Thankful for Ruined Dreams: Thoughts on Turning Thirty

September marks the beginning of my third decade traveling around the sun.

Thirty. Should I feel old and grieve my lost youth? I’m uncertain. Instead I feel blessed that dreams can change.

Make God Laugh by Telling Him Your Plans

Thirty years ago I made my appearance as the first daughter to my mother and the second daughter to my father. Parents hang many dreams on little bundles.


Twenty-five years ago I began exploring kindergarten as the youngest kid in my class. Immature and easily distracted, I was a terrible student even then, but I adored my kindergarten teacher.

She was a grandmother-type, soft in all the right places yet strong. I remember her asking me on one occasion to explain why I wrote my name backward on my paper. I shrugged even though I knew it was because I had picked up my pencil with the wrong hand, and we weren’t allowed to use our pencil erasers. My oldest son freezes up in the same way when confronted.

Her lap represented a safe place. I promised her I would one day help teach in her classroom. I don’t even remember her name.

I think, in many ways, I’m still immature and easily distracted.


Twenty years ago I planned repeatedly how I would run away from home. I felt no anger orย desperation, but I craved adventure and independence. I still sometimes dream of running away, but those dreams look quite different now with several important people included in my adventures.

I claimed the title of writer by this time though few of my imaginary adventures made it to paper. (Has that changed?)


Fifteen years ago, my future plans included traveling the world adopting orphaned street kids. (My intentions probably weren’t as noble as they sound.) I never expected to be married or even remotely settled. How thankful one can be to find oneself wrong!


Ten years ago, I rushed head first toward marrying my college sweetheart. Ready or not here I came! (We weren’t ready.) My plan danced before me, and I determined to make it happen. I still tend to run others over in pursuit of my dreams, but I pray I have a bit more discernment now than I did then.


Five years ago, baby number three grew within me. I had traveled through a land of resentment for how my dreams seemed to crash all around me to learning that taking care of my own might be a form of changing the world. I struggled to embrace my place and find enough hours in the day. Finally, I could say I loved motherhood.


Today, oh, today!

This is the day that the Lord has made!

Like everyday.

Today I celebrate how God has changed my heart and the plans He still has for me.

Today I still struggle to find the time and yet keep my priorities in proper order.

Today, I am so thankful for today. I can barely grasp how things might change better than my most cherished plans in the next thirty years.

(Will I ever not have a child in diapers?)

Thank you, Lord, for bringing me all the way to today.

  • I love this! Thank you for sharing, Rebecca!

    • Rebecca

      Thanks, Jaime! I appreciate you stopping by. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Valerie

    Beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy Birthday!

    • Thanks, Valerie! The actual day is a couple days off, but I couldn’t sit on this post another minute. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Paula Pegram

    It has been a blessing to watch you grow and change over the years. You are vary sweet and caring . You are such an inspiration to me.

    • Rebecca

      Thank you, Paula, and thank you for all the sweet encouragement. I am so blessed to have a mother-in-law that can give me advice and let me decide whether or not to take it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Della

    Howdy cousin! Glad to hear your halfway to elderly! Just kidding! ๐Ÿ™‚ you know I love you, you have always been admirable to me and now as you care for your tiny Barbara ad well as Ginny Jesse Allen and Anna I have to applaud you because I’m running in circles with my two- three! Happy Birthday my friend I love you!!!

    • Rebecca

      Alright, Young Lady, you are only a few years behind me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love you too, Della.

      Please remember, My Dear, as you watch other mothers, that we are ALL running in circles regardless of the number of children. Also remember that different family dynamics affect our homes.

      Don’t be jealous, but when my oldest saw me becoming frazzled while fixing dinner last night with certain crying little ones under foot, she volunteered to finish putting dinner together. (She added sauce and seasoning to the main course, cut up the bread, and fixed plates.) She’s also eight. You’ll get there.