My Birthday Lesson

Yesterday was my birthday.

I turned 38. Since 40 is the new black, I feel okay about that.

My hubby got me these.

I got myself a new heating pad.


I started thinking about all the lessons I’ve learned through the years of birthdays:

  • I’ve learned you can’t hide vitamins up your nose because they melt and cause your parents to FREAK out (age 4)
  • I’ve learned that even your dog won’t eat the fried liver from your plate (Dad’s favorite meal growing up) (age   8
  • I’ve learned when your Mom requests prayer for your sick dog, the pastor might laugh. This is a problem. (age 10)
  • I’ve learned that when your best friend sneaks Dirty Dancing (the movie) to you at church, you will accidentally leave it at the sign in table and have to go in front of the entire youth group to claim it (age 14)
  • I’ve learned that just because you can drive, doesn’t mean you have a car and just because you can date, doesn’t mean you will be asked out (age 16)
  • I’ve learned that the first boy you meet on the first day of college could actually be THE ONE. (age 18)
  • I’ve learned that not discovering above lesson could cause you to date the wrong people. (age 21)
  • I’ve learned to balance my checkbook or call home for a loan. (age 23)
  • I’ve learned not to participate in public speaking events when I’m on a fertility drug (age 27)
  • I’ve learned that all those rejection letters from book publishers really do develop character (age 29)
  • I’ve learned that being a mom is the hardest and greatest job I’ve ever had (age 30)
  • I’ve learned that it can happen to you (age 33)
  • I’ve learned that pregnancy after 35 is WOW. Oh, the droopage. (age 35)
  • I’ve learned to turn around and walk away from my tween’s messy bedroom (yesterday)

My big birthday lesson this year: My plans aren’t nearly as good as God’s and they are called LAUGH LINES not crow’s feet. thankyouverymuch.

What have you learned this year?

But what I’m really asking is HOW OLD ARE YOU??


  1. 2


    First off, when I met you at Relevant I would have guessed you were closer to 30 than 40. So apparently you’re living well! And this year I learned that hospitality and warmth are more important than a sparkling clean/organized home. (age 26).

  2. 5


    Happy Birthday! I will be 25 for the 5th time this coming year. It’s a big one… turning 25 that many times is exhausting but I do it well.

    What have I learned this year? That when you believe in the gifts God has given you, as much as He does.. then you can and will do great things.

  3. 6


    Happy day :)

    I’m 25 and I have learned that having two boys (20 months apart) IS the best thing for my family. I wanted a girl (both times) soooooooooo bad. I couldnt (still can’t!) believe that God decided 2 boys was the perfect plan for us, but I trust him completely and am so excited for our future and that my sons will always have each other!!

    • 6.1


      I raised two boys, 20 months apart, and it was a wonderful experience. They were and are the best of friends and they are absolute wonderful men. You don’t even know how much God has blessed you.

    • 8.2


      Happy birthday, Kristen! And to all of you who have your birthday around this time of year. They say “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.” (Charles Caleb Colton,) So I will be imitating this on my blog in July because I love it and it is a way of counting blessings knowing that God has brought you through each lesson learned.

      I am 55 and I have to say the biggest lesson I have learned in this half century is that GOD Really Does “Restore the years of the locust.” Joel 2:25 KJB And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

      No matter what stupid mistakes (SINS) you make with your family God forgives and He softens the hearts of those who love Him to forgive you are well. He is a God of restoration in all things. And because it is usual for kids to repeat the stupid mistakes their parents make He restores that in them too.

      The other thing I have learn is that God Answers Prayer. I prayed from the time my boys were tiny babies to adulthood that they would follow Him (no matter what my um . . .example to them was) and that they would be filled with His Spirit. They are both doing just that.

  4. 10


    I’ve learned He is always … always … ALWAYS there. Even when your walk is at a stand-still. When you’re ready to continue on walking with Him, He’s right there to help you take that first step … and every step thereafter.

    And I’m 29. Turning the “big 3-0″ in September.

