picked last year: cleaning the house (eh...), regular exercise (twice a week, minimum), healthy diet (work-in-progress), dealing with the piles (minimal improvement), filing documents without delay (horrible), and time management (work-in-progress).
  9. Practice more hospitality - Our guestroom had company from South Africa, and our December calendar has three parties listed that we're hosting. Still room to improve, so I'm not marking it off yet.
  10. Be a bold witness - Effort has been made to be more bold in what I say about my faith and what the Bible says. I can think of several instances in 2012 when I was definitely more outspoken for Christ than I would have been in years past. Definite improvement.

Overall, I see progress and growth. I never want to stop growing, whether I'm 31 or 91, because God is never finished working on me, until the day that He calls me Home. As I prepare to enter my 31st year of life, I'm excited to see what He will teach me about myself, and how He will continue to mold me for His service and glory. These are exciting times! 


“There is no greater discovery than seeing God as the author of your destiny.” ― Ravi Zacharias



Do YOU set goals on your birthday? 
What goals are YOU working towards right now?

24 comments:

  1. Now this is a way to keep yourself accountable! I admire your honesty in sharing your goals and being real about the progress you made. I am a goal-setter, but I tend to let things slide this time of year. I'm looking forward to spending some time between Christmas and New Years working on goals for myself and my family. Happy birthday!

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    1. Thank you! I would love to hear what goals you set for yourself...if you ever care to share! :)

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  2. Happy Birthday! I usually don't set goals specifically at my birthday. Instead I wait a few weeks for the new year. :)

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    1. Thank you, Christi! Last year was the first time I set goals on my birthday, but I rather like the idea. It just happens that my birthday falls rather close to the new year, so it's kind of like a two-fer! ;)

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  3. Happy birthday, bloggy friend. May these additional 9 years hold more honesty and growth for you. Many happy returns of the day!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kim! It's certainly been a big year for you!! :)

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  4. Happy happy birthday! So great to see how God is leading and guiding in your lives. Praying for you to enjoy another great year of His faithfulness and blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth! It was a honor to "meet" you online, and then meet you in person this year!

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  5. Happy Birthday. I so enjoy reading your blog. You write about a variety of things ....some of which have given me ideas for my life (I'm in my 60's).

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    1. Awww...thank you, Pam! What a kind thing to say - thanks for sharing!

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  6. Happy birthday! :)

    I'm intrigued by your new job. I'd love to be part of a team like that!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca. As for the job, I feel extremely blessed. :)

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  7. But you should TRY all 31 flavors of ice cream...because it's your birthday, and what better excuse could there be?!? :) Hope you (had) a Happy Birthday!

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    1. Hahaha, Jamie! :) Sadly, our BR closed up shop, so there is no longer a way for me to try all 31, but it does sound like a fun birthday event! ;)

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  8. Happy Happy Birthday! I love that after just one year you're able to tick some of those things off! Congratulations on paying off your house - that is incredible!!

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    1. Thank you, Sophie! It has been an amazing year, full of hard work and learning about self-discipline. We haven't got it all figured out yet, but we're trying. :)

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  9. I love that you made this list and EVEN MORE that you are following up on your goals. Happy birthday, and may you be blessed with a lifetime of growing in God's will and in goals that glorify Him. I was writing about something similar a few years and reprised it on my own blog, a common theme, indeed.

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    1. Thank you, Lori! God has done amazing things in my life this last year, and I'm looking forward to how He will use that growth in the future. I appreciate your comment!

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  10. I'm impressed with the progress you made this year, holy moly. Way to go. I also love your honesty about the progress you didn't make. That is so encouraging to read! I can't wait to see what your 31st year will bring and what adventures lie ahead.
    Happiest of birthdays.

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    1. Aww, thanks Molly! I'm pretty sure I'll struggle with some of those things my whole life (like cleaning - ick). ;) I'm glad that you were included in my 30th year!

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  11. Oh what a great list! Happy, Happy Birthday!!

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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