Tag Archives: #39inmy39th

Spoken Goals

goalWant to know the secret to accomplishing a hard goal?

Tell someone you are going to accomplish said hard goal.

Example: About seven years ago I decided to grow out my hair and then donate it to Locks of Love. I believe I was inspired by two things:

  1. Ann Curry’s hair donation done live on the Today show.
  2. Lack of sleep due to a small toddler girl at my house who did not value a consistent eight hours of slumber.

I mentioned this goal of growing/chopping of hair to my grandmother. She then proceeded to ask me about it anytime I saw her. I had no choice but to actually grow out my hair and then cut it all off (18 inches donated in the end). Because I told her of my intentions, she held me accountable to my goal.

A few years ago I mentioned to my children that I wanted to write a book. The husband already knew about this dream because I have been toying with the idea since we were first married. Funny thing about kids: they never forget some things you tell them. For instance: They can immediately forget that I mentioned they needed to hang up their laundry for the week.

They will never forget that I causally mentioned we may go get milkshakes or I may write a book sometime in the near future.

Thanks a lot, off-spring.

Because I spoke this dream out loud to my family, I decided I needed to make it a reality.


Last summer I messed around a bit, formulating a book idea and crafted bits and pieces of a book proposal. I liked the idea and I loved the writing, but I was not dedicated to carving out the time to make the proposal an actual thing.

This summer that proposal became an actual thing.

Over the past few months the children have watched as I have typed and researched and fretted over a book proposal. They have gone to headshot photo shoots and sat at Staples as I lamented over the weight of paper in which to print said proposal. They have watched a considerable amount of television in order to provide me with the space and time to write. They have stuffed folders and have even picked up their own pens and paper and begun writing themselves (more on that to come).

Two weeks ago they bid me …and the 80 page proposal…farewell as I boarded a plan headed for North Carolina and the She Speaks 2016 conference. Nothing was better for my writer soul than being around 800 other women who share a love of the written word and a heart for Jesus. Nothing was better for my children at that moment than seeing a goal spoken and achieved as they did when I left that Thursday.

The book proposal is showing a bit of promise and I continue working every day towards getting the manuscript complete. The words on those pages come from a space in my heart that is eager to share hope and encouragement with families. The desire to reach the end goal comes from a space to show my children that we can do hard things.

My question to you is what goals have you spoken into the universe and then felt compelled to reach? Perhaps speaking them today, maybe just to this blogging community, is enough to set you on the track to achieving those goals.


In case you are following along, finishing a book proposal was part of my “39 in my 39th”. Please know that I put a big fat checkmark next to that one once I typed the final word on my proposal.


It does not feel like too long ago that my parents and all their friends experienced the life stage of turning 40. I can remember the parties, the “Over the Hill” paraphernalia , and the occasions when my dad would snag a wheelchair from his office to use as a fun party prop. Somehow I have found myself at this same life stage in which those around me are turning 40. Gone are the days of wedding and baby showers. Now we all gather at the latest birthday bash as a fellow friend enters a new decade. Thank goodness Hallmark has decided to phase out the “Over the Hill” black party favors and fortunately “wheelchair” humor is a dying breed.

Today I find myself beginning the year of facing down 40.

Today I turn 39.

Approaching 40 does not create fear in me or casue me to bemoan my age. Rather I embrace it. What a blessing to have been gifted 39 years with a promise of possibly more to come. Sure I recently saw a picture of myself which sent me straight to the skin care aisle of my local department store in search of miracle eye cream. Yes, my back and my knees hurt..especially when the weather changes. I have had the moment of horror when I glanced in the rearview mirror at a stoplight and wondered who in the world planted those gray hairs springing up from the top of my head? Signs of aging are making themselves known.

But guess what those signs mean: I have spent 39 years walking around this earth. Those lines under my eyes that were not there even 6 or 7 years ago? Well those lines are signs of happiness and joy…not signs of a body failing or of youth lost. That back and those knees may ache a bit, but they still keep me going on a daily basis.

Rather than fearing these signs or attempting to radically reverse them, I celebrate them. My wrinkles are not caused by a lifetime of sorrow or of heavy labor, unlike other women in this world. That thought humbles me. My legs still keep trucking despite others with the same diagnosis as me who lost mobility years ago. Again, what is an achy back compared to lack of independent movement? I can run and buy expensive eye cream, text my hair dresser when those pesky grays (who am I kidding? I am a redhead. There are no grays. We skip over that and go straight to white.) pop up, and I can get in quickly to my chiropractor  when the aches start to get the best of me. I have no complaints with my aging, but rather wear it as a sort of badge of honor and embrace it with humility.

As this day has approached, I have thought about what I want to do with this year leading up to 40. 38 taught me a lot of things: one of those being that my days are so very numbered. How am I spending those days and what am I doing with what I have been given? So often I just flitter about, with little detail to how I am spending my overall time and where I am pouring my efforts. I get caught up in the little picture of get up, workout, feed the family, educate the family, socialize with friends that I lose track of the dreams and desires of my heart. The dreams and desires of God’s heart.

This stirred in me a desire to make a list of things to accomplish this year. This list has some big things on it. It has a lot of small things on it. Some are important while others are frivolous . However, they all mean something to me.

Here, my friends, is my little yearlong project I like to call “#39inmy39th.” I plan to blog this journey as I travel down this path for the next 365 days. A few things will remain private, however most of them will be shared.

Without further rambling, here is the list:


  1. Attend 20 yoga classes this year.
  2. Complete a 1/2 marathon
  3. Complete the Whole30 at least once
  4. Climb a (small) mountain
  5. Read a previously unread classic novel
  6. Read a total of 39 books this year
  7. Memorize: The Lord’s Prayer, The Apostle’s Creed, The Great Commission, and The Beatitudes
  8. Finish my book proposal
  9. Attend She Speaks conference in July
  10. Speak at a conference/event
  11. Create an online master class (Don’t you wanna sign up for this???)
  12. Complete the book 52 Lists
  13. Take a class
  14. Publish something
  15. 1017 roomie reunion
  16. *****
  17. Have an Evelyn Day
  18. Have an Isaac Day
  19. Have a Tobe Day
  20. Create vision boards with the family
  21. Cook recipes from both my Grandmother and Grandma’s recipe collection (I have both stored at my house…and never look at them)
  22. Write regular letters to my grandmother
  23. Plan a surprise weekend roadtrip for my family
  24. Have family pictures made
  25. Be intentional about not hurrying the children (this is the only non-tangible thing on my list…but such a big issue for me)
  26. Take Isaac to see a Shakespeare play
  27. Take Evelyn to the ballet
  28. Donate time/efforts to a local organization that empowers women in my community
  29. Donate and raise money for the OM Foundation
  30. Have four families over for dinner (Who wants to come? I am so bad about hosting dinner parties.)
  31. ***
  32. Dine at five local restaurants in which we have never eaten
  33. Paint our master bathroom
  34. Zipline
  35. Finish an incomplete project around the house (ie the large bulletin board that has lived in my garage for two years)
  36. Keep a Gratitude Journal for the year
  37. Watch a classic film never seen before
  38. See a favorite band live
  39. Plan a trip to Nantucket (This is actually a present given to me by my husband. He knew about this list and asked for me to leave one space open. He told me for my 40th I get a trip to Nantucket…a place I am slightly obsessed with and have wanted to visit forever. This year I get to plan the trip and next summer I will go!)

There you have it: 39 in my 39th.

Hello, 39.

I am excited to get to know you.

Eager to see where you will take me.

Prayerful that you will lead me somewhere new.

And eternally grateful to get to experience you.

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