Farewell to the decade I entered as a woman-child, fancying myself far more worldly and grown than I had business believing.

The same season that made me a mother two times over – three if I count the day we went to the Humane Society “only to look.”

A time when I blissfully made fewer mistakes in both home décor and personal fashion, with a few notable exceptions.

Ten birthdays sandwiched between 120 months of faith walks, moments triumphant then disastrous, and the vast mundane in between.

I leave this chapter with crow’s feet and creases under my eyes that I swear weren’t there last week, but also with a fortitude one cannot possess in her twenties.

I’ve come to understand that charity begins at home, carefully protecting my time and energy for a certain three humans, those most deserving of the best I have to give.

I’ve learned how deeply wonderful my parents and parents-in-law truly are, sharing in the meaningful conversation that can only begin when youthful arrogance ends.

I’ve stopped pouring energy into fickle friendships, celebrating instead those for whom I’d walk through fire.

And bless it all, screwing up on the daily now calls for self-compassion instead of self-deprecation.

I am closing out the Decade In Which I Grew Up with a toast to all that was – moments humbling and hilarious, with just enough head scratcher plot twists to know deep down in my bones that I can trust Jeremiah 29:11 with every fiber of my being.

With a glad and grateful heart for all that is to be, Happy Birthday to me.