Monday, August 27, 2012


birthday flowers

This week I turn thirty.

I've heard again and again from various people that your thirties are amazing.  A couple of years ago, I was living for this hope, because an eating disorder and other health issues had made life a living hell.

And then -- God moved, the chains of disordered eating fell away, and I was pregnant with the child we had been cautioned not to hope for.

One year ago, when I turned twenty-nine, I wasn't as desperate for change as I had once been.  But I still looked forward to turning thirty -- after all, it would be the first of many birthdays that I'd celebrate alongside our daughter.

Or so I thought.

I have never been resistant to turning thirty, to reaching this new decade of life -- until the past few weeks.  My birthday, it just serves to highlight that this very important person is missing.  I know what this is -- one of many in the series of milestone "firsts" that you have to endure in the terrible year after your loved one has died. 

But I don't want to turn thirty without her.  And really, I don't want to live without her.  But I don't have a choice, and so I am.  And not begrudgingly.  I am doing this thing called life, as best I am able.

It's hard to feel celebratory, though.  We had a small party with my wonderful in-laws yesterday, complete with birthday cake and birthday pie, but the whole time I felt rather embarrassed because of how little my heart is in it this year. 

But still . . . year thirty.  It is hard not to reflect on how far I've come in this past three decades, how God has brought me again and again through some truly devastating things.  The lines on my forehead and sprouting from the corners of my eyes, the bulge of a the belly that has grown two children, the callouses on my feet and scars on my legs -- these things tell a story of a rich thirty years that, no matter the agony of circumstance, keeps on ending in victory.

That is the truth I am celebrating on my birthday this year.

birthday flowers


  1. happy birthday! may it be a day of doing things you love with those you love.

    promise each decade gets better and better!

    prayers continue for you!

  2. Happy birthday Beth. I wish eve was in your arms for the celebrations. Hugs

  3. Happy Birthday, Beth. <3 I know it's bittersweet. Much love to you. xoxo

  4. I'm sending up heart balloons into the sky to celebrate your birth-day, Beth. Adding a special one with Eve's name on it too.

    You continue to amaze me, Beth. <3

  5. My birthday wish for you...that you feel your daughter and your son present with you all day.

  6. Happy Birthday, Beth :). I too know how you feel as I will celebrate my first birthday this weekend without my Jonah, the birthday that I thought would be my first birthday with Jonah in it. Something about grief makes days that once were good and fun, very hard. Thinking of you as you try to "celebrate" 30 years. And if it helps, I hope you know that I am so thankful for the life you have lived that has made you who you are, an incredibly encouraging and supportive friend!

  7. Happy birthday! May God grant you strength and peace as you continue to face challenges with courage and celebrate the victories that follow.

  8. Happy Birthday Beth!!!! My Thirty's have been difficult but wonderful also. There is a confidence and security that comes with age it is a beautiful thing. Praying for you and baby brother.


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King