    Ol’ classmates are FREAKING OUT. It’s just a number. I’ve had gray hairs since I was in my early 20s … and I see the beginnings of those laugh lines forming. I don’t care. God is GOOD! 😀

  5. 13

    Lizzy says

    Happy Birthday! I’m 39…looks like the oldest here! But I like you’re quote–40 is the new black, I may have to use that one ; )

  6. 15


    Happy Birthday!! And YES, they are laugh lines! I want to have a “happy” old face, not a “grumpy” old face, so I’ll take laugh lines all day long…its that litttlllleee crease *between* my two eyes that bothers me. (I’m 38 as well)

  7. 17

    Annie May says

    Age 42 here with lots of laugh lines forming. I love my age (except when my 6 yr old announces it loudly to everyone within earshot, “my mom’s 42! Or is it 52??” She can never quite remember. :)

  8. 23


    I just turned 30 a couple of weeks ago, and I’m OK with that! I’ve decided that I’m truly considered a real adult by most of society, but still young enough (with 3 young kids) to be “hip and cool” as a little bit older friend stated it.

    I’ve also learned that when God closes a door, there’s a reason for it and it’s not my place to get all whiny about it and try to change things. Living it (the closed door) out has proven to be the BEST experience and I’ve learned so much about myself. Looking forward to the future on this new track He’s set us on is amazing!

  9. 24


    I turned 37 a week ago, and also met my husband the first day of college. Totally concur on the string of losers it took dating before I figured out he was the one.

  10. 25


    I just blogged about this on Saturday! BTW— 36 — proudly 36! I’ve learned that God really does know what he is doing when he tells me no. Unfortunately, I had to learn that through the death of a child.

  11. 26


    I’m 31 and I have six kids. I’ve learned that what God is calling me to is so much greater (and harder) than what I would have chosen for myself. Also, I’ve learned that it is possible to be a married adult with a good job and still feel somehow guilty telling my parents I’m pregnant (22, 23, 25, 28, 30). 😉

  12. 32

    Emily says

    I’m 35 and learned that it’s more important for my boys to have fun and create memories than it is that everything is “perfect”.

  13. 33

    Renee says

    At age 40 I’ve learned that raising teenagers is as difficult as I thought it was going to be, but God is faithful to carry us during the difficult times and rejoice with us during the good times.

  14. 35


    Wow, you’re a good learner! hehe
    I’m 44 and just this weekend found something no woman wants to find (in their body).
    I knew IT could happen to me…..but I hadn’t lingered there.

    As a child of God….I’m clinging to His plan for me. Cause you’re right….His plans are always better than mine.

  15. 36


    Happy birthday! I have learned that God’s love is unconditional and there is NOTHING we can do to earn His grace and favor, and I have {just begun} to learn to lean back and bask in that knowledge…I will be 32 in two weeks.

  16. 39

    Robin says

    40!!! I’ve learned that God still answers prayer. I prayed for 5 years for God to changes my husbands heart regarding adoption. We’ll be taking our first placement very soon for foster/adopt.

  17. 40


    Learned that I love serving in the church (age 12)
    Learned that boys will say anything you want to hear (age 16)
    Learned that moving away from home will make me miss my mom more than ever (age 18)
    Learned that marriage is hard work (age 22)
    Learned that C-sections still result in precious babies (age 25)
    Learned the C-sections really rearrange your body (age 28)
    Learned that 30 isn’t so bad after all (age 30)
    Learned that ignoring my 5 year old’s messy room is the better choice (yesterday, age 31)

  18. 41


    Happy birthday, Kristen!

    I will turn 39 in January — so I’m just ahead of you. I echo your lessons. I also add:

    You can lose the baby weight after 4 little ones. But you can never lose the extra tummy skin.

    A clean house won’t be remembered in heaven. My children will.

    God’s grace changes everything. I’m still learning how deep this truth really is.

    The 80s really did produce the best music ever. “Love Shack” never grows old.

  19. 42


    Happy Birthday! You’ll love those Toms! Super cute. I’m 31 and I’ve learned that celebrating my kids’ birthdays is more fun for me than my own! And my hubby’s always does a good job of celebrating me, it just brings me great joy to see their excitement.

  20. 43

    heather says

    I will be 31 on the 29th. This year my lesson is that my favorite gift of all is giving. I’m not asking for anything this year, not for me at least, I’m asking everyone to donate to TWLOHA.

  21. 44


    I’m twenty-five and have 3 kids 5 and under. I’ve learned/I’m learning is more the truth that we can make plans, but God’s are always better and that he really IS in control of all that stuff that we thought we were in control of….does that make sense?

  22. 45

    Shay Gerritsen says

    I have learned that your age in Russia is actually about 10 years younger than your age in America. Or, at least that’s what it feels like. So on that note, I will be “27” this coming March. In case you don’t speak Russian, I will do the math for you. That equals 37 in dog years, or something like that. 😛

    (Oh, & 47-Heather…what a GREAT gift request!! To Write Love On Her Arms is an incredibly important organization. I’m actually having “love” in Russian & English tattooed on my arm for MY bday in 2011!) Hope you get tons of donations in honor of your day!)

