a letter to myself on the eve of my 40th birthday


40! So exciting.

You say it all the time and people look at you in disbelief. Because people everywhere walk around regretting their ageing, and trying to deny it has arrived.

But it is exciting … a new decade, a new start, a new adventure, a new you.

I love how much you have grown in your acceptance of being just who you are over the last couple of decades. I love how you are willing to do the hard work of examining thoughts, actions and past experiences. How you work to find all the little elements that make you, you.

I love how you have taken on challenges and stepped into new things, with some trepidation but also some excitement.

I love that you feel more and more comfortable in your own skin, with your own particular way of dressing, decorating, parenting, cooking, and being.

I love that you are a good friend and an encourager of women.

I know that last decade had some sorrow and pain, some heartache and tears, and I can’t promise that the next decade won’t hold that too. But I pray that you will continue to remember that grief is a part of life, that you will allow it to wash over you but not let it overwhelm you.

I pray that you grow in your writing. That your words reach women of all ages, that you lift them up will a simple phrase or a recognition of “me too”.

I pray that you continue to grow in your capacity to love. That you will continue to be a true and honest friend, one who is able to have the hard conversations and grow a friendship.

I pray that you always remember that your amazing daughters continually teach you, and your wonderful husband will continually challenge you. Allow them to knock off your raw edges and continue to refine you.

I pray that your heart for the education of impoverished women will grow, that you will seek and find opportunities to serve.

I pray that you will not despise the small ordinariness of life. But also, that you won’t get subsumed by it and will reach for extraordinary experiences.

I pray that you will continue to treat your body with the respect and honour it deserves. Not despising any part of it, but celebrating that you are a woman of forty years, who has borne two children.

Above all I pray that you will continue to listen to your maker, your creator, when he says “this is the way, walk in it”. (Isaiah 30:21)

Happy fortieth, and may the next decade be better than the last,