  23. 47


    I’ve learned that everyone’s story is worth your time and attention. That everyone has one. And they all matter. I’m 37. My 30’s have been quite a decade so far. Lots of heartache, lots of doubts and questions, and lots of growth.

  24. 48

    Sara says

    I’m 26 and the most important thing I learned this year is that nothing and nobody can complete me or give me the fulfillment that I need other than God alone. He alone is enough!

  25. 49


    I am jsut gettng used ot being 45… it is a whole new outfit that I have been wearing for 19 days…I have learned that there are big mistakes in life, and each one helps me be a better me. I have learned that moving all over the country can be rewardings, and that Jesus lives everywhere that I live. I have learned that giving back is a much better way to success than greed.and that, like the little girl in church who was running down the aisle to sing with the children’s choir shouting “don’t start without me!”, that God is saying that in every second of my day!

  26. 50


    A very happy birthday to you, Kristen. At 30, I’ve learned a myriad of life lessons.

    ~5 pregnancies in 5 years is really hard on your body…
    ~but the 2 children that came from all of that are such a blessing there are no words for it.
    ~56 days of my daughter in NICU taught me patience and gave me knowledge that I now use to help support other moms who are riding the NICU roller coaster.
    ~learning that our son would only be 11 months younger than his sister (can you imagine the shock?) taught me that ~God really has a sense of humor….and to be really careful when requesting things through prayer.

    31 comes for me just as the new year does and I am realizing that age is just a number and isn’t who you are at all.

    …and I’d LOVE a heating pad. :)

  27. 51

    Nancy says

    Happy Birthday! I’m 48 and I have a birthday quickly approaching. Usually by this time each year I have it in my head that I’m already the next year older which kind of softens the birthday. For some reason I didn’t do that this year so I’m actually a little shocked that I’ll be 49 next month!! Where did the past year go?? I’ve learned that life passes quickly and a lot of the “things” of life really don’t matter.

    • 51.1


      I would relaly love to make a blog but.. I’m not sure what type of blogs get the most traffic? What kind of blogs do you surf? I mostly surf photo blogs and fashion blogs. Just getting a poll here thanks!.

  28. 52


    Well, we shared the same age for a few weeks. I turned 37 the day after Thanksgiving. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be when I grow up.

  29. 56

    Beth says

    Happy Birthday!! I just got that EXACT pair of shoes!! I’m 29 and already starting to forget how old I am when someone asks…not sure what that means?!?!

  30. 57


    Happy Birthday, Kristen! You are beautiful. :) and hilarious, I might add.

    I’ve learned trusting God really does make all the difference.
    I’ve learned that the first boy you meet on the first day of college really WOULD BE the man I marry.
    I’m learning that God knows the deepest desires of my heart and he will be faithful in HIS time.
    And I’ve learned the value in looking way younger than I am. I used to think it stunk to be considered my younger sister’s age, but now, at 25, when people ask me if I’ve graduated from high school yet, I realize I am blessed by my formally-despised baby face. :)

  31. 58


    Happy B-day! I turned 37 in November. Time flies by, doesn’t it. Strange to think I’m closer to 40 than 30. I wouldn’t go back for anything though.

  32. 59

    Heather says

    Happy Birthday. I am also 38 this year. This has been the year for the big lessons, but the best one has been that God will carry you through. No matter what happens there is a plan that He has for it. I also learned that even though cancer is a scary word my God is bigger than that word.

  33. 60


    Ahh…Happy Belated Birthday Kristen 😉 I’m a few days behind on reading my google reader and catching up on my favorite blogs with my holiday to-do list(s). Well if you really MUST know…I turned 50 this year in July and the biggest lesson I’ve learned about life in general…as a wife, mother and employee is that CONTROL IS AN ILLUSION and that you must give it up to God everyday. My kids roll their eyes when I tell them this…kids…young men now at 31 and 23…lol But as they get older and wiser themselves they know it is the one true thing that they can depend on…let go and give it up already!
    Have a wonderful year. Fondly, Roberta

  34. 61


    Oh Happy Happy Birthday friend!! LOVE your list of lessons and let me just add a big HOLA! to the pregnancy after 35 thing!

    I am so excited to hear all the amazing things God has planned for you this year, Kristen. I think He’s only just getting started.

    with the biggest of hugs and you KNOW I would be feeding you candy right now if I were there in person!


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